2017 Culture Shapers: The Businesswoman, Christen Bohanon

By Leigh Harper, October 5, 2017

Christen Bohanon works in Nashville, Tennessee. As a 2017 Culture Shaper, Bohanon discusses her passion for the events industry.

Though she describes herself as spontaneous and fun, Christen Bohanon also knows how to get down to business. In fact, she runs her own.

Bohanon launched Anazao Creative Co. in 2015. Her services range from event design and brand consulting to product launches. Q Ideas, Christy Nockels, Annie F. Downs and Chick-fil-A are just a few of the clients she’s served since venturing into business independently.

Her professional background gave her the business experience she needed to become self-employed. Her career began at Chick-fil-A’s marketing department in roles that involved recruiting and providing marketing consulting to new store owner-operators, plus running the company’s internship program.

Bohanon’s next professional chapter was working for Passion Conferences, Passion City Church and sixstepsrecords. Working closely with the record label, she was tasked with managing the resources department, where she restructured staffing, put new systems and a business plan in place and created a path for future growth.

“The overarching thing I did there was put systems and processes in place to create a sustainable business,” she says of her tenure at Passion.

In addition, Bohanon was a part of the team that planned and executed Passion Conferences for thousands of college students, as well as smaller internal and external gatherings regularly.

Later, she transitioned into the role of director of experience for Passion City Church, which meant being responsible for anything that involved a guest, from managing the look of the campus to overseeing all volunteer activities.

Eventually, Bohanon’s yearning for adventure reared its head, and she decided to make a move. She left Atlanta for Nashville, a city she loved from afar, and used the business skills she’d developed to launch Anazao.

“I realized it was now or never,” she says. “I had enough experience to offer something to people, yet I was young enough to take the risk.”

Bohanon says establishing Anazao (translated from Greek as to revive or live again) has been self-fulfilling, as she’s experienced a personal rebirth that’s changed every aspect of her life. Working for herself has allowed her to set her own priorities, both professionally and personally, which she says has improved her quality of life drastically.

“I get to say yes to [projects] I love and am passionate about, and I get to say no to things that don’t align,” she explains. This has played out in the work she’s done, as well as in her daily habits. Bohanon says she’s committed to waking up early, hitting the gym most mornings, eating mindfully and being present with her family.

“The best thing [about starting Anazao] has been spending every day doing work I love. When work is fun, it doesn’t feel like work.”

Christen Speaks:

Who’s your dream client?
Bouqs, a oral company

What separates a good event from a great one?
Attention to detail and consistent branding—carrying the same look through every element, from the stage design to the follow-up emails

Name the most challenging aspect of running your own company.
There’s no one else to manage all the details. There’s no IT person I can call when my computer slows down and no accounts payable who can pay bills for me.

What books changed your life?
“The 7 Habits of Highly E ective People,” “Time, Talent, Energy,” and a few Johnny Cash biographies

What inspires your work?
Retail—I’ll wander through Target and look at the latest home-good lines or check out window displays at the mall.

How do you refuel?
I love hiking, riding horses and being outside.

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