7 minute read

THE CHALLENGER

DESIREE DESIREE DESIREE Reavis

NATURAL BORN LEADER - CHALLENGE SEEKER

Desiree, can you please introduce yourself?

I am originally from a small town in West Virginia. Best known for it’s beautiful mountains and genuine hardworking people. Growing up on a dirt road below poverty level is what instilled the work ethic I have to this day. Now I run multiple companies and live in Palm Beach Florida with rush hour traffic and palm trees. However, my upbringing has kept me grounded and grateful for everything I have accomplished. Not to mention the tenacity I have needed to overcome every obstacle that has been placed in front of me. Whether it was the limitations of my environment, financial hardships, beating cancer, or fighting against the glass ceiling, I simply refuse to become a victim of circumstance.

How do you balance being at the head of 2 different companies and also an employee for Pro-Line Industrial Products at the same time?

Over the years I have perfected the act of balancing. Because I didn’t have the luxury of growing up in a wealthy family, I have had to work for other companies as I incorporated my own. It was helpful that I was already established in the entertainment industry before taking my position at Pro-Line. I also worked my way up within the company, so my responsibilities grew over time. I started out as a sales executive, then transitioned to corporate trainer, East Coast Sales Manager, and currently I am the National Sales Director with my sights set on VP of Sales. I am one of those Alpha overachieving types of people. Having years of experience maneuvering between the Corporate World and Entertainment Sector, I have developed a certain skill set that I then fused together to create the powerhouse known at The Desired Group. However, I cannot stress enough collaboration and time management is vital to my success.

Tell us about your work as the National Sales Director at Pro-Line Industrial Products.

I know it may sound strange to hear a woman say she enjoys working in the Industrial Chemical Industry but I do. I absolutely love Pro-Line and the people I work with. And I understand how rare that is. I can’t explain how empowering it is to work for a 100 % Women owned and run business. Nothing against men but I love our GIRL POWER. In my position I do everything from recruit other sales executives, to train/mentor managers. While assisting in opening new markers, client relations with large corporations and government entities. I also work directly with the owner in implementing new policies and procedures, and whatever else is needed from me. (prolineindustrial.com)

What led you to setting up your own business? It looks like you are a real “Challenge-seeker”!

As a natural born leader, and a people person I was destined to take this route. My drive for financial freedom also meant I needed multiple streams of revenue. With Reavis Enterprises I saw a great opportunity and I went for it. I already had the experience of managing other people’s companies. However, it was definitely a learning curve. But I love to push myself. I had never been in charge of payroll, or used QuickBooks. To this day I still remember my first workman comp audits. As far as The Desired Group it was honestly the universe pushing me back into the entertainment industry and I have never looked back.

What excites you about entrepreneurship?

I love to be challenged, and the satisfaction I receive from creating my own empire. In fact, I am currently working on my first real estate development project. So literally I am building my legacy brick by brick. I also strive to inspire others, especially young women who come from challenging circumstances like myself. Growing up I didn’t witness a lot of women in business. I came from a family where the generation of phenomenal ladies that raised me stayed home with the children and managed the house. So it is very important to me that I show those that are considered disadvantaged, the power that we have within ourselves to influence our outcome.

“I also strive to inspire others, especially young women who come from challenging circumstances like myself.”

Describe your agency, The Desired Group, and the services you are offering.

We specialize in artist management, PR, marketing, and multimedia services. We are in negotiations to purchase our first building which will be our corporate office, music studio, and event space, including residential units. We are very hands on and work intensely on all aspects of development. Presently, on our roster is the Urban Pop artist E1even who will be releasing his EP this November titled “11/16” (11theartist.com). As well as our strategic partnerships in the food industry. “The JankGourmet BBQ Sauce” who was HEB’s food vendor of the year (bbqjank.com). Moreover, we have two publications in development, Thee Perfect Magazine (theeperfectmagazine.com) and I Nation Magazine (inationmag.com), The Desired Group is also making our first foray into film and television production.

What makes your agency stand out in such a competitive market?

The Desired Group has been built on a legacy of hard work, and consistency. With over 20 years of cultivating relationships in multiple industries. I pride myself on the fact that the common denominator of the clients referred to TDG, is because of my integrity and reputation of being a genuine and authentic person. The reason people trust me with their brand is because I am very passionate about what I do, and their project takes priority over everything until we reach their desired outcome.

What is a day like “in your heels?”

First, I only bring out the stilettos for the power meetings. On an average day before Covid I would find myself in a TSA line around 5am. I traveled a lot for business. Nowadays it’s my phone notification that begins around that time. I get up, do my morning meditation, then get the little one ready for school. No matter what powerhouse public figure I display I still have the role of mother and wife. Then it’s back to business. The beautiful thing about the chemical industry is your day typically starts early and ends around 4pm. So, between those hours I have multiple meetings with clients and sales executives, emails, and phone calls. And after a full day of making sure the world has enough bacteria, enzymes, degreaser, and now with covid; PPE items. I then morph into my alter ego Desie. In the entertainment industry most business happens in the evenings and weekends so it fits my dual lifestyle very well. And no day is typical in that arena. It could range from conference calls to casting calls, music video, studio sessions, interviews, or performances.

If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in business during your overall career?

I have always found myself working in a predominantly male industry. Even as a very young woman I was the first female to ever join the volunteer fire department. I like to pioneer. And with a background in industrial HVAC, Chemicals, and even the Entertainment Industry. Quite often I find myself the only woman in a lot of these meetings. So, in order to be taken seriously and feel validated I always strive to be the smartest, and the hardest working person within those four walls. To ensure I am respected and viewed as a peer. Unfortunately over the years, because of my gender I have found myself in uncomfortable situations. And as a woman I believe you have to be very cautious on how you defuse certain advancements, so it does not affect your professional relationships. Also, the balancing act between family and business is far more difficult than running multiple companies. Even though it is 2020 and with the social climate people don’t like to label certain tasks by gender, I find no matter how many titles, degrees, or zeros in your bank account as a woman, if your refrigerator is empty, the laundry isn’t done, and your child’s homework is not complete. Where does society typically point blame?

Which female entrepreneurs inspire you the most? Why do you look up to them?

Growing up I didn’t really have a lot of examples of women entrepreneurs, except for maybe Oprah on my television. Recently, I have been inspired by Sara Blakely/s story, the founder of Spanx. I can relate to her journey, and find it very inspirational on how she turned rejection into becoming a female self-made billionaire. In fact, one of my goals is to align myself with a successful woman in business such as herself. I am actively seeking a mentor, so Oprah or Sara if you are looking for a protégé I would be honored.

Website: thedesiredgrp.com Photos by D. Suave (@dsuave247)