Stephanie Scott-Bradshaw, a Jersey City resident, has always been motivated by the correlation between images of women in the media and how they impact our perception of ourselves in society. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked for global fashion brands Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole prior to beginning my career as a beauty editor for some of the top women’s fashion magazines. Now, she’s the founder/owner of First and Last PR (located at 150 Bay Street), an award-winning public relations and digital marketing agency that specializes in growing high-value beauty and healthy lifestyle brands. Read on to learn more about Stephanie’s career and her Jersey City-based company First and Last PR.
While working as a beauty editor, Stephanie was always fascinated by how companies marketed themselves and their production. “I watched some companies get it right and others that I wanted to help resonate with their consumers better. I left editorial and accepted a role as the Director of Communications for luxury skincare brand 3LAB where I oversaw all public relations, marketing, and training on a global basis,” she told Hoboken Girl.
“Later I left for the OMG Tour and then started my company, First and Last PR. First and Last PR is an award-winning public relations and digital marketing agency that specializes in growing high-value beauty and healthy lifestyle brands. Our clients are brands that you can find in stores ranging from Nordstrom, Ulta, and Sephora to Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.”
Stephanie is also the Chair of PRSA-NJ Young Pros that allows young adults to gain knowledge about public relations and boosts leadership.
Hoboken Girl: Tell us about First and Last PR.
Stepanie Scott-Bradshaw: First and Last PR offers experience and expertise with industry connections that have been built over the years. We work with top editors, podcast hosts, and influencers in all thing’s beauty, style, tech, art, and entertainment. It is also a certified minority/women-owned business – we work with various Black-owned businesses as well. First and Last PR delivers authentic brand storytelling and develops innovative partnerships. The firm has been giving back to the community by donating a plentiful amount of beauty products to local women’s shelters.
HG: Tell us about working with women-owned and Black-owned businesses.
SSB: We are a woman-owned, diverse company by nature. We see the beauty in diversity and love to help tell the stories that sometimes go unnoticed. All of the brands that we agree to work with are purposeful meaning that in addition to creating products that solve a problem, they also generously give back to make the world better through action.
HG: Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?
SSB: I’m inspired by so many things but when it comes to work and my work ethic, my late
Grandfather had a huge impact on how I operate. He was a serial entrepreneur but I remember
him during his semi-retirement years when he owned a very successful exterminating business.
He took great pride in the work that he did, guaranteed his results, and earned the respect of his
customers. He taught me to always do the right thing, make time for family, and work hard so
I always try to do what’s right, honest, and fair when it comes to treating people fairly.
HG: What are your goals for this year?
SSB: My goals for 2021 started off simple – to survive – but have grown as I keep my eyes on my purpose. I want to continue to grow my team of amazing public relations and social media experts while continuing to expand on our clientele. I also really want to partner with more Jersey City and Hoboken-based businesses. Recently, we had a project that called for custom printing so rather than going with a place outside of our area, we found A. B. Tees Screen Printing that did an excellent job in quality, timeliness, customer service, and professionalism. There are so many great businesses here including designers, photographers and we’d love to work with more.
HG: What’s a typical day look like for you?
SSB: My day starts off with a big hug from my husband, Marlon, followed by a mad dash to work out, get dressed, make breakfast, ensure the boys are signed into virtual school, and then hop online to read up on the industry news that happened overnight before our First and Last PR morning team call. Every workday starts with a quick call with my amazing team so that we can connect and chat through our priorities or troubleshoot any issues before the rest of the world starts to pull on us. Since shifting to a hybrid WFH scenario as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, I typically go into our office once or twice a week but whether I’m there or in my home office, my day is filled with reviewing creative concepts, meetings with current clients and calls with potential clients to see if they are the right fit.
If everything aligns, I will meet with our CFO, Karem, and Director of Business Development, Linda, for the next steps. There are so many things happening throughout the day so to stay organized, I use project management software to stay on track and communicate with the team. In addition to the work that I do with my company, I also sit on the Board of Directors for the Public Relations Society of New Jersey (PRSA-NJ) where I lead the Young Pros division. I also contribute to the Small Business Advisory Council for Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW). Volunteering and service work has been important to me since I was a child and enjoy it now as an adult.
