Home > NewsRelease > Taking Care of Your Team with MG Shlachter’s Aya Shlachter
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Taking Care of Your Team with MG Shlachter’s Aya Shlachter
From:
Josh Elledge -- UpMyInfluence Josh Elledge -- UpMyInfluence
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Orlando , FL
Friday, May 22, 2020

 

0:00
Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, we're all reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.

And with us right now we've got is locker if you are the founder and CEO of MG Shakur and MGS graphics. Thank you so much for joining us. It's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

0:47
Yeah, well congratulations on your success. So you have been able to design you do architecture support, and in hospitality retail residential. Let me name a few companies that Again, we'll play a game with our listening audience. Let me know when you hear a brand that you recognize to portray McDonald's Hilton forever 21 Hyatt Mattel 711. Keller Williams. Alright. Take a drink for every brand that you recognize. And again, the audience has now all passed out. Aya let's have a private conversation and tell me all about the work that you do.

1:28
Yeah, I help architecture and interior design firms with their architecture support. So if they don't have enough capacity or staff to do all the production drawings, you know, our company helps them with their production drawings, especially when it's a when they have like project spikes. And they don't have time to hire and train architecture draftsman. I provide all that for them.

1:53
Yeah, how did you find yourself in this role?

1:57
I'm an architecture graduate and I also have a master's degree from urban in urban design and architecture, but I was working in, you know, as an employee for a bunch of architecture firms. And then, you know, I got married, gave birth and I took three months off and I decided, you know what, maybe I'll just stay at home for a while. And I decided to do some consulting on the side and quit my job. And later on after three months, one of my good friends asked me to, if I was interested in doing work for a retail company, I can't really tell the name because I signed an NDA, but Haha, I read a major retail company and I said, Sure, they gave me one store to do. And I finished one store, they gave me more stores. I was living in Queens that time with my baby, my 11 year 11 month old daughter, and all of a sudden I had an aha moment. I'm like, you know, this is not that hard to do. I'm gonna invite or ask some of my friends to join me and help me roll out all these shops or this this project. So I I hired my friends and you know some people i three people I worked in my apartment in Queens, so I was breastfeeding my baby. Yeah. My husband would come home after work and find all these people in the house. You know, where are they? I'm like, yeah, I'm starting a little company here. So that retail company was able to deliver, I think, like 30 shops in one month. And the 30 turned into 300 in six months. I mean, I just built a team based on this opportunity. So now instead of being an architect, which I was pursuing, becoming like, you know, having my own architecture firm, now, I'm doing architecture support for a lot of architecture firms who don't have the capacity to grow. Yeah,

3:41
yeah. So, that sounds like you've you've niched yourself pretty well. So the advantage here is see you kind of don't have to really go out and beat the streets and and try to get clients yourself view your partner's just say, Alright, I Oh, we need your help with We need your team. So it's like they kind of take care of all of the client facing stuff, you just get to focus on fulfilling services.

4:07
Yeah. And I'm lucky that I'm in the rollout space, meaning I do a lot of one store, but, you know, several branches. So that's, that's the niche. I want to position myself where I've positioned myself as a roll out person where you can roll out as many stores as you can. Because it's, it's simple enough, you study one model, and you do the same thing. 100 times or 300 times,

4:29
right. Yeah, yeah, there's there's an advantage that for sure, however, so I would imagine then that your biggest, your biggest thing is just making sure that you know, obviously, you're investing in your relationships with your partners, and it probably doesn't hurt to find new partners from time to time. Yes, definitely. So what do you do to find new partners?

4:52
Well, I'm just recently three months ago, three years ago, I on boarded my business consultant and business and business. Development Manager. And he taught me how to do business development, content creation, going to expos, email blasts, things like that. Because in the first few years of my business, I made a mistake and put all my eggs in one basket. That basket was pretty big. I was rolling out 100 shops per month. Wow. So I've already done around 6000 stores for one of the biggest retail companies in the in the world probably,

5:27
well, shall remain nameless.

