MARSHALL - Shay Birath credits playing high school and college sports with giving her the edge she needed to open her own business, Shay Designs & Marketing Solutions in Marshall.
"Sports, mainly volleyball, gave me the drive to be successful, stay organized and dream big," she said.
Shay Design & Marketing, which she operates out of her home, offers graphic design services, web design, social media marketing, management, business marketing plans, and more.
Marshall High School volleyball standout Shay Birath has started a new business in town, Shay Designs & Marketing Solutions, which aims to help businesses dive into social media.
"I team up with local small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them produce more sales, build cliental, and find new customers," she said. "I do this by taking their ideas and combining them with mine and giving them some creative solutions to build their business through marketing and graphic design."
Birath graduated from Marshall High School in 2009 and graduated in 2013 from South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D., with a bachelor of science degree in graphic design with minors in marketing and fine arts.
After graduating from college, Birath was happy working for a company in Brookings, but "I felt I was making other people's dreams come true instead of my own," she said.
Birath said she also knew she would end up back in Marshall so she decided to move back earlier, rather than wait.
By January of this year, she had a website and Facebook page set up and "slowly projects started coming in, mostly from word of mouth," she said. "Being born and raised here, I have a lot of connections in Marshall."
Birath also has clients out of town such as Western Iowa Dairy Alliance. She created a trifold brochure for them. Western Iowa Dairy Alliance is a client of a web developer that Birath knows who gave her the graphic design business.
"That was a great networking opportunity," she said.
She also does consulting work for Bonnie Mohr of Glencoe, who she calls a painter of "rural Americana and inspirational" art. Birath manages her social media and marketing.
"She has 7,000 friends on Facebook," Birath said.
Birath said social media "is huge - everyone needs a presence online. I can tell a company what site it should be on and manage it."
Birath is enthusiastic about her career.
"I take what I am passionate about, which is marketing and graphic design, and team up with businesses so that they have more time to do what they are passionate about," she said.