Christy Dotson created Premium Promos & Logos in February 2020 to utilize her education, funded by CPN scholarships, to build something for herself and help meet the needs of businesses around her home in Mustang, Oklahoma.
“Everyone I knew in my family were entrepreneurs, so that was far more natural for me than going to work in a 9-to-5 because I embrace all that — I embrace the hard work, and I embrace the freedom that comes along with it,” Dotson said.
As a woman and Tribal member, she feels a sense of responsibility and humility for her accomplishments and business.
“It’s been nothing but a bonus for me when I tell people that I am a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation,” she said. “Their eyes get big. They want to know all about it, so I get to tell them about my Tribe and how much my Tribe has helped me be in the place I am right now. So, I just find it an enormous bonus and blessing to be a female and minority.”
Dotson balanced a full-time job, two teenage kids and her schoolwork to finish her bachelor’s degree in 2015 from the University of Oklahoma. Upon receiving her degree, she learned about CPN and St. Gregory University’s partnership. Wanting to continue advancing her education, she enrolled in the MBA program with Tribal scholarship support.
Sadly, as she neared the end of her MBA program in 2017, her 19-year-old son Tristen was murdered. Dotson wanted to take a break from education to mourn his loss, but St. Gregory’s announced their closure. Instead of quitting in the face of adversity, she persevered and completed her MBA.
“I graduated with a 4.0, and walking across that stage, I was just crying and crying,” Dotson said. “I was grateful because I knew my little boy was there with me, and I knew my elders and my ancestors were also with me — and they were celebrating with me.”
Dotson received a note from CPN Chairman John “Rocky” Barrett after graduating, and she keeps it nearby as encouragement to achieve her dreams.
His letter read, “You are a shining example of the intelligent tenacity and courage of Potawatomi women.”
One day, she hopes to sit down with Chairman to thank him for his words and leadership as well as the opportunities CPN has provided her.
“I knew that my MBA, from the support of my Tribe, had prepared me for exactly where I needed to be at exactly the right time,” Dotson said.
Walking the Red Road
After receiving her MBA, Dotson worked as a liquor sales representative. However, she struggled with sobriety for many years, and she decided that she no longer wished to work in the industry and stopped her consumption entirely.
“I was able to get clean this year. It’s a huge deal, especially in the Native American community. I want others out there struggling with addiction, as I struggled with it for more than 20 years, to know there is so much freedom on the other side — so much,” she said.
Dotson hopes her success encourages others struggling with addiction to seek help.
“I’ve started my new chapter in life, and I’m exhilarated, terrified, full of hope, full of potential and chomping at the bit to get started,” Dotson said. “Tristen has given me the gift of clarity, grit, determination and revealed to me my own true resilience. It is my gift to his memory to be the biggest, baddest, most successful version of me that I’m capable of.”
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Dotson aids her sobriety by continuously improving herself and furthering her education. To establish an even greater business foundation, she enrolled in a program with Sandler Training to enhance her sales skills.
“Even though I was I was very successful in liquor sales, I knew that I needed far more support and help if I was going to do it on my own,” Dotson said. “(Sandler Training) have been a catalyst for my growth in sales.”
Dotson said Premium Promo & Logos provides a boutique, concierge service through her expert consultation.
“I typically work with businesses who are tired of having their advertising on TV and radio ignored and spending enormous amount on advertising dollars just to be ignored — businesses who are just frustrated having all of their hard-earned money with promotional products thrown in the trash because they didn’t have people to help them find just the right promotional product,” she said.
By discussing goals and aspirations with clients, Dotson provides the perfect advertising and promotional solutions to make businesses flourish.
“I walk them through what it could look like from point A to B, and then I hand deliver all their products because I want to make sure that they’re happy,” Dotson said.
Since establishing her business early 2020, Dotson has focused on providing the highest-quality customer service. Now, a large percentage of new business comes from referrals.
“I have a personal rule that if I am within 3 feet of somebody, I try to discuss and talk about what they do and then bring up what I do, and it works out quite a bit,” she explained.
Although establishing a new business amidst the coronavirus pandemic has created unforeseen difficulties, Dotson believes her attention to detail and track record for helping businesses succeed will carry Premium Promo & Logos through.