Myra Mathis is the founder of “My the Connector”. This boutique concierge service thrives on catering to specific needs of clients by providing extraordinary experiences in and around the DC area. The company delivers very high quality service and introduces clients to unique jewels throughout the city. Myra has never been one to fit into a particular category. Her wide range of interests and curiosity have afforded her the opportunity to be exposed to events and experiences that others have missed out on. Her business now allows her to share these events and experiences with those looking to take advantage of all that DC has to offer as a city.
Myra was gracious enough to talk to us about running a business like “My the Connector”.
Building a rolodex to start a concierge business is not easy. When did you realize that you were on to something with your massive amount of contacts?
I was born and raised in the DC area and have a very diverse background. I’ve always been the person that has had insight into a number of different groups and industries, which has made me kind of a “person to know” when it comes to obtaining information. I meet some of the most interesting people, and make real connections with them, which gives me the luxury of being able to call on them when I’m in need of their services. I’ve been unofficially doing this for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until several months ago that a very dear friend confirmed that I should make an official career of it. It’s such a good fit, that I have to force myself to think of it as work, and not just connecting people and things, like I’ve always done.
Contacts in a phone aren’t enough. How do you maintain relationships with friends, associates and folks that provide services?
The lifeblood of any small business is networking; even more so for a concierge service. One of the things that helps people connect with me and trust me, is that my first goal is to get to know them and what they do. Then I can see if and how we can work together. By starting with building the relationship, I’ve found that more valuable connections are made. After that, the most important thing, is to make sure that people don’t forget about you. I spend a part of each day, reaching out to folks, visiting vendors, and supporting the efforts of others. By doing this, I’m not a stranger when it comes time for us to work together.
You have a background in several areas. Human resources, marketing, public relations, entertainment management, event planning and broadcast journalism are just a few. How do you mesh these skills in an effort to help you in your business?
The common thread among all of my various professional experiences is the ability to effectively communicate and comprehend the needs of my clients. Client services and relations skills have been and still are a large part of what makes me successful in every role. Each job is about service. Service to my clients, by hearing, anticipating, and fulfilling their needs; and service to my vendors, associates, and services providers, in being able to give them the necessary information to successfully fill each request.
DC has a lot of big events. None are bigger than the Presidential Inauguration. What strategies have you implemented to respond to the demand for that event?
The upcoming Presidential Inauguration is one of the top reasons that I decided that now is the time to take my business to the next level. I’m implementing special packages for unlimited service during inauguration week beginning January 16 and ending January 23. The packages will range in depth from basic assistance via telephone, email, etc., including help with directions, suggestions for dining options and entertainment; to packages which will include airport to hotel transfers, a dedicated guide for the weekend and 24 hour on call concierge service.
Movies like “The Devil Wears Prada” and “For the Love of Money” gives us a sneak peek into the fast pace of concierge service. What’s the wildest request that you’ve received?
Wild requests come through all the time, but to be honest, timing is the thing that will make a request the craziest. I just had a client call me at 4:30pm on December 20, asking me to plan a holiday party for a staff of 40 on Friday December 21. Any event planner knows how large a request this is, especially the Friday before Christmas, but I called in a few favors and got it done, and under budget, which is huge. I could share a few others, but a good concierge is only as good as their ability to keep the eccentricities of their clients confidential. However, I will say, that things can get very interesting at times.
What was the moment that revealed to you that you were doing the right thing by starting this business?
Every step of this process has unfolded in a way that could only be ordained by God. I’ve enjoyed such favor throughout the entire process, and had such peace, even in times when I probably shouldn’t have. That’s how I know that I’m doing what I was put here to do. Not to mention, every time I tell someone that knows me about it, I get one of two reactions, either “Weren’t you already do that?” or, “Oh My God!! This is perfect for you!”. It’s just right.
What are your long term goals for “My The Connector”?
Long term, I will be the most sought after concierge service in the world. I will expand to other major metropolitan areas within the next five years, with plans to go international in the next ten. “My The Connector” is not a name that will be forgotten. In the process I will inspire and encourage others to go after their dreams with reckless abandon, just as I have.
Any business advice for the readers?
I’m a walking affirmation these days, so I would encourage anyone reading this to make a career out of what they love. God would not have put it in you if it couldn’t sustain you. You just have to be open to the endless possibilities and have faith. And finally, but perhaps, most importantly, if you aren’t working everyday to make your dreams come true, you will work the rest of your days, making someone else’s dreams come true.