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Rising Stars: Meet Princess Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Princess Miller.

Hi Princess, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I remember as a kid, my uncle asked my cousins and I what we wanted to be when we grew up. The answer that flew out of my mouth was, “I want to be the president of a company.” I didn’t know where that answer came from and as I reflected back, I heard the answer before I blurted it out. As time rocked on, I kept that dream in the back of my mind but I didn’t know how it was going to come to pass. In high school, I was in several clubs and organizations but the one I remember the most and gave me the most joy was working on stage crew. By the time I was a senior in high school, I was elected stage crew manager. That experience taught me so much and helped with my career. I went on to study television production and broadcast journalism at the University of South Alabama. While in college I worked for a local radio station as an on-air talent and at a local television station in traffic and master control.

When I graduated from college, I was offered a couple of production jobs at local, news stations but what I wanted and felt I deserved was an on-air position. As a reporter intern, I wrote stories for air and went out and covered stories with a photographer. After finding out that breaking news and weather events meant living at the station until that ordeal was over, I decided a career in news was not for me. So I prayed for a job behind the scenes. But I wanted to work in multiple positions behind the camera. I was later offered a position as a television producer at a local cable company. This was my dream job but it didn’t come without its challenges. As a woman of color from the south, I had experienced discrimination but I didn’t think I would experience what I had experienced working for this company. It was a real eye-opener but it taught me professionalism, customer service, maneuvering office politics, true perseverance, and so much more. When I first started, I was constantly being interviewed by my clients with demeaning questions such as, “did you go to college, where did you go to school, how long have you been doing this, or my personal favorite… you sound educated, are your parents educated?” These are the questions I was constantly asked by some of my clients who were white male business owners. But I noticed when I went out to shoots and pre-production meetings with my co-worker, who was also a white male producer, no one asked him such questions.

Being a broadcast journalism major, I was taught to speak without an accent and to speak grammatically correct. So when I would set my appointments with my clients, they oftentimes thought I was white. I remember speaking with one client multiple times before going to do our pre-production meeting. When I arrived at the meeting, the client asked, “are you the one that is going to be doing my commercial?” I said, “yes” to which he replied, “I will just keep using my current commercial.” Even though I was dealing with things like this with some of my clients, it was almost as bad in the office, because I was the only African American in the office. I remember one of my clients asking me, why are you letting these people make money off of you. You are so talented, you really should start your own agency. Later I had another client tell me, “you should start your own business.” A couple of years later, this same client offered me a loan to start my own business. After much prayer, I told God I wanted to start my own business but I wanted to wait and work for an agency so I could gain the last bit of information needed to launch my agency. As a TV producer, I was a one-woman band, I would meet with my clients, write their commercials, pitch my ideas, shoot, edit, and produce the commercials and send them to traffic for air. I loved what I did but I felt it was time to start working on my dream.

One day I heard God say it was time to launch my business, I told Him I would love to but I didn’t have anything. I didn’t own a computer, editing software, or a camera. God told me to start with what I had and the only thing I had was what I knew. I said ok, God and He gave me the idea of teaching churches how to start their television ministries, including classes on editing and shooting. I was so excited I shared my idea with a mentor that day who said I don’t think this is a good idea. I don’t think it’s going to be a long-term business. I said that’s what God told me and I moved forward. The next day I shared my business idea with my boss and he said the same thing, “I don’t think this is a good idea for a business.” The next day my boss received a phone call from a pastor in Florida asking him to come teach his staff how to edit and shoot. My boss remembered our conversation and told the pastor about me and over ten years later, I am still working with that ministry. They were my first official client and through that relationship, I was able to purchase the equipment I needed to get started. I launched a television show that aired on Mediacom and Comcast Cable cable called “Gospel Hits 1 with PMiller and Cory P (Cory Penn) under my first business Royal Productions in 2009. This show gave me the experience I needed in putting a television show together. My co-host and I had the opportunity to interview some local and major recording gospel artists. It was truly a great experience. Royal Productions offered television training, editing, and video services to churches along the Gulf Coast.

