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Sheila Coates



The culmination of two decades of experience as a marketing executive specializing in artist development, branding and imaging resulted in Sheila founding and leading her company Be Your Own Brand (BYOB). Sheila understands the importance of creating and maintaining a consistent visual presentation that is authentic and generates a sense of confidence and character in order to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. She has the background and expertise to help people to “be their own brand” by combining the power of words and images to develop customized and memorable branding statements.

During her tenure in the music industry, Sheila worked with some of the most recognizable names in the business. She inspired, cultivated, and provided guidance to many artists who went on to achieve platinum-selling status. Her client list reads like a “Who’s Who” in popular music —Mary J. Blige, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Toni Braxton, Lenny Kravitz, Barry White, Jill Scott, Babyface, Monica, Faith Evans, Kindred, The Family Soul, Angie Stone, Q-Tip, Lalah Hathaway, Ann Nesby, and NEXT, among many others. She created images for celebrities who were participating in events and programs as varied as the GRAMMY Awards, American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, BET Awards, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Oprah, The Tonight Show and Late Night With David Letterman. She also helped develop images for more than 100 videos, television programs, and red-carpet events.

Sheila held senior executive positions with Sony/BMG, Arista Records, EMI/Capitol, Virgin Records, MCA Records, Perspective Records and Hidden Beach Recordings, where she managed budgets exceeding $50 million and developed successful cross-promotional initiatives such as the soundtrack for the Academy Award-winning film “Training Day.” She also has managed promotions, media relations, artist development and imaging.

Through BYOB, Sheila has consulted with executives in Fortune 500 companies, media organizations, and entertainment and lifestyle industries, including Fox Films, Beaman, Inc. and Fortune Financial-Hedge Funds. She also has provided her services to non-profit organizations, women’s and youth groups such as the Coalition for At-Risk Youth.

Sheila is a columnist for Black Noir magazine and the national women’s site Chat, Chew and Chocolate. Her first book, Mama Used to Say: Be Your Own Brand, was picked up by Macys to celebrate Black History Month. She has a growing reputation as speaker and presenter. A former resident of Oakland, California and New York City, she currently lives in Los Angeles, California.