5:29
I can't name names, but I put all my eggs in one basket and I realized, oops, I was running out of clients. So I have on boarded a business manager who helped me pivot and told me that I should do but you know, go to expos meet people, business development, content creation, marketing, things like that, which helped a lot.

5:49
Wow. Okay, so, obviously, you were recording this at the very, very end of March here. We're in the midst of a train formative event. And this has to be impacting your world quite a bit. Yeah. What do you do? And what what first off what has What's happening? And what what are your plans?

6:13
Okay, so right now it's very challenging times and I think my pipeline has decreased to by 90%. Right? That's a significant decrease of work. But I know this is temporary. And one thing that I always tell my friends who are entrepreneurs and business leaders are to is to really take care of your team members at the moment, because without them you really are nothing I know this is temporary. We don't know how long it's gonna last. But if you have the capacity to help your team members, you know, keep their jobs or you know, right now is a good time to help them, you know, upgrade their skill sets, give them training programs for the next 15 weeks. So you know if you can stretch yourself right, right now as an artist A foreigner, it's easy to have like, like a scarcity mindset right now. But if you can stretch yourself for the next three months, I think that would be the best because if, like, I'm gonna give you a metaphor of the rubber band, the rubber band works, if it's stretched, it wins together. So that's my metaphor, I'm going to stretch myself as much to keep my team together and boost their morale. And that's my strategy. So right now, I've given them a 15 week training programs for you know, new, new software that they need to learn. At the same time, I just, I'm launching this new company called MGS graphics. Yeah, um, website is MGS graphics Pro. So we basically have pivoted last year to do graphics production. So we have a grid.

7:48
Yeah, so we have a lot of manufacturing companies who have no graphics capabilities. So that was on hold for a long time because I was so busy doing architecture work, but now I have all these times, so You know, we're going to launch MGS graphics pro next week, you know, because right now is like a lot of people are primarily communicating through digital media. Right. And a lot of firms right now have a skeleton team, I don't know if they can retain their graphic design people. So and that's where I come in. And I think I'm giving a service to people who, right now I think business leaders, it's a perfect time for them to pivot to do marketing strategies, business development, even, you know, personal growth and development and exercise. Right now, like business leaders have to be healthy for their team. They have to be sharp and you know, very confident at this moment. It's difficult, but it has to be done. So that's the pivot.

8:43
Yeah, so we have a lot of manufacturing companies who have no graphics capabilities. So that was on hold for a long time because I was so busy doing architecture work, but now I have all these times, so You know, we're going to launch MGS graphics pro next week, you know, because right now is like a lot of people are primarily communicating through digital media. Right. And a lot of firms right now have a skeleton team, I don't know if they can retain their graphic design people. So and that's where I come in. And I think I'm giving a service to people who, right now I think business leaders, it's a perfect time for them to pivot to do marketing strategies, business development, even, you know, personal growth and development and exercise. Right now, like business leaders have to be healthy for their team. They have to be sharp and you know, very confident at this moment. It's difficult, but it has to be done. So that's the pivot.

8:52
Oh, yes, there are a lot of virtual Yeah, we do that I have. Yeah. A lot of architects have virtual reality at VR. In their program, because it's very easy for them to show their client base, what the space will look like before it's getting its built. Yeah, yeah.

9:10
Yeah. I mean, and again, I don't want to get too sci fi, but I don't think it's too far off to imagine that, you know, we're in, you know, you put the VR headset on, and now you're in the showroom. And you know, you can be there with somebody who can say, you know, hey, let me give you a tour around. Let's take a look at the merchandise and you want to take a test drive, here you go.

9:32
The companies are doing that, actually.

9:34
Wow, that is all about

9:36
experience. It's the experience, not necessarily what the space looks like. But, you know, it's great. Some retail companies are doing VR.

9:45
Yeah. And, you know, and again, I just, you know, for the future of architecture, you know, obviously, we're always going to need physical spaces. Yeah. But, you know, I wonder, you know, how the world changes based on this event, and You know, do we does that change design? Do you have any predictions on how is design going to be changed at all because of this and, you know, building workspaces that support more distributed teams and or communicating, you know, having more studios and having more, you know, communication, um, you know, through video and kind of building that into the design of what those workspaces look like.

