Rose Adkins: Finding strength even in difficult times
The world is facing difficult times during the current Covid pandemic but there is always a place for hope and optimism as long as there are people who are able to help those trying to survive in business. Rose Adkins is one of those people.Like most people in business, she started from the bottom and worked her way up and today she guides people through the difficulties of keeping a business going during the COVID pandemic. She was inspired to become a successful businesswoman after a rejection following a job interview. Turning her disappointment into a strength Rose has now become an example for others not only as a successful businesswoman but also as a proud mother and happy wife.
How connected are you with your hometown and what memories do you have?
My family still live in my hometown and I have many happy memories of my time in Santa Monica. I visit my family as often as I can, although the Covid situation has prevented me from seeing them over this past year. I remember picking up pine cones with my mother from our own garden that we would then use to make warm fires, drink tea and watch “I Love Lucy” on TV. I also remember our weekend trips to the Santa Monica Pier, eating cotton candy and then going fishing on my dad’s boat in the harbour. And I will never forget the endless weekends I spent with my friends as a teenager at 3rd Street Promenade watching movies and listening to the street performers. Those years seem so long ago, but it was those experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today.
Who are the people that have influenced your career the most?
I have been influenced by many great people, some who I knew personally and others who I read about or others that I watched in amazement as they made history. These include Madame CJ Walker, Condoleezza Rice, Richard Riordan (Former Mayor of Los Angeles), Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Steve Jobs, Ralph Farquhar (Producer of ‘Married with Children’ and ‘The Parkers’), Maxine and Leon Adkins (my parents), Bill Roedy (former President of MTV International), Harriet Tubman and most importantly of all, God. These people haveall inspired me to do better, strive for more and never to back down from injustice even if the outcome is one I would not have wished for.
When did you realise your ability to become successful in business?
I applied for a job at ‘Nike’ many years ago and I came very close to getting the job, but in the final round they chose someone else. I was devastated for the first time in my life. I had worked so hard to get to that position and I knew I had a lot to offer, but one of the interviewers just didn’t connect with me. I was so sure that I would get the job that I didn’t apply for anything else. So when that didn’t happen I found myself, for the first time in my life, without a job or any idea as to what I was going to do. So I had no choice but to re-organise and rebuild my life and plan for my future. At first, I had no idea where to start but after I stopped feeling sorry for myself I began to look to the future and I decided to take charge of my own story, my own happiness and my own success. I didn’t like the way I had felt that day when I walked out of the final interview.Placing so much power in the hands of someone else for my future success just didn’t feel right – so I decided to make my own way instead. Although that was not the day I embarked on starting my own Company, it was the day I realised that I alone will be the maker of my own success and that I would start to pay attention to running and building my own business. So I then took on roles going forward that would help prepare me for that day, which finally came in 2012.
What do you think are the right steps to build a brand? Where should it all start from?
One must start by getting the ‘TOV’ (tone of voice) right. In other words, how a brand ‘talks’ to the consumer, how it relates and how it becomes personal. It’s not always about having the sexiest UI or coolest slogan but it is about connecting with consumers on their ‘pain points’ and then delivering on what you promise. Always.
Some brands promise to do what’s best for their consumers, but as they grow and secure a better market position for themselves they tend to only do what’s best for themselves and not the consumers. I truly believe this is a big mistake made by some brands, hence why we saw the fall of ‘Blackberry’ when it refused to integrate apps and ‘Blockbuster’ with the endless late fees issue etc. The consumer should always be put first and treated as the top priority when growing and maintaining a brand. The moment you think your brand is more important than your customers is the day you lose them.
How can a brand or a business be established and survive in these times of the COVID pandemic?
In December, before lock down, I took my daughter to a few local markets in small villages in the countryside. I explained to her that during these times, those that have disposable income should support others and spend it. Spending money keeps the economy growing, keeps people employed and provides the simple pleasures for the everyone who is wanting to go for a walk and grab a coffee or buy a nice bauble to place on their Christmas tree. Our world has gone through a catastrophic event and we will not see the true damage caused for a number of years yet. So it is important that we, as a people and as a community and a nation, continue to support each other. That is how brands and businesses will survive during these difficult times. The old rules should be thrown out the window. We need to give an opportunity to a smaller, newer brand and give them a chance to be part of the future. We need to go out to our local shops and buy items that we might never have bought before. It will help those businesses to continue to operate, grow and rebuild their local communities. So we should support the new businesses that were born out of Covid. They will be the next ‘Unicorns’ as they have changed and adapted to the times in order to address immediate concerns. These businesses will help to power the economy and job employment going forward. I believe if we all work together we will all be better for it and set to grow into a more prosperous world where, despite Covid, we still triumph.
What are your goals for 2021?
To see normal people finding pleasure using ‘Screen Hits TV’. It is something designed to make our lives easier. I am a big fan of TV and film and I always have been. It is positive escapism for me. It takes me into another time, world and place. I wanted, along with my amazing team, to build a simple, non-fuss product that lets people get to that special place much faster. I look forward to introducing it to as many people as possible. I also look forward to continuing to see the world change for the better. Things like opportunities being given to people that never had them before, schools re-evaluating their curriculums to ensure that the full history of the world’s great continents are being taught accurately and lastly, my main goal is to be able to sit down again with my friends and family to enjoy the good times we have all been prevented from having during this past year.
Apart from your work and commitments, what else takes up your time and your attention?
My two lovely daughters, Verity and Georgiana, my very English husband, my little dog ‘Charcoal’ and our country home in Somerset, England, that we are renovating. I also give my time to help charities that I believe in and I have just agreed to work with the National Gallery’s Steering Committee on helping to introduce and highlight more diverse and modern artists to their young patrons. I am also busy daydreaming about the white sandy beaches of Greece and hoping life takes me back there again this summer.