Shelby Ring

Live as big and bold as you possibly can. Strike up conversations with strangers as much as possible, and if it scares you— definitely keep going. Take your time and don’t settle for anything.


Shelby Ring is the Chief Cat Herder and Storyteller at Ruby Riot Creatives; a digital marketing firm based out of Charleston, South Carolina that specializes in brand + SEO content strategy, and video production. When Shelby’s not directing a shoot or geeking out over Google Analytics, you might find her teaching Buti yoga, stuffing her face with fried chicken, or blasting electronic dance music way too loud in her car. Shelby is a champion and an advocate for woman-led businesses and believes business is one of best way to make huge, sustainable changes in today’s society.

Where did the idea for Ruby Riot Creatives come from?

Ruby Riot Creatives roots are in wedding videography. As the service offerings grew beyond wedding days, the Ruby Riot Creatives team wanted something that still reflected and resonated with the wedding and luxury event industry, but also could encompass our marketing services and the kind of clientele we enjoy working with. The ruby symbolizes passion and loyalty—so it speaks a lot about what the brand wanted to do and our commitment to what the team wanted to achieve with this brand. Riot was a way to highlight that at the end of the day, the company is made up of team members that are fun to work with.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Ruby Riot Creatives prides ourselves for keeping a flexible work day that strikes a balance between personal time and getting real work done. We’re very results-oriented and process-respecting; meaning – we want each of our team members to do their best work in the environment and flow that works for them. Some of our employees are night owls, I myself am an early bird, so we set deadlines and meeting rhythms to bring everyone’s work flow together to stay synchronized. The company is comprised of in-house and remote creatives, so a typical day involves a lot of IMs being sent to keep everyone in the loop. We each have vision boards in our shared work spaces so we have references of what we’re all individually and as a group working towards, and seeing these visuals keeps us true to our goals.

How do you bring ideas to life?

It normally starts with a bad joke from one of us. Most of our best ideas spur from our different personalities firing off in think-tank sessions. We’ve created a safe space for everyone’s personality quirks to be embraced and appreciated – so when one of us hatches a plan that’s a little “out there” or way off in the clouds — we have a really powerful dynamic of giving ideas legs with concrete actions and a follow up plan. We try to play to each others’ strengths as much as possible, some of us are better at concrete logistics, and some are better at big picture “feels” of what we’re trying to achieve in a project, so we try to delegate and empower everyone’s strength at the table.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The empowerment of women entrepreneurs. It’s paving the way for a lot women-led businesses to establish themselves and make a real difference across so many industries. And because women have a unique and new way of approaching business, it’s cutting through a lot of traditional bureaucracy and politics. Despite competition, there are more women helping women; female leaders are opening up opportunities for more genders, ethnicities and backgrounds; and in turn the world gets to see more diverse talent and creativity.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Slaying my big dragons first. Before I open my email, or engage in reactive activities, I write down the 3 biggest things that will make the biggest impact on my day if I knock them out — whatever will make me sleep better at night. Tackling the big ticket items first thing in the morning definitely keeps me from bottle-necking my team’s progress and objectives.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Live as big and bold as you possibly can. Strike up conversations with strangers as much as possible, and if it scares you— definitely keep going. Take your time and don’t settle for anything. Follow your gut instinct. Fear isn’t your friend, but it’s a dang good wind vane for where you need to go.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Everyone craves innovation and unconventional thinking but doesn’t feel like the status quo needs to shift.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Empowering more women. There are studies that say more and more women dream of starting their own business. Only a small fraction of that think it’s actually possible. An even smaller fraction of that actually take the leap and start one. The more women entrepreneurs the world has, the more benchmarks and inspiration we’ll have.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Focusing on women. As a brand, Ruby Riot Creatives saw that there are very few companies out there that actually practice what they preach. The company is small (but growing) organization. To that end, the brand understands, more than anyone, the challenges that small to medium, women-led businesses face. Where other companies pay lip service to diversity and inclusion by supporting women’s initiatives, we actually lived it.

When the company was just starting out, finding team members who shared this vision was critical to its success. They are people who believe in what Ruby Riot Creatives wants do and want to achieve; who are allies and advocates of the brand’s vision. (But I like to believe that because I believed in my company’s vision so much, I drew them to me. I think that through getting really clear on the outcome you want to experience, you build the bridge to make it happen.) The company started by growing other businesses based exactly on what the business knew to be true and what worked. Ruby Riot wanted businesses to know that taking that leap and starting their own businesses and scaling isn’t as scary if you find team members who know and understand exactly what they need.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Believing that I couldn’t scale, and holding back for years on paying other people. I believed I could do it all, until I couldn’t. My believe system around money was so limiting when I started. I believed that money was hard to come by, and once you received it, you need to hold on to it tight and hard to keep it. I overcame this through counting my wins, and shifting to realize money is just the currency of energy. When you have good clear energy in being of service to clients and having a clear process, money flows!

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

A platform for hubs of women business owners to connect on. Women today have a bigger voice, have a lot to say, and are more open to supporting other women-led initiatives. You’ll get more support than you can imagine.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Taking team out for celebratory “ruby riot” cocktails at our favorite local bar (crafted by our favorite bartender!) to celebrate a great month.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello. It’s great—you get a run down of things you have to do, there’s better transparency and you get a big picture overview of everything  happening in your company.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown
Rising Strong is an amazing book at hoping you look into places in your life you feel stifled, stuck or have shame about. Brene Brown does an amazing job reframing things we’ve been taught culturally to internalize: messages of hate, self loathing and distrust in our intuition. If you feel stuck in a pattern of poor decision-making, have a broken record of negative self talk playing in your mind, or just want to find some peace in a part of your story, this book is a must read.

What is your favorite quote?

“Own your crazy” —women are often told they’re emotional…crazy. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It expands our worldview, it prompts us to be more creative, it allows us to look beyond what scares us and realize we can do something in our own unique way.

Key Learnings:

  • Regardless of where you are in your career, you can make a difference.
  • Don’t downplay your strength.
  • Listen to what others have to say.
  • Shift that inner voice that says, “I couldn’t do that.” to “Why wouldn’t I be able to do that?” We live in 2019 — you have every piece of technology, tool, and resource around you to take that heart desire or dream and create something the world is craving. You’ve got this!


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