Fallon Anawalt has always approached business with concentrated determination and unwavering optimism. To craft the career of her dreams, she has had to shatter the boundaries of conventional roles and social norms, while helping and inspiring her community along the way. In her latest interview, Ms. Anawalt discusses her path to success and the exciting future for her organization.
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Who is Fallon Anawalt, in your own words?
I am a young, female entrepreneur focused on helping people with my growing businesses. I grew up helping my dad on the family farm in Missouri, so hard work and dedication is in my DNA. When I have a few hours to myself, you will usually find me at the horse barn practicing dressage.
Tell us how you got started in the business world and how your journey has been so far?
Looking back, my journey has had a lot of unexpected twists and turns and has led me to fantastic places I never thought I would be. If you asked 13-year-old Fallon where she would be when she grew up, running three businesses might not be her first answer. I always knew I wanted to do things “outside the box,” and build something of my own.
After graduating college, I started writing articles and press releases for industry publications for an industrial tank company and then went on to provide marketing work for aviation companies in the Joplin, Missouri area.
I got married in Joplin, and during the planning process, I noticed the need for quality event vendors in the area. So, I put together a business plan and started my first company, an event planning business. The need was bigger than I expected and the business took off.
Then, in 2018, the owner of the aviation company I worked with started talking about the possibility of a marketing company startup. Like Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” so I was open to seeing where our ideas could take us. The more we talked about the potential business, the more excited we got. We launched the marketing business, then merged the event planning business with it to form Athena Companies.
Athena Companies now has three businesses under its umbrella. Can you tell us about those?
Yes, we have Athena Marketing and Advertising, Athena Event Consulting and Decor and Athena Consulting Services.
Athena Marketing and Advertising is our marketing firm focused on developing and implementing custom marketing strategies. It’s results-driven and we focus on data and strategy to increase revenue for our clients.
Athena Event Consulting and Decor is our luxury events company that offers top-tier, full-service event planning and rentals for weddings, corporate events, in-person and online parties, and more.
The third company we added is Athena Consulting Services, which provides business consulting services such as business planning, recruitment, and hiring.
In addition to these three services, my team and I have built a new and innovative project management software called Homestretch that we’re launching this summer. Homestretch focuses on improving the real estate buying experience and streamlining the home buying and selling process. It helps to create more transparency between the agent and buyer in the home buying and selling process. Realtors and buyers are going to love it.
What are some long-term goals you have for each of your companies?
Joplin, Missouri is my home and I love the people and community. My long-term goals are to continue to grow each of my businesses, help others in my community grow and market their businesses and provide good employment opportunities. I want Athena Events to be the go-to event company for Joplin and the surrounding areas and to make wedding experiences magical and unforgettable.
With Homestretch I would like to build the brand and business then sell it to a company with the resources to make it the top real estate app on the market. From there, I’d love to continue to invest in tech startups.
What culture do you promote in your businesses?
Work-life balance is huge for everyone at Athena Companies. We want our employees to love coming to work and feel refreshed with their time away from the office. We promote a modern, progressive work culture with a positive work environment, including happy hours, team bonding trips, and huddles where we can talk about things not related to work.
Collaborative culture is big with us as well. We make sure to provide our employees with communication tools that help everyone collaborate naturally. We want to see our team members grow and succeed within Athena Companies and make it a career, not just a job.
What are some professional successes that you’re proud of?
We work with several eCommerce companies and businesses in technical industries. We’ve developed strategies that have increased some of our customer’s revenues by 30-50%. Not only am I proud of these successes for my own company, but I am proud that I was able to provide a service that helps others reach the goals they’ve been working toward. For startups and small businesses, that kind of growth in revenue can be life-changing.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?
A lot of women entrepreneurs are not taken seriously and I have fallen victim to that throughout my journey. Despite proven successes, knowledge, and skill, I’ve sometimes had to fight for respect. Thankfully, I have full confidence in myself, my abilities, and my work. My support network is strong and they provide me with extra mental nourishment to help me thrive.
What role does confidence play for female entrepreneurs, trying to build success in their businesses?
Success is tied to confidence. Lack of confidence can prevent women from applying for a position they are more than qualified for or asking for the raise they absolutely deserve. As a female entrepreneur, it took a lot of confidence for me to believe in myself and to blaze the path that I’m on now.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs in general, and women entrepreneurs, specifically?
My advice would be to just get started because that’s the hardest part. Don’t be afraid to just go for it. I urge other women to take a chance on themselves and start that business they always wanted to start or go for that dream job. Take the leap or you might look back and regret not taking the chance. This is the nudge you’re looking for!
Where can our readers find you online?
We have a lot of different places online you can find me and my companies. You can follow me on Instagram @fallonnoel and athena-companies.com will lead you to all three of our businesses.
Athena Companies is also on Instagram @athenamktg @athenaeventsllc, and @homestretchrealty, and you can connect with us on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/athena-marketing-advertising.
“Like” Athena Companies on Facebook at @amajoplin, @AthenaEventsllc and @homestretchrealty