We had the good fortune of connecting with Kerry O’Brien and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kerry, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
heykerry was actually created out of necessity!
Prior to COVID, I was working as a manufacturer’s representative for some office furniture lines and due to COVID, no one was in offices, so my commission based income vanished. As a single mom, I had to pivot quite quickly to keep our little household afloat and heykerry was born. Honestly, it was the push I needed to create something I was extremely passionate about which I don’t think I would have done in “normal times”.
I have always been knowledgeable with social media and marketing (I have my Business and Communications degrees from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida), and decided to focus on something I was knowledgable in and was in high demand with COVID.
I was lucky to have some supportive friends in the Palm Beach area who hired me on and my business spread strictly through word of mouth for the first few months. I saw something special with heykerry and decided to make it official. We launched in March 2021 and have been growing ever since!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
heykerry is a social media marketing and management firm that believes in flexibility and customer service above everything else. I pride myself in my communication and adaptiveness to any situation and this is a huge bonus for our clients who are usually on the go, extremely busy, and need to focus on the things they love.
I value creativity and original ideas and content. You won’t see stock photos coming from these parts! I love to help our clients hone in on their brand and relay it across their social media. Our boutique services keep our business relationships feeling like family and we love it that way!
Starting a new business, especially during COVID, has been tough, but I have learned so much along the way. The phrase that I keep coming back to is “Whatever makes you uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth.” (Bryant McGill) and it is so true. It’s extremely uncomfortable and there are a lot of learning curves, but it’s also exciting and something you are passionate about so it makes it that much more beautiful when you start to see wins.
The biggest lessons I’ve learned along the way have been that you do not have to have it perfect to get started. I kept pushing off starting my business because my website was not 100% or I didn’t have the perfect fonts selected. Your business evolves and grows as you do. Take the leap and learn and development as you grow!
It is also so important to tap into your community and other small business owners. Building a community who rallies around you and you around them makes the growing pains a little less lonely. Lean into those relationships!
Times can be tough, we have all experienced that this past year and a half, but it’s what you do during those tough times that helps you grow and develop, both personally and professionally. No matter your situation, there are always ways to keep moving in the direction you want. Buckle down, brainstorm on your strengths and passions, and remember your purpose.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is actually the crazy part and just shows you the power of social media! I actually live in Northern Virginia. 75% of my clients are in Palm Beach, so I’d be leaning into them for all of the recommendations around Palm Beach!
I can give you a pretty amazing itinerary for DC, though…
Of course, the Washington Monuments are spectacular! The African American History Museum is top of the list to bring out of towners. Impactful and so beautifully done!
DC is a brunch town, so you KNOW we are going to be hitting a few brunch spots! Farmers & Distillers is definitely my favorite.
The Wharf was just redone in the past few years and such a fun spot to go, day or night. Right on the water with tons of places to eat. The Anthem is right there as well to catch fun concerts and shows!
For dinner, we are lucky to have an array of top notch restaurants and cuisines in DC! Maydan, Northern African and Middle Eastern menus, is a don’t miss and Rose’s Luxury is on repeat!
DC is riddled with speakeasies and fun places to pop in. Getting a local to take you around is always key to finding the little gems DC has to offer!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The past few years leading up to creating my business has been bombarded with support and love from so many around me, but the person who has been a driving force in creating heykerry is Jessica McGillicuddy, my best friend and the owner of The Pop Home. We would have daily talks and she really encouraged and pushed me to spread my wings and create heykerry.
She personally used my services, raved about me to other Palm Beach businesses, and helped me establish my base. Without her support and mentorship, I would not be where I am today. She is the ultimate believer in community over competition and practices what she preaches!