Chelsea Berler founded Solamar Agency in 2006. Today, at the youthful age of 30, Berler has grown her boutique marketing agency into a successful powerhouse of talent.
Dubbed, “The Curious One,” Berler is young, yes, but not too young to have known success, grief, love and loss — and to have turned all of that experience into a thriving career as a hands-on CEO and author.
Berler and Solamar have been featured in Shelby Living, Birmingham Business Journal, B-Metro (as the Face of Birmingham in digital marketing for 2014) as well as in Hoover’s Magazine and on ABC 33/40.
With a book that is flying off the shelves, and a business that continues to grow — we thought this was as good a time as any to sit down with our charming CEO.
AA: Can you tell me a little bit about your business? How did it get started?
CB: I was working a corporate job and traveling to trade shows. One trade show was in San Diego, CA. I stayed in this gorgeous hotel and the location was dreamy. But the trade show was frustrating to me. I thought, there’s got to be more to life and a career than this. So I stayed up all night long and created a business plan. I wrote down all the things I knew I was good at…and the things I knew could benefit people for the greater good… and created Solamar Marketing Agency from that list. The way I got the name was the gorgeous hotel I mention above —it was called Hotel Solamar. Solamar means sun and sea…two of my very favorite things…and Hotel Solamar inspired me in so many ways.
AA: What motivates you each day to do better?
CB: My husband.
He’s really incredible at what he does and I see him making a big impact in his work every single day. The people he helps, the work he does… the drive and dedication he has. It makes me want to be a better leader and CEO every single day. He’s been a great mentor to me through my growing of Solamar. I work harder and love bigger in business by watching how he moves through his days.
AA: How do you keep your business centered? Meaning, How do you stay true to your brand?
CB: Through the team and clients. Solamar would not be what it is today without the team that creates it and the clients we get to serve. Through that, we stay focused and centered on what’s important… AND it also helps that we all share the same core values. We want to do good work, we want to make an impact on the world. And we can do that together. Everyday we are reminded why we do what we do, and why we are who we are through that.
AA: Who has influenced you the most over the years?
CB: People that have big dreams. There’s been a lot of incredible people in my life. But I’m most thankful to those people that have the dreams of something more, something bigger. Those are the people you run into and your soul bursts into flames because it is sparked in the most powerful way. It’s the best feeling in the world to be influenced by big thinkers.
AA: What is the ultimate goal of your business?
CB: I have the most tender and caring place in my heart for the team. I want more for them through the business. I’m eager to grow more and to do so in the best possible way that will benefit all of us. I find myself being a little impatient because of it, but I know in time, all good things come around. So I hope and wish for bigger things for Solamar and for everyone involved. That would make my heart happy.
AA: What advice would you give to yourself 10 years ago?
CB: Don’t get married too young…ha, people need to read my book to understand that one.
Also, know that you have a choice. Everything is a choice. Create the life you love. It’s possible. You are capable. Now go… do it.