Today we’d like to introduce you to Deanna Hinsz.
Hi Deanna, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I started my business in December of 2015. It actually happened by accident. I never planned to be in marketing. I left my corporate job in 2010 to be more present with my boys. I loved my job, but I was missing school events and things that were important to them. I thought that I was giving them everything that they needed because they had the latest video games, took vacations and we had the money to do whatever they wanted.
But I completely missed the mark when my son, Alex, who was 10 years old at the time, told me the only thing he wanted for Christmas was to be able to spend one day home with me, sitting on the couch, drinking hot cocoa and watch a movie. My heart shattered. I called my other son, Petey, into the room to discuss it and learned that they both felt the same way. They opened my eyes and made me realize that all of the material things meant nothing, what they really wanted was me, their mom.
So, I quit my job. As a single mom, with no safety net, this was pretty crazy. I looked for a job but couldn’t find anything that paid enough to cover the bills and provided the flexibility that I needed to be available to my boys. I decided that if I couldn’t find it, I would create it. I started making Cake Pops out of my home and shipping them.
Now, cake pops were not around in Ohio or most of the east coast when this started. They were huge on the west coast and in Texas though. I knew I had a small window to brand my product and business. I never used the word cake pops, but instead called the “Sweet D Bites”. I started shipping nationwide, getting corporate accounts, and keeping myself busier than I thought.
I had an amazing mentor at the time who pushed me to get uncomfortable. Lenny Fisher, owner of Handel’s Ice Cream was a previous client of mine from the corporate world, who saw me on TV and said he wanted to mentor me. Looking back, I learned so much more than I realized from him and today think back to those conversations when trying to make a decision.
Anyhow, Sweet D Bites was doing great and a year later I was one of the winners of Top Mom’s in Business by Discover Card and StartupNation. It was an award that recognized moms who started a business and did a great job with their marketing. When that happened, I started to get a lot of women reaching out to me asking how I did it. I was using Facebook and Twitter at the time and it was still a pretty new concept when it came to using it for business. I shared everything I knew, with a disclaimer that I had no idea what I was doing.
Well, apparently, I did because it worked for them too! As word spread, more and more women wanted to learn, and by the end of 2011, I was hosting workshops teaching social media. I did this for years, until one day, I realized that people I had never met were reaching out and wanting help with their social media and website design. This is how CarbonSilk was born!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been some bumps along the way for sure.
Some of my biggest struggles revolved around me getting in my own way. Imposter syndrome would creep in once in a while and I wondered how I even got here. I would question my ability and think that I didn’t know enough to be doing what I was doing.
Every time I started to think that, something would happen and make me realize that I knew so much more than I was giving myself credit for.
We’ve been impressed with CarbonSilk Digital Marketing and Consulting, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
CarbonSilk specializes in Digital Marketing. Digital marketing consists of website design, branding, email marketing, text marketing, and social media marketing. I also offer to consult, so if a business owner or marketing director wants to learn more, I can work with them one on one and teach them.
What sets me apart is that I know what it feels like to walk in my client’s shoes. I launched businesses before CarbonSilk, as a single mom with no additional income, so I know that rollercoaster ride well. I have a degree in psychology, and who knew would play such a major role in marketing. I definitely believe that every marketing major should focus just as much if not more on the psychology that goes into it.
My education in my craft hasn’t stopped. I continue to invest every month in training and education. I take my client’s success personally and am grateful for each one. I don’t take any of this for granted. I’m blessed. I speak nationally at digital marketing and women leadership conferences. Some locations where I have spoken outside of Florida include Montana, Pennslyvania, Columbus, Youngstown and Cleveland Ohio, Chicago, and Denver.
What I’m most proud of is that 95% of my business is referral-based. It truly is the best compliment. If a company does a poor job, that conversation will happen much more quickly than when a company exceeds expectations. To know that my clients continue to refer others to me is something that I’m proud of.
We work with all-size businesses. From startups to franchises, we can create a package that is specific to their needs, goals, and budget.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I moved to this area a year and a half ago and didn’t know what to expect. Moving is challenging enough, but when you are also moving a business, the risk can be higher. This area was so warm and welcoming. I have met so many kind, genuine and supportive people in the community and I’m so grateful that we ended up here. Everyone has just been great!
I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. The sense of community there is similar to here. The difference is there is so much to do here! I love it! We can go to the beach, hit a great concert or find the best places to shop on any given day. My husband and I are always checking out what’s going on around town and taking advantage of as much as we can!
I can’t really think of what I like least. I would say the traffic on I4, but it’s really how many people on I4 text and drive. I use to be that person until someone I know was killed by a distracted driver. He left his wife and two daughters. He never got to see them graduate high school. They will never have their dad there to walk them down the aisle. It was an eye-opener for me. I no longer do that.
I know that happens everywhere, but maybe if someone reads this, they’ll make the decision to put their phone down until they get to their next destination.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: carbonsilk.digital
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carbonsilk.digital/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarbonSilk.digital
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/deannahinsz
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChZN8vkR9-2ROCzVtkdosVw
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