We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Cardwell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Crystal, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I would say by being brave. It is hard leaving a six-figure job to start your own business and then later run for Mayor. My children saw I can hustle daily but also keep them first. It’s not easy to find the inspiration to push yourself every single day, but that is what it takes. I do most of what I do to show my daughter to be strong but innovative. We grew up with little but my family found ways to be innovative lol. Starting pugnacious was important to me and my partner, Serene Fletcher. We were tired of being told no by the corporate world. We wanted to create opportunities for brands and businesses to grow while enjoying what they do. Honestly, we were tired of going to the same-ol-same boring galas and events.

Six months into owning my own company, I ran for Mayor of a quaint little town called Newark, TX. I love it and love what it represents…the working class. I like to call it Mayberry with big town spirit. I never wanted to be a Mayor and sure wasn’t a fan of politics but when God says walk, you walk. Running for Mayor and starting my own business was the most vulnerable thing I have ever done. It taught my family how to stand up and fight. I fight as a business owner, mom, and now Mayor. I fight for those who are a little more hesitant to speak up. Call it pugnacious of me.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I knew I wanted to be a business owner but didn’t know how much I would enjoy it. My company, pugnacious, is an experiential marketing agency that creates opportunities to elevate your brand and or product. Our strengths are marketing and media consulting and outlandish events. It wasn’t an easy decision starting pugnacious but we knew there was a huge need. Folks are too close to their own brand and need a different perspective that tends to be a little more outlandish. We can always pull back from outlandish but why? pugnacious was named that because we are defiant, warlike and aggressive but all for your brand. We are owned by three powerful women and now certified as a woman owned business. That is something we are super proud of.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If it’s a weeklong trip we will be doing the following. 1. Places to eat: Newark’s Local Craft BBQ (Best BBQ in Texas)
2. I would show them our office space at Backlot Studios in Fort Worth.
3. Take them to lunch at Courtside Kitchen or Blue Sushi.
4. Introduce them to other business professionals because I am big on networking and building relationships.
5. Have to show them the Stockyards. It’s a tradition.
6. For sure take them on the boat at Eagle Mountain on the weekend.
7. Check out to see if there is a play at Bass Hall.
8. See if they want to see the #1 zoo.
9. Any restaurants on the trinity river.
10. End it with grilling out at the house and throwing a little corn hole with the family.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Man that is a list I think about daily. Fist, God. I know what you are thinking but in my life, God kept me going. He didn’t allow my past dictate my future, no matter how hard it tried. Second, my husband Curtis. Curtis and I have 20 years together and have been through the ringer but we never gave up. We fight for each other and he is the best of me. The other few folks would be my mentors: Michael Fletcher, Neil Foster, Susan Nix (God rest her soul), Barbara Lamsens, and my business partner Serene Fletcher. They all helped me when I first moved to Texas in 2008. They took this Panama City country girl and taught me business. They taught me to slow down and think through every design and how those decisions would impact my life. Michael was my hard-nosed shoot it to me straight mentor. He still provides me mentorship after being the first one to hire me in 2008.

I am always saying that I’m probably not going to be the smartest person in the room but I promise I’m soaking in everything and finding ways to better it. My daddy taught me that. He’d say “Baby, when you come from nothing then you don’t miss not having it.” It keep me humble all of these years. Earn your salt.

Website: www.getpugnacious.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/getpugnacious/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystalcardwell/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/getpugnacious

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@pugnacious4474

Other: https://vimeo.com/772073725

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.