Duree Mellion Ross • South Florida Women in Business {south florida lifestyle photographer}

I am beyond excited to post this blog about Duree Mellion Ross, owner of Duree and Company, Inc., a company specializing in public relations, marketing and special events.  I met Duree at a committee meeting for Debbie's Dream, the non-profit organization dedicated to funding stomach cancer research (which is very close to my heart, as it was started by my friend, Debbie, who is battling stage 4 stomach cancer).  An amazing thing about the "dream team" committee for Debbie's Dream is that many of the women who work so hard for the charity did not even know Debbie prior, and Duree is one of them.  I was so impressed with her confidence and her professionalism, and also her willingness to give her time and help this cause - plus, she definitely gets things done! For the photo shoot of Duree, I wanted the images to reflect her professionally, as she has to be a creative thinker in her business, and also personally.  She works hard, not only for her business, but also balancing it with her family life.  I truly enjoyed this photo session - besides being absolutely stunning, Duree is a lovely person, thoughtful and enthusiastic about her work and family, and definitely very stylish.  Thank you Duree!!



Tell me about your business:

My company, Durée & Company, Inc., is a public relations, marketing & special events firm I incorporated more than 10 years ago. Client initiatives vary but it usually consists of creating a “buzz” for clients within the media.  I work with a number of incredible long-term clients and all of them keep me very busy. I am very passionate about what I do and I truly love it.

How do you balance work, family and fun:

Being able to “have it all” and “do it all” is hard and something that I struggle with daily. I’m a big scheduler so I try and schedule absolutely everything, when possible. Whether it’s volunteering at my kids’ schools or date night with hubby, I block it out and treat it like a meeting. But, at the end of the day the work must get done so I usually end up working most evenings to catch-up, especially after a day of back-to-back client meetings or events.

What is the most rewarding aspect about owning your own business:

The most rewarding aspect is being able to make my own schedule and the flexibility it provides with my children. Fortunately my kids are in school all day and I do have help with them when they are out, but there are many teacher workdays/holidays and the work must get done. Another equally rewarding aspect is being able to select the type of clients I want to work with to help them achieve their PR/marketing goals. At the end of the day it has to be something I believe in and something that is fun for me! If I’m going to spend so much time away from my family, it has to be for something I believe is worthwhile.



What is the most challenging thing about owning your own business:

The PR field is very demanding and it requires me to me “reachable” at all times…and I do mean ALL times. There’s hardly any downtime or uninterrupted vacations/time off. Also, handling the administrative tasks of running the business is another full-time job aside from client work.

When you are not working, where can we find you?

Good question – I’m usually with my family but I do adore an occasional spa day or a little retail therapy! I also have date night at least once a week with my husband (more if possible) and I regularly schedule GNO’s – Girl’s Night Out!

What are three things you can't live without (other than your family!):

For the business it would be 1) my crackberry (blackberry!) for emails, contacts and schedule on the go 2) computer and 3) a telephone.

Personally it would be 1) my crackberry 2) a good mani-pedi 3) Fun night out including a delicious meal and a great martini or glass of Champagne

Any advice for other women trying to find their own balance between business and family?

Realize that it takes a village and NO ONE can do it all themselves. Knowing when to call for support is critical or many people get burned out quickly. Also, don’t let the word “no” get you down. Sometimes it just provides another type of opportunity!