Content creation and social media marketing is a huge part of what I get to do for myself, and in turn, I’ve been able to leverage these skills to consult, strategize, and create innovative content and a voice for other brands.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
As a creative, I consider all of my life experiences, challenges and interests as important as my education, training and assorted jobs. They’ve all contributed to who I am and have made what I do especially unique.
I studied theater at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, continued training in London at the Royal National Theatre, and then made the move to New York City, where, as a young actress, I became more acquainted with the restaurant and bar industry than anything else at the time! But it was on the floors of chaotic midtown bistros and bars where my wine and spirits education first took root. Even after I decided to put my creative pursuits aside in favor of a corporate gig, I continued my wine and spirits studies formally through the international Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).
That corporate day job, however, exposed me to an entirely new world that would prove extremely beneficial to my future pursuits - high level magazine marketing. During my decade-long stint at Time Inc. in the Consumer Marketing Department, primarily working on People Magazine, I was privy to some of the most innovative marketing campaigns in publishing. I had access to some of the top trend forecasters and consulting agencies in the world. And I witnessed, firsthand, the shift from print to digital storytelling and the power of social media. It was also during this time that I was able to establish the side hustle that would eventually be my primary focus. I finished the Advanced Level in Wine and Spirits at the WSET, and on the heels of the cocktail and small batch spirits revival, I worked with local distilleries and boutique liquor stores to produce cocktail events around Manhattan and Brooklyn. In 2013 I created a blog devoted to cocktails, spirits and drinking culture called Bit by a Fox. Just under a year after launching, Bit by a Fox won Saveur Magazine Readers’ Choice Best Cocktail Blog. This award instantly created a level of legitimacy for what I’d been so passionate about while also making the blog a powerful platform from which I could work from. After nearly three years of working what seemed like three jobs at once, I made the decision to move my side hustle to center stage.
It was only just a year ago that I left my corporate job, packed up my New York City life, moved my HQs to Los Angeles, and set my sights on projects in and around the food & drink, travel, lifestyle and entertainment space - with an emphasis on the modern craft cocktail movement. These past few years I’ve worked with a variety of top level brands on everything from social media strategy, brand marketing, campaign concepts, content creation, brand partnerships and curated cocktail event production.
As a by-product of my work with the blog, I’ve hosted on-going cocktail segments with Al Roker’s production company, judged international cocktail competitions, and have had the chance to meet with, interview and work alongside some of the top bartenders, master distillers and tastemakers in the industry.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Creative people tend to be perfectionists. To the point that it can be sabotaging. For instance, one of the hardest things to do when you have very high standards is keeping focused when things don’t go according to plan. That can be a challenge for a lot of people. What I’ve learned from producing theater and film, styling photo shoots and planning events is that rarely does the plan play out exactly as expected. There will always be a multitude of moving parts that each have the potential to throw you off. Nearly every project I’ve ever taken on, I’ve had to adjust and pivot and adapt...but in the end, when things don’t align as expected, there’s always a possibility of discovering something beautiful from that adjustment. It may not be exactly as you pictured going in, but it could become something even better. Preparation, an ability to roll-with-it, and the confidence to push through those fears of failure are necessary for this kind of discovery and, ultimately, success.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Besides constantly creating content and editing for the Bit by a Fox blog, I'm working on a multitude of projects that I'm excited about. I have an on-going copywriting gig with a small batch distillery in Upstate New York, I'm creating conceptual cocktails & mocktails for a large scale “influencer” event in Beverly Hills next month, I'm prepping for a cocktail class intensive next month as a partnership with a wedding magazine, I'm currently developing a podcast around cocktail culture that is launching later this summer, and I'm writing a cocktail entertaining book - 2018 publishing date, Oxmoor House.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I could devote my time to doing more video, hosting and on-camera work.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
It’s frustrating to me that there are still so many brands that don’t understand the value of social media and quality content or know how powerful digital marketing can be. Convincing brands to allocate a decent budget for this is still very much a challenge. And they tend to justify hiring young and inexperienced people for social media roles, thinking that in order to reach that magical unicorn millennial demographic, they will be able to “speak their language". But you get what you pay for, which is often not very much. The resulting content risks being derivative, inorganic and inauthentic - the opposite of what consumers connect to.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I’d love to pass over the reigns of much of what I do for the Bit by a Fox blog (Check emails, social posts, arrange for shipping products, attend and report on events, photo shoots, editing….), so I can focus on other projects.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I like the path that I’ve taken so far….but I spent a lot of time worrying that I wasn’t in the right place in my life to varying degrees throughout my adult life. I wish I could go back and tell myself not to worry, you are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this point in your life. It’ll come together eventually! It’s all been of great value to me.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
How to make a bunch of money doing the things that bring me joy!
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’m looking for freelance to full-time positions in: Content Creation, Social Media Marketing, and Creative Strategy for a variety of brands in the food & drink, travel, lifestyle and entertainment space.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
I love a wholistic approach to projects - meaning soup to nuts. From conceptualizing a brand identity, voice and aesthetics, creating a marketing plan with an emphasis on social content, guerilla marketing, events and activations, growing an audience through influencer, consumer & media awareness, ultimately leaving the brand 1000% better off than how I found it.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
$40-50/hr depending on the project. Monthly retainer: $3500-5000 depending on the demands of the project. Salary is comparable.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Email me! Tell me about the scope of the job/project, what you are looking for and how I might be a good fit. A budget upfront would also be great!
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Connecting with inspiring people doing creative things. That’s what drives me.
This member profile was originally published in June 2017.