( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) The Power Couple of The Plug ATL Pushes Forward Despite Hardship to Achieve Their Dreams and Create a Successful Empire
ENSPIRE Contributor: Natalie Dean
Entrepreneurs, spouses, and parents: Charlene and Kalief Legend are truly doing it all together. Sixteen years of marriage and five wonderful children later, the two broke into the world of digital production. Though their business, The Plug ATL, has been successful, it has not been without difficulty!
Previously a celebrity makeup artist, Charlene’s experience meant they could use her connections to land high-profile clients right away– a huge advantage, especially when starting a business in the middle of the pandemic! What was a huge financial risk was made even more terrifying after the company was robbed over the recent winter holidays.
But after Kalief’s diagnosis and victory over cancer, the two have shown that they are resilient and determined. The terrible situation showed them the importance of family and building a legacy. Their successes are worth even more now, knowing that they have been awarded despite so much hardship.
Charlene and Kalief recently spoke with ENSPIRE:
What is the primary goal of The Plug ATL?
The Plug ATL was birthed from our desire to help brands and creators develop their own commercial look and quality content. My years in the industry gave me the network connections necessary to bring those intricate pieces of production together. Why can’t the average person have access to the thousands of qualified professionals who create and produce content for Fortune 500 companies daily? This is an unnecessary barrier and lack of quality branding and messaging aids in disparities and equitable access to entrepreneurial success. We wanted to house all the creativity in one place, so Black Creators and Entrepreneurs could access the industry quality in a one-stop-shop/top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art facility. We accomplished just that; we help brands produce digital content.
What makes The Plug unique?
We are one of a kind because we provide creators both the most quality space and the most quality service at a price that is affordable for the regular entrepreneur! Our business model is all about supporting, nurturing, and providing a sense of community.
As both a married couple and parents, how do you balance romance, parenthood, and running a busy, successful business?
One challenge that we have faced, and still constantly face in our marriage is the art of balance. Balance is all about finding the middle ground; you can’t sway too much. We are both ambitious and over the years we’ve learned that to really be happy we have to find an adequate balance between work, home, parenting, friendships, and marriage. We’ve had to learn that we can’t tackle everything at the propensity that we want to. We have also learned that as long as we are honest and operate in truth we can get through anything together. Human nature is rather selfish at its core and In a dating environment where people have the option to choose whether to leave or stay in a relationship. We believe that in order for any relationship to really work, it needs a foundation of friendship and a kind of love that requires both sacrifices and choices from both parties. These sacrifices and choices are made daily and without question. Unless questions are necessary to bring you into a discussion that promotes clarity, encouragement, purpose, and harmony. We believe that a part of love is the ability to be a fool and be made a fool of. Not that being fooled is the intended outcome of any relationship. But like everything in life, it’s a gamble. You win some; you lose some. But the goal should be to stay in the game with the same player you start the game with.
Charlene, how has your background as a celebrity makeup artist helped you in your journey to starting a small business? What has the transition between your careers looked like?
I started out in Orlando as a Program Coordinator and Event Producer. I’ve worked in Commercial Production here in Atlanta as a Makeup Artist for almost 10 years! I know and understand the commercial look and aesthetic like I know my name! I have the eye! I am detail-oriented and strive for mastery in every project I tackle. I understand how all the details of a look or project need to come together to make a project successful and makeup gave me that edge!
Recently, your company was robbed for over $100,000. How have you recovered, and what have you learned about yourselves and your business after this?
The robbery was devastating, and we are still recovering! We have committed to Build Back even Better in 2022! In every tragedy, we have learned the art and the real story is not in how hard you fall but in how you manage to get back up! We find ourselves just taking it one day at a time and not expecting anything to be easy! We are not afraid to fall and we are not afraid to fight!
Despite all their difficulties, Mr. and Mrs. Legend are making running a business while being a family work for them. Their love for each other and for their business is obvious to anyone who interacts with their work, and their story can inspire each of us to work hard and be dedicated to our craft.
To learn more about The Plug, check out their website!