10:25
Yeah, I think it should have happened already before, you know, now, with, with everyone working remotely, people probably don't need you know, to spell especially entrepreneurs don't need really to spend money on office spaces, right can work from home and take advantage of technology and so I think it will really impact design in the future. You know, maybe homes will have more office spaces that are separated from the main homes or everything is going to shift from now on in my you know, in my opinion, especially the way people work and live, it's gonna be kind of combined. So. So that's a very interesting time, like, a lot of people will be location independent, which I think is not a bad thing because it's also energy efficient, you're not wasting money on gas, you have enough, you know, you have time, right? you're you're you're not wasting time commuting and things like that. So I think it's really good to, you know, to shift to this model.

11:24
Right. Were you previously working with your employees in a single location?

11:29
Um, yes, my, my team is in the Philippines. I have an office there. Oh, hello. My production team is in the Philippines. So I have around 20 employees there and we have an office. I live in Cleveland, but I also have a team here. But yeah, most of my US team members are remote. Okay. New York. Yeah.

11:48
Well, that's good, because obviously there are a lot of people that, you know, they all get together in a single office. Now they're distributed and of course that presents a lot of challenges for those who don't normally work in mind. Yes,

12:00
Yes.

12:02
Yeah. So um, so it can it can do you mind sharing to you a fun fact about you. You also own a chocolate company, right?

12:09
Yes. In 2008 I was living in New York City with my husband and 11 month old daughter, we decided to move to the Philippines because it was an idea for us to raise a family in New York. It was perfect timing that when I moved, you know, the economy crashed. So I was basically living in my parents basement with my, you know, 11 month old daughter and my husband and I had nothing to do. And my I had some clients in the US still but then the job, the pipeline decreased because of the economy. So I decided to open up a chocolate company called sub layer chocolate cafe. It's a family owned business, but I was the founder and I started the company so we grew from zero stores to seven stores and in like two years, oh my goodness. Yeah. And then now because You know, we're trying to pivot and we're always pivoting now we only have two stores, we reduce it to two stores and we're trying to do a wholesale model. And yeah, sell our chocolate nationwide and hopefully globally.

13:11
Hmm. So do you have a website that people can look at?

13:15
Yeah, it's definitely a chocolate

13:26
spelled out for us please.

13:19
Tab later at a be LTA chop me. Yeah,

13:25
got Ah, so top blade. Oh and it's to play a cook. Krakow is a Filipino.

13:33
Yeah, it's a Blair chocolate calm t le a chocolate calm. That's the company that I founded and my mom now is CEO. And you know, it's family owned, but it's really a good chocolate and it does a great, you know, for years. When I was there from 2008 to 2010 I started the company.

13:55
Yeah. Oh, it's a beautiful website to blame. chocolate.com ta B. Lie a chocolate calm. Yeah, haha. Well, this is fun.

14:05
Yeah. Right to the US. Uh huh. Yeah,

14:12
I am. I am digging this. Okay. Very cool. Well, I, thank you so much for joining us again, congratulations on all your success, you know, and then I'm very happy for your employees that they basically just get to take a semester and go to school. Exactly. Yeah, that's, that's really, really smart. You know, again, I think now, you know, now's the time for us to double down on relationships double down on, you know, just doing the things that we really have not been able to get to. And, you know, obviously, we got to work out the dollars and cents of that, which sometimes can be a challenge. But, you know, I think that the world is forever going to well, you know, at least for the foreseeable future. You know, it's like people went through the recession and the depression or 911, and their business was impacted. We learn things Then we adapt so that, you know, we can handle that threat a little bit more easily. So, I again, thank you so much what is another way that so the website for mg shocker that that website is m, g, and then schlock or I'll spell This is SHL, a CH, t er, and so you can see some of the work that I and her team have done. And again, some of the big, big, big brands that that I that you've been able to work with. So, again, thank you so much for your time. Thank you.

15:39
Have a great day.

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