Feature: In The Spotlight

In The Spotlight: Uptown Liz

Author: Don Martelli
Published: March 25, 2010 at 4:59 am

In college, Ramona Russell knew that she was a type-A overachiever. She knew that one day, she would be an entrepreneur, making a difference. That difference, is a web-based company called Uptown Liz that lists and promotes products that benefit charity. The idea was spawned months after Russell's sister, Liz, died of breast cancer at the age of 28.

In this edition of In The Spotlight, Technorati sat down with Russell to talk about the adversity she faced when starting Uptown Liz and what advice she would give other entrepreneurs.

TR: How has the adversity made you a stronger person or better at business?

Russell: I worked with nonprofit organizations before my sister became ill, and knew I wanted to continue to make a difference. I wanted to have control over my time in order be with my family more. Liz's death brought my life to a complete stop, and I learned that personally and professionally, I needed to slow things down and take time for myself.

I started thinking about ways I could make a difference, but still make a living. Once I started Uptown Liz, it was scary, but the reception to the company was immediate and fantastic. The e-mails I receive of people's adversity, and how my sister's story is making an impact, really drives me during the challenging times.

TR: Since the beginning what has surprised you about running this business?

Russell: I'm a self starter and do well working on my own, so I knew I would have the discipline needed to run a business. What I didn't expect, is how much the business would consume my attention and mental focus. I was surprised with how quickly the company received media attention, which included national press three weeks after its inception.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Don Martelli

Known on the social web as “BigGuyD,” Don Martelli is just a dad, moonlighting as a digital marketer, photog and civilian journalist. He's the executive editor for Technorati. Connect with him at www.donmartelli.com.

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