HG: What has been the highlight in your career/life so far?
SSB: Working with Usher and being selected by Walker and Company Brands, the makers of Bevel, as their agency of record. The first was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gave me the courage and resources necessary to open my agency at such a young age and the latter was confirmation that we’re on the right track in terms of working with purposeful brands that create great products that we believe in. If I can add a third, it would be the moment that I was accepted to and graduated from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. As a woman-owned business that specializes in the beauty industry, I did not know if I would qualify for such a prestigious program. Getting up at 4:30AM in the morning to drive to class, doing the work and the homework all while running my business and balancing family was a lot but I did it. The lessons that I learned have helped each day but especially during the pandemic when so many businesses began to struggle. It has been very helpful to have my business network to rely on for support and resources.
HG: How long have you lived + worked in Jersey City?
SSB: This year will mark my fifth anniversary living and working in Jersey City. Our office and showroom is located at 150 Bay Street in the Powerhouse Arts District. The location is perfect and everyone there is so friendly – I love it!
HG: What do you love most about Jersey City?
SSB: I’d have to say it’s the diversity of people, cultures, and thoughts for me. There is art everywhere – from the galleries to the street murals. I also love that there are so many great restaurants and doughnut spots – what’s not to love?! Also, Jersey City is a great place for lovers. My (now) husband and I had our first date downtown and have been inseparable ever since. The possibilities for exploring, having fun, and learning are endless. I also want to thank the teachers who have been so amazing this year. It hasn’t been easy on any of us but we appreciate you and all of your hard work. Thank you for caring about our kids.
HG: What is your favorite restaurant in Jersey City?
HG: What is your favorite boutique in Hoboken or JC?
SSB: Sloane Square has the cutest gifts! The time flies by just looking to see what’s new. I also love the quality of products and experience from Walker’s Apothecary.
HG: What is your favorite thing to do in Hudson County?
SSB: Hudson County has some of the best parks with views and I love to exercise in them. When the weather is warm, we love to visit Liberty State Park or the Hoboken Waterfront to walk, picnic, people watch, and soak in the views. Depending on where you are, you never know what music you will hear!
HG: Tell us about another business in the area you admire.
SSB: There’s an amazing coffee shop nestled in on Communipaw called The Grind that I really respect. They have an amazing selection of coffee, teas, and the best donuts. You can tell that they care about the community and that it feels like home to the regulars. Recently, the couple that owns it expanded with a gourmet market called The Grind General Store which has the best selection of rare finds and healthy treats. I was pleasantly surprised to find everything from fresh fruits and veggies to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and locally made drinks. I also think that Tia Planta in Journal Square is super cool!
HG: What is your favorite outdoor place to spend time in Hoboken/Jersey City?
SSB: I’m a sucker for a good food truck and water feature so we love spending time along the strip of parks near Pier 13 in Hoboken. There’s a cool new section that is great for reading and relaxation.
HG: What is your favorite place to work out in Hudson County?
SSB: Liberty State Park and my home gym.
HG: Where do you go out with friends in the area?
SSB: Does Zoom count? Lol. Anywhere with good food which is everywhere in Jersey City! Ahri’s Kitchen is a favorite for comfort food – Love, Milk, Sugar in Hamilton Park, Torrico’s, or Ample Hills for ice cream followed by Grove Street and the surrounding blocks. We may meet at or after J Nails and then grab a bite. Frankie’s is super cool for brunch (they have the best fries!). Weeknights and summer weekends, Grove Street has a farmer’s market that I enjoy to see what’s new from local vendors, to hear the music, dance in the street, and grab a bite.
HG: What is something you think needs to come to Jersey City?
SSB: Jersey City has so much here already but I’d love to see a roller-skating park and more drive-in movies.