We had the good fortune of connecting with Symone’ Sullivan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Symone’, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
How do I know whether to keep going or to give up? There is no such thing as giving up. I know that sounds cliche, but it is the truth; especially, when I have my amazing son depending on me. I had my son when I was two months shy of turning 24-years-old. I just celebrated my 31st birthday on March 8th. Luckily, before having my son, I was already a college graduate and had a degree to rely on which allowed me to get my first job after college at a law firm in September 2012. My son came into this world January 2014. I worked at a law firm for nearly eight years before I resigned May of last year due to several reasons, but mainly because the pandemic had taken its toll on schools and workplaces. I wanted to be home just in case my son could not go back to school, but deep down, I had been unhappy for years. I knew in my spirit the pandemic was going to bring change to my life. At that time, I did not know how. For a month or so after the start of the pandemic, I pondered what I could do next. I had an option to ask my parents to be a part of their business. They own a DSP company with Amazon. Ask and you shall receive! They allowed me the opportunity to work for them in human resources. I am blessed to now fully work from home and be readily available to my son, whether I assist him with virtual school or allow him to finally be a car rider since I am no longer bound to an office until the evening. Although my new position is an answered prayer, I still was dissatisfied, just as I was at the law firm. That is no reflection of the law firm or my parents’ business; I am super grateful for both opportunities. It is merely a reflection of me and my own ambitions. Knowing I now create my work schedule and have free time due to no longer commuting, I knew I wanted to start a business – a business I can be proud of and demonstrate to my son that he can always make room to follow his dreams. I have had a passion for cleanliness and order since I was a child. I sat in my bed one night and wrote down a long list of any ‘s’ word I could think of related to organizing. Hence, Straight Shambles was born. I have only been in business since last November, but being my own boss and showing my son, who will one day be a man, how to create a business by tapping into his skills and passion is so fulfilling. This is what I have been longing for. I encourage whoever is reading this to make any moves or changes you deem necessary to elevate and position yourself for more in life. Do not settle. Take risks. Have faith. Most importantly, do not make excuses. I used motherhood as an excuse for the longest because I was afraid to fail my son; however, I was failing myself. You know to keep going when that voice inside of you will not allow you to stay comfortable or settle.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business, Straight Shambles, is a company that specializes in organizing your space(s) and creating personalized systems you can sustain in the future. I love to organize. It is who I am and what I have always done naturally. I desire to do work most people do not know how to do, where to start or have time to do. Let me make your home, office or any space more pleasant and functional. I believe in living in order; it makes life easier all the way around. After I complete my job, my clients will know where everything is and goes and what no longer serves purpose in order to stay functional. I have always wanted to be an organizer since I can remember and the pandemic showed me time is of the essence. During the brainstorming stage, it was important to me to create a household brand, and it will be one day! I wanted a brand name that can be on products, publications, etc. I have a bachelor of science degree in public relations with a minor in sociology so I do think like a marketer as well as an organizer. This is a good combination because I think about what serves purpose, what is functional and what looks good! It has not been easy starting a business because I am a mother and I still have a full-time job. Therefore, I am managing my time more than ever! My life is no longer cookie cutter. I have to make time to be a mom, to work, to be an entrepreneur and to be an organizer. I am learning that passion is the key to success. I am fully responsible for the success of Straight Shambles merely by my work ethic – passion drives work ethic.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
OMG! There are so many places on my list that I still want to go in Atlanta, I am from the south side of metro Atlanta and there is mostly where you can find me. However, I do enjoy Atlanta Beltline. I would take my friend there because it has many delicious restaurants and we can experience all the beautiful wall art, a skate park and Ponce City Market. I would also take my friend to Centennial Park where we would ride the Ferris wheel, visit the CNN Center and the park. We would visit the Mercedes Benz stadium and reminisce about all the concerts and sports games I have been to. We would definitely go to Atlantic Station and we would have to experience some history at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. If my friend has kids, we would go to Atlanta Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium and Southern Belle Farm. I personally like to go places where I can enjoy the outdoors. At night, we would visit my favorite lounges like Monticello in Marietta, BQE on Edgewood, Harold’s Chicken and Waffles off Old National Highway and Savoy which is now in Morrow.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my friend Sarah Miller. Sarah has always whispered my name in the ears of others which has given me great opportunities such as this. She supports me on a business and personal level. She was even my realtor when I bought my first home almost two years ago. Thank you, Sarah! I would also like to shoutout all the beautiful women in my life who balance motherhood, being wives, entrepreneurship, careers and so many other hats. Cheers to you all!