We had the good fortune of connecting with Ayo Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ayo, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process to starting my business originated from a deep desire to create employment opportunities for creatives.

I formerly worked as a human capital professional for over 15 years in the both public and private sectors. During my tenure as a career professional, I launched a magazine (Women Own Excellence). As the Editor in Chief, I used my creative gifts in content creation and media to produce the digital go-to guide for women seeking to soar in their personal and professional lives. In a short amount of time, WOE became a trusted publication for its everyday readers and influencers who grace the cover.

After launching my magazine, I discovered my creative genius was identifying superb talent and creating opportunities for them to showcase their specialized skill sets through media. When I discover amazing talent, all of my senses light up. It’s like lights start popping off in my head (lol) as a sign to say, “she’s the one” or “he has something special”. However, I recognized there was a lack of diversity in major corporate spaces when it came to hiring creative and tech professionals. I realized I had a problem that needed to be solved so my intuition led me to merge my HR and creative proficiency I acquired over the years, to form Galore Creative Staffing Agency.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
At Galore Creative Staffing, we introduce emerging and highly skilled diverse creative and tech talent who are on the upswing of being at the forefront of their industries by positioning them to become the driving force who will change the way the world works in creative, digital marketing, and tech communities.

I believe what sets us apart is that we are actual creatives with human resource experience who created a space to merge the brilliance and innovative minds of diverse creative/tech professionals to serve our clients.

With my in depth experience in human resource and creative industry, I was motivated to launch my agency.

I would say it was easy to make the decision to launch my business because I was seeking a way to merge my desire to help people solve problems in hr with my love as an editor in chief/creative director in the media and entertainment industry.

As a result of the pandemic, we faced a few challenges creating strategies to get people back to work with such a high unemployment rate as many businesses had to cut budgets or even some closed.

However, we soon realized the pandemic actually positioned us to support more clients by providing freelance, contract-to-hire, and direct hire options who are ready to quickly put employees back to work. Also, we provide assistance with remote options so our flexibility saved our clients time and money.

A few lessons I have learned thus far:

1. Go with your gut-your idea may look crazy to everyone else however as a visionary you see the end goal. So stick to it no matter what!

2. It is okay to pivot- the recent pandemic created opportunities for many entrepreneurs to sit down and reassess their brands. I learned that it is perfectly okay to pivot if necessary as long there is a need in your niche market.

3. Hire a coach or get a mentor-I am a firm believer in accountability. Hiring a business coach really helped me successfully launch my agency. When I launch my magazine, I did not have a mentor or coach. I encountered many challenges trying to figure it out on my own. Although I have been successfully managing it, it was not easy without guidance from an experienced coach or mentor to help me overcome obstacles. If you are contemplating starting a business, do yourself a favor and invest in hiring someone with a proven track record of success to help you avoid future pitfalls.

In the world of staffing, the percentage of minority-owned firms is still low. More importantly within the creative niche, there are only a few (maybe 1 to 2) black-owned staffing firms. I want the world to know that as a creative visionary and human capital professional, I am committed to bridging the diversity gap by placing top creative and tech talent with fortune 500 companies nationwide. As an editor in chief of an amazing magazine and human resource consultant, my clients and talent are receiving the best of both worlds!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I recently relocated to the Charlotte NC area and I can say, the city is beautiful! I would first schedule time for us to power walk (trying to stay fit these days lol) at Freedom Park which is centered on a beautiful lake. The park is filled with so many other leisure options such as visit the nature Museum, attend a festival or watch a film, etc. After a good walk, we will head to the uptown area and grab a coffee or tea at Coco and The Director. A super cool, cozy, and urban feel cafe spot.

We are surrounded by so many amazing restaurants which provide a variety of options. One of my fave spots to grab a bite to eat is Leroy Fox. When I say they have the best southern dishes, believe me. From the sweet potato tots covered with confectioners sugar to zucchini fries and deep mouthwatering southern fried chicken. The food and atmosphere will definitely make you a regular patron.

Another great spot I would add to our food list is Fahrenheit. The rooftop restaurant and bar are known for their skyline views, the place where I grab hot selfies overlooking the city.

For a little racy fun, I would definitely take them to the Nascar Hall of Fame. The place is loaded with interactive exhibits such as racing simulators, artifacts, and an amazing state-of-the-art theater.

I have not been in the area too long before Covid-19 hit, however, I can say the Charlotte region is filled with many historical places to visit. I would save the best for last by visiting George Vanderbilt’s historic country estate in Asheville, NC the “Biltmore”. The place is about 2 hours away from Charlotte but worth every minute. The Biltmore Estate has considered America’s largest home and sits on 8,000 acres with many fun things to do such as property and winery tours, eating, hiking, shopping, and other outdoor activities. This spot is breathtaking!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out my business coach, mentor, and friend the amazing Dee Williams (Owner of the Staffing-Preneurs Academy. She pushed me to step out on faith and go after my dream to help creatives soar in their careers and I am so grateful for the accountability and support she provides on a consistent basis. I would like to shout out my husband Keinde Thomas one of my biggest cheerleaders.

Website: www.galorestaffing.com

Instagram: Galore Staffing

Linkedin: Galore Creative Staffing

Twitter: Galore Creative Staffing

Facebook: Galore Creative Staffing

Image Credits
First Photo -(image of me working from home Galore Creative) I only have this one image of the Galore Brand as the company was launched during the pandemic. Second Image- Matthew Sams (This image was taken of me as the Editor Chief of Magazine speaking at my book launch at Lord and Taylor Third Image- Phelan Marc (This image was taken of me as Creative Director behind a Photo Shoot) 4th image- Designs by JK (Galore Staffing Brand Photo) 5th-Phelan Marc (Creative Team Cover Photo Shoot with 90’s R and B Singer Kima from Bad Boy Group Total.) 6th-Phelan Marc (WOE Magazine Launch Party with Nordstrom) 7th- Miranda Mckenzie (Image of me hosting an event for WOE Magazine) 8th iMage of WOE Magazine Covers

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