Unlocking the key to Zakiya Toby’s success

By  |  0 Comments

*This article is a repost as part of our most viral and inspirational series countdown to 2016!

Zakiya Toby is equal parts dreamer and doer. Co-founder of Purple Red PR, Toby has been deemed the “Queen of creative” by many of her clients.  While Toby may only be one half of the innovative public relations company, Purple Red, she is most definitely not short of personality.

Toby brings to Purple Red PR a combination of ambition, wisdom and creativity (as the colour purple represents), as too does she in everything she does.

"I fell in love with PR because it’s storytelling and that’s what I love to do", says Toby- (Photo supplied by Zakiya Toby)

“I fell in love with PR because it’s storytelling and that’s what I love to do”, says Toby- (Photo supplied by Zakiya Toby)

Early beginnings

“I fell in love with PR because it’s storytelling and that’s what I love to do – it’s shining a different light on things and making people see things for what they really are. When it came time to start thinking about starting our own business, my friend [Sharon Welch, co-founder of Purple Red PR] and I had worked on a couple of things together. We teamed up and I’m the purple and she’s the red. And it also spells PR,” Toby explained.

Toby, along with co-founder Welch, had a particular aim in mind when they first launched Purple Red back in May 2014: “If you know it, you know it. And if you don’t know it, you want to know it.”

Challenges

It is only with Toby’s positive attitude and determination that she can confidently say, any hurdles have been valuable learning experiences on her road to success. “A lot of difficulties we’ve had is just managing finances and  Excel spreadsheets!” Toby said humorously. “But we’ve just come into a mentor,” she beamed. “That’s one of the things we felt we needed early.”

“It has an awesome climate of entrepreneurs and you can see that Hamilton is coming up again. You can see it on the rise.”

Why Hamilton?

After some time spent out of the city for school and the like, Toby explained that she returned to Hamilton for Mohawk College’s PR program. “[Hamilton is] down the street from Toronto, down the street from Niagara,” Toby said as a proud Hamiltonian.

Zakiya Toby has been deemed the “Queen of creative” by many of her clients. (Photo supplied by Zakiya Toby)

Zakiya Toby has been deemed the “Queen of creative” by many of her clients. (Photo supplied by Zakiya Toby)

On being a woman

As a woman, however, Toby admitted she has felt no adversity from others in the world of PR.

“I’ve always grown up around men, I was always the only girl and I was also the youngest so I always kind of figured out how to fight for myself … I know how to talk to people, I think that helps even the playing field,” she explained.

Advice to aspiring fem-leaders

Toby’s advice for budding young fem-leaders? “Start and stay positive. And dream.”

Connect with Purple Red PR for solutions that will help your business grow! Website or Facebook

Natalie Timperio is a freelance writer of everything as related to life and style. Her mantra? Write, edit, sleep. Repeat. You can hear more from her on https://twitter.com/natalietimperio. To find out more about her writing and related experience visit her website http://natalietimperio.com/