Our founder, Shannon Baylor-Henderson, always knew she wanted to be a writer. From the time she could hold a crayon (and spell a few two-syllable words), Shannon started crafting sentences that told vivid stories that stemmed from her observations and imagination.
Those crazy and exciting stories led her to entrepreneurship. At the age of 9, Shannon started her first business, a greeting card company, where she crafted special and personalized messages inside of blank business cards for her family members. At $2 a pop, Shannon was swiftly on her way to becoming a millionaire–well, not really–but she knew that her writing could translate into big ideas and dollars.
Elementary school homework and cheerleading competitions got in the way of her ambitions to put Hallmark out of business–so did middle school and high school. But, she met some incredible writers along the way, including Adina & Davie, who also wanted to use their writing chops to build an exciting writing career.
Eventually, Shannon made it to college. Somewhere between roaming the campus, crying through a French III oral final exam, and changing her major four times, Shannon embraced the idea that she would become a college drop-out. Upon telling her parents that college wasn’t a good fit, she faced her first grown-up decision: what would she do with the rest of her life?
After dropping out of college (with a 3.98 GPA), Shannon started her first adulthood semi-successful business, a digital magazine (when digital magazines didn’t exist). She met Irving, another aspiring writer. They began to write books together, and she began to build her brand as a professional writer. They married and made a family together between writing books and writing anything else that would pay.
The “starving artist” phase of her writing career soon emerged, and bill collectors seemed to fully support the idea of her “getting a real job.” The corporate world called her name. Shannon found herself transitioning through a few jobs, hoping that it would subdue the buzz of her artistry and love of entrepreneurship. Although steady paychecks were excellent, she felt writing and entrepreneurship constantly smacking her upside the head and suggesting, “You know better than that! Figure out a way to make your talent and entrepreneurship work!”
While soothing the bruises from the entrepreneurial smack upside the head, she met Kim via Twitter, a talented digital marketer. They agreed to test an idea that converged storytelling and digital marketing. The two strangers built the program and promised to split any money they made. The idea worked, and they decided to strengthen their relationship–over 1500 miles apart. Who says you can’t trust people on the internet?
Shannon toggled back and forth between entrepreneurship and corporate quicksand and eventually dived–again– into full-time entrepreneurship–in the middle of a global pandemic.
That’s when Content Commanders was born. She had already amassed over 15 years of professional writing experience and entrepreneurship. This time, she knew that she didn’t want to go back to the corporate world, and she had an idea with real traction and power. After building and operating Content Commanders for a few months, she started seeing tremendous growth and success. There were so many stories to tell and so many people who just needed professional guidance to tell those stories. Eventually, she convinced ArLynn & Dava that she could pay them to contribute their artistry to the Content Commanders brand, too.
And now, Content Commanders has written over 1 MILLION words in storytelling content, worked with brands across the country, received recognition in media outlets, and even won an award for their impending development of a content development app.
And to think, it started with a snaggle-toothed little girl, who wore big eyeglasses, frilly outfits and loved to write words on paper for people to lose themselves in her stories.
Some things never change.
*Shannon did eventually get Invisalign to fix her snaggle-tooth appearance.