We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Parsons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
That we are far more capable and resilient than we will ever truly know.
My journey to founding Sarah Parsons Media wasn’t a smooth or easy one, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Each step of the way, whether it be through facing my fears or self-imposed limitations, finding stability in my mental health journey, having to completely re-build everything from the ground up, or challenges I felt where beyond my skillset or abilities I’ve learned that humans are far more capable and resilient than we realize. Our ability to adapt, learn, and grow from the challenges we face is truly infinite.
When I look back at just the past year, as tumultuous and heartbreaking as it was on a both a personal and global scale, I can see that every challenge or setback I was faced with has led me to something far greater than I could have ever imagined. While it may sound cliché, our power really does lie in what we choose to give our attention and emotional real-estate to. When faced with challenges that seek to pull us down a level, taking the high road always yields a far greater result.
So in a nutshell, I suppose the lesson I wish I could share with everyone is that you are far more resilient and capable than you realize and infinitely more brave than you think just for showing up with an open heart to the challenges that present themselves in your journey.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Sarah Parsons Media is a boutique public relations and media firm specializing in mining the gems of you or your business’ story and sharing them with the press in an authentic way through a wholistic approach that honors your overarching mission.
Public relations has this somewhat dubious reputation of stretching the truth (“The Sweet Smell Of Success” anyone?) to contend with and rightfully so. In today’s environment, we deserve honesty and transparency from those in the spotlight and when you or your business arrive at a place where press is the next step it can feel more than a little daunting to dive into it alone.
Over the years, I’ve learned this is a cornerstone of great PR. Being able to listen to the story of any person or business and expertly and authentically pinpoint what makes people feel connected and drawn to them. A good PR specialist is a professional “it factor” finder — this is where Sarah Parsons Media really shines.
I’ve been honing my storytelling abilities since I was 12 when I took my first acting class. Having a knack for it, I began studying theatre at the college level by the age of 15 and transferred over to CALARTS here in Southern California shortly thereafter. After school, I did a complete 180 and started managing businesses which eventually led me to an executive position at a PR firm. Having both creative and business experiences to draw from, highlighting the “it” aspects of another person’s journey has become one of my superpowers and totally lights me up.
I think we all have these really fascinating and inspiring sides to our stories that we don’t even think twice about and they’re really worth shouting from the rooftops. I really do believe there is an audience for every authentic story.
As far as struggles, to be frank, there have been many. It’s not easy building something from the ground up and I’ve done it a few times — for other companies and for myself. However, the one thing that it has taught me that I’m eternally grateful for is the practice of being resilient. At this point in my journey, I’ve learned that being resilient isn’t something we’re just given a certain amount of or born with, it’s something we earn over time. More importantly, it’s an active practice that we continue to build and hone over the course of our life. My own journey to being resilient has taught me what seems dire can be overcome, what seems final isn’t necessarily so, and we are infinitely more capable than we believe.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Travel planning is one of my absolute favorite things to do — so let’s do it! Here are a two day itineraries for being out and about in LA that I think are a MUST when visiting…
Start the day off by hitting one of the quieter beaches (Broad Beach is a favorite of mine) — personally I would surf in the morning, but if a long walk on the beach is more your speed it’s great for that too. Afterwards. I always like to grab juice and/or coffee (probably both if I’m being honest!) from Vintage Grocers at Trancas Country Market. From there once the fog has burned off, you can hit up a beautiful vista overlook spot (I recommend Point Dume or Point Mugu if you don’t mind driving a little further). Once you’ve soaked in the views and salt-air, you definitely have to get a bite. A few of my favorites are: Paradise Cove, Malibu Café, and Ollie’s Duck & Dive.
I spent a really unique time in my life here while learning to become a yoga teacher, so Los Feliz has held a special place in my heart ever since. That being said, you have to start with a yoga class at Yoga Vibe on Hillhurst (Owners Amy & Larry Santiago are the best!). From there I highly recommend grabbing a coffee and breakfast bite from The Guest House or Home Restaurant across the street, or if you’re into juice heading over to Punchbowl. After that walking around the neighborhood to do window or actual shopping is a must — here are a few favorites: Skylight books, Spitfire Girl, WACKO.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely! I love starting off with a shoutout, very apropos.
It’s so difficult to narrow this down to one thing or person because so many people and creative works have had such a monumental impact on where I’m at today, but for this I’d love to shoutout Sheila Houlahan. A creative force to be reckoned with, an incredibly compassionate soul, and a truly golden friend I quite literally don’t know where I would be without her in my life both on a personal and professional level.
She’s inspired me to step into myself creatively and professionally in ways I had never done before and has been the kind of friend I thought only existed in really heartwarming novels… I really could go on rhapsodizing about her forever.
Kelsie Tomlinson, KRT Photography.