During this time, I felt the desire to go back to school and I studied Entertainment Business at Full Sail University. I knew one day I was going to have multiple businesses and getting my masters was one of the ways I was going to fulfill the dream of being the president of a company. After I graduated from grad school, my boss started to feel threatened by me and every position I applied for in corporate he had to sign off on, so he started doing things like telling human resources that he didn’t know my number or I wasn’t qualified for the positions I applied for. I tried to seek a position to be vice president of creative services but he blocked that too telling the vice president and general manager that my presentation was not good information. I then replied if they didn’t take heed to the information I was giving within five years there wouldn’t be a creative services department. They laughed at me and three years later the company was sold and the new company brought in their creative services management. During my time there at the cable company, I was nominated for a Cable Faxie Award, won an Addy, and was recognized for my work on the Haven’s Animal Adoption Show, a TV show that aired on Medicacom and save the lives of hundreds of cats and dogs plus some of my footage from another client was featured on CNN’s small business segment. Then God allowed someone to find me on LinkedIn and they got me an interview with a company I applied for multiple times. I was hired by that agency which was the final piece I needed to start my business. I was an account executive who sold digital, print, and websites. Once again I had a couple of clients who asked me why I was working for a company when I should be in business for myself. One of my clients asked me how much money I needed to get started, I gave a rough estimate of $10-20,000. He said if I loan you the money would you start your business? I prayed about it  and discussed it with my husband. We passed on the offer, but God still moved for me. I was with the agency a year when I felt the release to walk into my business full time. I walked out the door of the agency and was hired that day to shoot five television shows and it hasn’t stopped yet. Since launching Princess Productions in 2012, I’ve had the opportunity to work on political campaigns, design multiple magazine ads, design several billboards, launch a few internet and television shows, produce radio ads, design multiple shirts, business cards, postcards, and banners, launch multiple websites, design a monthly magazine, launch my podcast “Color Outside the Box”, produce multiple television commercials, offer marketing support, and help several businesses with their social media presence and offer branding services. And I do all of this by myself.

In the recent years I have started training my kids on editing, photography, shooting, and graphic design, but they are student athletes so school comes first. So the bulk of the work still falls on me. When I think back to my boss at the cable company who told me I wasn’t qualified to do anything else besides my job and that I wasn’t going to leave that company until he retired, I told him then I was multitalented and there was so much more to me than this job. He had no idea and in fact I am still learning what all God has invested in me. I started my business in a small bedroom and now I am in my 4th office space and I am realizing now I will have to move again soon. Princess Productions won a Small Business Grind Award in 2018. I completed the MAWSS Diversity Supplier Cohort 5 in December 2020 which now qualifies my business to work on government projects and this year I will be working on my first city project. And recently I found out Princess Creative Productions LLC is the 5th top graphic design company in Mobile, Alabama and in the top 10 for creative agencies according to upcity.com. A couple of years ago I met the president and ceo of a major company here in Mobile and when I introduced myself and gave my company’s name he said I never heard of you or your company and I quickly replied, you may not have heard of Princess Productions but I guarantee you have seen my work whether you were watching TV and saw a commercial I produced, or driving and saw a billboard I designed, listening to the radio and heard an ad I voiced or produced, or thumbing through a magazine and seen an ad I created. I only work with a small number of clients at a time but once they see my work and realize they can get all of their marketing needs fulfilled in one place they tend to stick with me. Because at Princess Creative Productions, “we treat you like royalty!”

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Princess Creative Productions LLC offers video production, photography, websites, graphic design, social media management, and more to businesses in Alabama, Ohio, and Georgia. We are most proud of offering professional agency services at prices small business owners can afford. This is one of the main reasons why business owners hire Princess Productions. We offer professional production equipment, industry standard software, and excellent customer service.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I have found encouragement through groups on Facebook such as Sistas Link, a monthly membership called CoachedUp Masterminds, and through relationships I have developed from the chamber. Also podcasts a great tool too. Podcasts like mine, Color Outside the Box, talks about issues that women deal with from starting businesses, raising children today, marriage, and relationships. I get a lot of inspiration and information from the guests on my show.

Pricing:

  • Green Screen shoots start as low as $199
  • Photography start as low as $50
  • Graphic Designs start as low as $50
  • Websites start as low as $450

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Princess Productions Timethy Miller Photography Kayla Miller

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