This special anniversary has company founder Angel Robinson not only looking to the future, but reflecting on the past five years spent building her business from the ground up.
Founded by Robinson on January 9, 2002 with only one client, AR & Co. has grown to be the seventh largest PR firm in San Luis Obispo County, according to The (San Luis Obispo) Tribune. The PR firm has been a work in progress, but on top of her steady list of local and national clients, Robinson anticipates a growth spurt of her company in 2007.
“Our client-base has doubled since our move to Paso Robles in December of 2005. With the booming economy and downtown revitalization efforts in Paso Robles, we’re anticipating even more growth this year. This is a close-knit community that is growing very quickly, and we fully intend to grow with it,” Robinson said.
With major clients like propane dealer Delta Liquid Energy, with ten California locations; staffing agency United Staffing Associates, with seven offices in California and two in other states; Coastal Cookie Company of Atascadero; Rental Depot of Paso Robles and Templeton Tennis Ranch, AR & Co. has represented a wide variety of industries.
Robinson founded AR & Co. with the desire to be her own boss and have full control of her potential income. With a referral from a close friend, Robinson pitched for her first client after working a full day at her job as a media buyer for CCM Marketing. With the award of that first contract—signed with the nationally-known Propane Promotion Consortium—she was off and running.
Working first from the living room of her home, Robinson later moved into a small office next to the Greyhound bus station in San Luis Obispo, eventually settling in the historic Smith Building in downtown Paso Robles in December 2005.
“Starting my business was like jumping off a cliff. I had no savings or business loans; I didn’t even have an office in my house to work from,” Robinson said.
Robinson learned the value of hard work early in life. The second of four children, Robinson was born into a family struggling to make ends meet and raised by a mostly-single mother who worked two jobs to support her family.
Growing up, Robinson was told by her mother, “you are too poor to go to college, and if you want to buy something, you’ll have to get a job to pay for it.”
Knowing this, Robinson started her first job harvesting onions in the fields of Salinas at age 12. Although harvesting onions didn’t last long, she went on to hold down back-to-back jobs from age 14 on.
Determined to make something of her life, Robinson quickly enrolled in community college after her graduation from Salinas High School. A counselor there told her she was eligible for financial aid.
At times working two jobs, Robinson attended different community colleges before she transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and eventually graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Jose State University in May 1993.
The conception of AR & Co. fulfilled Robinson’s lifelong dream to own her own business. The leap of faith she took with her first contract in 2002 has turned into a success story. She takes great pride in still retaining her first client, Propane Promotion Consortium, which allowed her to launch AR & Co.
“AR & Co. is unique, aggressive, and creative. Our mission is to provide our clients with PR and marketing to help their business flourish. We are a growing company, and we want to help other companies grow as well. We try to meet the individual needs of each client, so we don’t offer generic marketing packages. Instead, we come up with a specific plan that is the best for each business. We’ve been very successful to date and well, I think the proof is in the pudding,” Robinson said.