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Shayla Copas Constructs Her Own Marketing Firm

4 min read

Shayla Copas is calling her new boutique marketing and PR business The Hive, mainly because she loves bees.

But the name also connotes buzz, something she’s created in her 20 years of interior and event design, as well as the energy of collective activity, said Copas, a significant figure in Arkansas philanthropy.

She has vaulted her Southern Glam brand to national prominence in a few short years, and intends to leverage her success at Shayla Copas Interiors to serve clients in the design, construction architecture and nonprofit worlds.

The name is close to her heart. “I have included elements of bees in my furniture collections. We used a linked honeycomb pattern on several pieces for Chelsea House,” a North Carolina home decor manufacturer.

She also was a paid design and marketing consultant for Baldwin & Shell, the construction firm led by her husband, CEO Scott Copas.

“It would be a pretty amazing journey if I could help other designers, creators, contractors, architects and people in similar fields market themselves the way I’ve promoted my brand nationally.”

Talented marketing firms are not hard to find, she said, but she sensed a need for “a more niche” marketing agency. “I had spent years overseeing the branding, marketing and public relations for a large commercial construction firm with an annual sales volume of over $300 million and wanted to bring what I had learned to help others build their brands.”

It’s a strategic approach to brand development, including imagery and content, Copas said, and she’s already working to hire a bigger team. The firm will have a division focused on nonprofits and fundraising, topics Copas mastered in helping to raise millions of dollars for Arkansas charities.

“I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest, and I moved here more than 20 years ago and married Scott,” Copas said, filling in details on her background. “I did a lot of philanthropy in Little Rock and ran my interior design business, but about three years ago I realized I wanted to take it to another level.”

So she wrote a book, “Four Seasons of Entertaining,” went on a book tour and started making licensing deals with furniture manufacturers to sell the Shayla Copas collection around the U.S.

The Baldwin & Shell experience was crucial, she said.

Scott Copas — who says on his company’s website that his most memorable life experience was the evening he met his wife — is “excited about the project,” Shayla Copas said. “He felt like it was a natural fit, progressing to The Hive.”

She and her team will be based at an office the Copases put up next door when they built their home in west Little Rock. “It’s funny that with the pandemic, working from home has become a normal way of life, but this is how we’ve always operated. We have people who come into work each day, and some that are remote.” She plans to look for a commercial office space in 2022.

She said she will start interviewing future team members next month, continuing through January, and the new employees will respond to “a tremendous response to our launch from potential clients around the nation.”

“In three years we have published a top-selling book, launched two licensed furniture/fabric collections, and have built over 61,000 followers on Instagram,” Copas said. Just this month, Copas won the Designer of the Year Award from the Interior Design Society in the category of whole house design.

One early priority for the new marketing and PR firm has been vetting potential accounts to make sure they do not overlap with other clients in specific industry spaces.

“Our business model is to serve only a certain number of clients so that each receives a massive amount of attention,” she said. Accounts that don’t fit with that vision will be sent on to other agencies offering a strong match.

“This builds a bridge in the industry on which collaboration can be built. I believe strongly that collaboration is the key ingredient to marketing success.”

The home industry has exploded in the COVID-19 era, with Americans devoting themselves to nesting, she said. “The design industry, architects, homebuilders, they’re very, very busy, and we’re excited to be here to help as they rebrand and freshen their strategies,” including digital strategies they may not have realized they needed before. “A lot of people are saying, oh, gosh, we need e-commerce.”

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