DCFunemployment: Tell the people – Who are you?
Ciera Gallub, Pelonkey, Operations Unicorn (DCF: Love your title!). Pelonkey is your one stop shop for everything entertainment! If you are planning an event or a party, sign up for free and shop online at Pelonkey.com; if you are the entertainment, sign up for free and use Pelonkey.com to secure your bookings, manage your schedule, and promote yourself!
I am happiest with the sun on my face and great company by my side. I have a hard time sitting still in all manners of life. I love genuinely getting to know people and learning what makes them laugh. A hot cup of tea can calm me down in seconds, and I love all things beige. On a more serious note, I graduated from Christopher Newport University with a BA in Communications & Leadership, and I have been working with my sister, Nicole, in DC ever since!
DCF: What does being funemployed mean to you & what was your path to funemployment?
CG: I love chasing after a dream and creating something from the ground up, bringing structure to empty space, and learning how to wear all of the hats and learn all of the skills in the process. When I graduated, Nicole had me help her with her DJ business at first, kind of like a personal assistant. Quickly, she began giving me more and more responsibility until I was promoted to COO of Pelonkey about 2 years ago (DCF: Work it!!). It has been a roller coaster of a ride, but the most fun with my awesome sister as my partner.
DCF: Who was your first cheerleader?
CG: My mom has always been my biggest cheerleader, not necessarily pushing me in any direction, but always there for me no matter what outcome my decisions had (DCF: I like it, support with minimal influence, sounds like a great mom!). She is a fiercely loving woman and always puts others’ needs and cares ahead of her own.
DCF: What experiences in your life prepared you for where you are now?
CG: I am used to working fast-paced environments and interacting with people at all times. It it not conducive for me to be alone – there is so much to do! I have always loved being active and busy, and thank goodness, because that is the nonstop life of an entrepreneur (DCF: Amen to that, always hustling!).
DCF: Where do you get your inspiration and/or motivation?
CG: These answers are pretty varied yet simple – a good night’s sleep, hot tea, being a part of a really awesome team and getting to work with really awesome people everyday, knowing so many amazing peers that help encourage me along the way, a good hard workout, cookies, trees (yep, I just love them), dancing, enjoying the little seconds that you “click” a picture of in your memory – so I suppose just life, the little things (DCF: Aka the things we will actually remember).
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find balance?
CG: I have never been good with balance. I find balance when I have a feeling of satisfaction at the end of the day – whether it’s accomplishing big work goals, spending a romantic evening with my lover, having bonding nights where you feel like you genuinely connected with someone, those fulfilling moments – that’s when I feel balanced, when I am able to truly appreciate what was accomplished/happened that day.
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
CG: I am trying to swallow the lesson right now that I can’t have it all – perfect skin, a great night’s sleep every night, a super tight relationship with absolutely everyone that’s important to me, an extremely successful business, a super athletic body – I can’t do everything everyday. I can’t give my full, undivided attention to everything everyday. And that’s okay. Learning how to say no is so hard, but so necessary. (DCF: You can absolutely have it all, just not all at the same time lol, so I agree!)
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
CG: In the tech world, I have honestly not experienced many struggles at all merely from being a woman; however, in the events and entertainment world, women are not taken as seriously as men. Most of them are seen as more sexual beings, not business people. It is something Nicole and I are very mindful of when we dress/present to people in the entertainment industry.
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
CG: Save your money! Working on a startup is a huge investment of not just time, but money (DCF: Sooo true).
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
CG: I lent a large sum of money to someone I thought was a friend, and they ghosted as soon as they got it from me. You cannot rely on other people to all be good and wonderful – not everyone has that mentality. Love all, but do not let yourself become a doormat. (DCF: There are some great people in the world but bad people exist too so yes love all but protect yourself!)
DCF: What is your proudest moment?
CG: I was extremely proud when we launched Pelonkey – three and a half years of hard work, and then we were physically able to see it all pay off!
DCF: So what’s next?
CG: We are currently raising money for Pelonkey and seeking investors who have some sort of connection to the events/entertainment industry. It is an exciting new chapter for us, and opportunity for someone else!