1Please give us a brief bio of yourself, your company, job profile, etc.
My team and I have taken Advantages from a local printing business in NYC to a multi-million dollar powerhouse branding and marketing agency with national clients from the service, retail, manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors. By telling authentic stories through purposeful marketing, we teach brands how to leverage their organizational assets and amplify their reach.
I am now dedicated to sharing the lessons and tools— developed over a decade— to discovering your WHY and using it to propel personal and business success. By firmly rooting branding in purpose, we help shape brands that emotionally connect. I’m passionate about sharing what I’ve learned to inspire others to explore their core values, their mission, vision and the personal “WHY” that will propel them to excel every day.
2Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2019 Muse Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
We entered 2 websites that our team created this past year that we are exceptionally proud of.
The French American Chamber of Commerce website is not only beautiful as it is easy to navigate, it speaks to the FACC values and how they impact/connect with their community. The website design was a catalyst to rebranding their entire image—print collateral, digital media, everything—using a mosaic design that symbolized their connection through community.
The other website, Sports Systems, was actually a significant challenge for everyone involved. Taking an outdated website of an innovative technology company and creating something that accurately portrayed their modern approach to events took a lot of planning, trial-and-error, and experimentation. In the end, an immersive, educational, and simply stunning website was born from the chaos in a way that was purposeful and clear. It was something that Sports Systems was extremely proud to call their own, and Advantages was equally proud to have delivered.
3What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
Marketing is a stable creative outlet that’s collaborative in nature and brings purpose into people’s lives.
The industry offers artists an opportunity to fulfill their Why to create, within the context of a stable career, and brings leaders to harness that creativity in a purposeful way.
Creating a brand or an ad campaign is not an individual endeavor, but a collaborative effort, that team members have the distinct pleasure of working together on, and leaders have the rewarding challenge of spearheading.
Now, those projects are not just showcasing brands. What I enjoy most about the industry is what the industry has become all about - helping leaders and groups to uncover their Why and share it with the world. Bringing purpose to others is an effective way to get them noticed, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to take part in. Marketing is a unique lucrative purposeful and creative industry.
4Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
The question for leaders going forward is - Can you live the values you preach? Over the last 10-15 years, the industry has seen a trend moving towards purposeful marketing and values based businesses, but this movement should not be confused with progress. While the world has realized that sharing a meaningful purpose and core values are the key to attracting the right clients and employees, over the next 10-15 years we will see these discussions coming into fruition.
It’s not enough to uncover and articulate who you are, you have to live by your Why. Industry leaders have seen the need for purpose, and now they must put their purpose into practice. For many organizations there is a disconnect between what they do or who they hire, and the vision they share. I believe in the next few years, we will see this gap close.
To maintain an authentic image, core values should and will be used more and more as a guiding filter to make decisions for companies from hiring to mergers. We have only just begun to see companies align with the authentic purposes they market.
5If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring Muse Award submitter, what advice would you give them?
Identify your personal core values or personal guiding principles that drive you to do what you do. Learn how to articulate and communicate those fundamentals and then shape conversations, leading with your beliefs rather than your skills. Remember that why you do what you do resonates with people more than what you do.
Be honest about what motivates you and in everything you do, keep your those beliefs in mind. If you can share what you genuinely stand for and your authentic motivations, you’ll captivate people’s attention and succeed.
6What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
You‘re your own greatest resource. If you can properly describe your motivations for creativity, and stay true to your reasons, you‘ll succeed in the creative industry and whatever industry you set out to. When you create with purpose, you put your all into it, improve your own skills, and keep on creating.
Your Why will align you with like-minded people in the industry and get you noticed, as when your work is meaningful, you care about it and others will too. Those core beliefs that draw you to the creative world are your greatest assets to success in it.
7Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My father has always been a great inspiration to me. He taught me some of the most important lessons for success. Where there is a will, there is a way. No vision is insurmountable. I am my own best investment. The wisdom he’d often impart to me was important to him and relevant to everyone. Now, those words echo in everything I do. My father’s unbending belief that any goal could be achieved inspired me to turn local printing business to a multi-million dollar powerhouse branding and marketing agency. I live by his advice and it serves me well.
8What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
A key to my success was aligning myself, my company, and the people around me on my mission of telling authentic stories through purposeful marketing. It’s important that beyond your own reasons, you identify the intentions of others, and align yourself with those whose beliefs you share. Stay true to your Why and do meaningful work with those who believe in the same vision you do. When you work with ideal people, whose goals align with your own, you can accomplish anything together.