Tag Archives: start up

05 Jun 2018

Member Spotlight: Erin Fredregill

ERIN FREDREGILL IS SEARCHING FOR AN INTERN*

*But she knows how to keep it subtle

Jenna Tico
6.4.2018

“I like that there are four letters: E-R-I-N, F-R-E-D.”

I’m sitting across from Erin Fredregill, previously known as Erin Min; additionally known as Erin Fred; and increasingly known as a powerhouse of marketing and content creation for a host of digital clients, some of whom might even appreciate her attention to symmetry as much as I do. Though it’s unlikely. “I like it too,” I tell her. “It’s almost like a mirror image.”

“Yeah, some people think my [full] name is hard to pronounce. And I’m like—it’s pronounced exactly like it looks! FRED-RE-GILL,” she giggles. “But I like Erin Fred.” In this, I’m suddenly aware that Erin’s attention to detail—and keen ear for a catchy title—are only a fraction of what make her a sought-after copywriter, digital marketer, and social media manager. It’s her sense of humor, the personality that shines through everything from event coverage to Instagram, that makes her stand out. In a line of work where the focus must remain on the client, Erin manages to find a delicate balance: inserting her voice whilst remaining subtle enough to let the creation speak for itself. Invisible, but integral. Trusting her voice as the vehicle for products that matter. “Clients reach out to me because they like my writing style, and they like the personality that comes through my content,” she shares. “It’s informative and professional… but still kind of fun, too.” Not to mention, fashionable. Five minutes with Erin is enough to know that writing isn’t her only source of stylishness—nor of fun. And with one year of business behind her, the fun is just beginning.

Speaking of fashion: Erin’s first foray into the world of art, an area initially deemed unacceptable by her family, was through makeup and clothes. “I’ve always wanted to do something creative,” she shares, “But my parents tried to limit that. Fashion and makeup was the closest, most accessible form of artistic expression for me.” A self-described “trailblazer” for her younger sibling, Erin reckoned with the “hopes and dreams” that her parents layered upon her, and used them to carve the path that would ultimately lay the groundwork for a successful professional—AND creative—career. Laid with a smattering of mixed attempts at eyeshadow (“I experimented with a lot of crazy makeup in high school,” she laughs. “I regret that now”); several sketchbooks gifted by well-meaning friends, and even one sewing machine, which her parents pushed her to return; the trail she blazed has been anything but boring.

Through it all, Erin’s commitment to maintaining a sense of humor—coupled with strong support from her friends, God, and husband—have given her a leading edge in creating scenarios where new clients feel at ease in communicating their stories. At their first consultation, which she always offers free-of-charge, Erin lets the client take the lead in expressing their digital marketing dreams; listening, of course, not only for WHAT they are saying, but how they are saying it. “The first meeting is me absorbing everything like a sponge,” she laughs. “[Asking] a few questions to figure out what someone wants their brand to be…which typically has a direct correlation with what they see, enjoy, and want,” which then equals her ability to translate those preferences into a tone when promoting their product.

With one client, for example—an eco-friendly line bent on empowering consumers to make conscious choices—Erin knows the products are “not as much about the way you look, but the way you feel.” An awareness, surely, that has come first through her own willingness to read between the lines; to sense what the client wants to say by the way they want to feel.

It helps, of course, that Erin is able to speak four languages: five, if you count translating the wide world of social media marketing. In navigating the first year of business ownership, Erin credits a newfound relationship with counseling—identifying what “triggers and motivates” her—with being able to assist clients in doing the same; not to mention, scaling her business to the point where she is almost ready to hire. For her array of clients—representing fashion, architecture, real estate, and more—Erin is dedicated to “creating conversation, and being part of the conversation”: using digital marketing, as well as her personal blog, as a means for making the social media sphere as authentic as it is effective. “People want to connect,” she says. “They want to feel like they are part of something bigger… and brands being more accessible on social media is a way of doing that.”

When she’s not working on projects for clients, or contributing to her list of potential blog topics (“It just keeps growing!”), Erin can be found taking photos or spending time with friends; as a major extrovert, she credits the Impact Hub’s coworking environment with helping feed her need for socialization. “There are people I have fun with, and then people who are mentor figures… who I can talk to after I’ve had a meeting, and they give me their advice. I went from having no friends to having too many friends,” she laughs. And if her dream of opening an authentic, modernized Korean restaurant in Santa Barbara ever pans out… well. She’s likely to have a few too many more.

When I ask her what her favorite Korean dish is, she looks as though I’ve asked her to list the state capitals, backwards, in some elusive sixth language. “DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE,” she begs, before opening her laptop to seek the correct translation for her perfect Korean dish. It’s a true testament to Erin’s perfectionism, a necessary and much-appreciated element of her work as a copywriter, that she is still searching for the translation a full five minutes later—and when she can’t find it, emails it to me later that night. Perfectionism and follow through. I don’t have an eco-friendly fashion line, but if I did, I know who I’d go to.

One year into her business, Erin has already come a long way in understanding what makes successful entrepreneurship. “I have learned more than ever that it is all about self-awareness,” she shares. “But I think everyone knows that.” I tell her that, in fact, most people don’t. One doesn’t need to look far into the barrage of careless media marketing out there to know that Erin’s is a true gift. “Ok, maybe not,” she grins, before going back to her search for the perfect recipe. This commitment to thoroughness comes through in everything from her photography to her blogs, which she encourages people to sign up for via email alert: something her soon-to-be intern might help to create. “I have too much I’m doing!” she fake-moans.

However, if Erin’s style of digital marketing is any indication, we will hardly know the search is happening: we will only observe, baffled, the way her subtle call for employment has snuck its way into our psyche. Which is all part of the dance of digital marketing. “There is so much noise online,” she explains. “So many people on their soapbox…it’s about figuring out how each client, in their own respective industries, can manage to stand out. Be relevant, engaging. Not just being sales-y, because no one wants that—that’s not what social media is for.

“It’s like if someone at Impact Hub came around with a press kit and details to buy a car,” she goes on. “Like, ‘hey—we’re selling this right now, it’s a huge deal.’ That’s no way to start a conversation with someone you’ve just met!”

I feign shock. It’s not? We both laugh. “I’m trying not to add fluff—[I’m trying] to add value. There are constantly new ways of connecting, and promoting without seeming like you’re promoting.”

Wise words from a wise woman, who brings joy, humor, and true insight to each project she takes on… and to each day that she spends as a member of the Hub.

Now let’s find her that intern.

 

Written by Jenna Tico

11 May 2017

Homegrown

 

Luscious rose petals caress one another in the display case, filling the room with a heady scent. The client’s anticipation is palpable as Rita Tate unveils several mood boards, each showing a possible design for the floor-to-ceiling floral showpiece she’s been commissioned to complete. It is time to make a decision.

As the client passionately debates the subtleties of ruby versus blood red roses, she glances up at the small chirp of Rita’s cell phone. Glancing down at the caller ID, Rita sees her daughter’s name flash across the screen and excuses herself. Her role as a mother takes precedence over any business transaction.

“Every time I say yes to one thing, I say no to something else.”

A love for the interplay of design, beauty, and nature is what initially attracted Rita to the floral design industry. With experience as a floral buyer for a high-end grocery chain and as an artist, she finds comfort and joy in using natural materials to make a space beautiful and inspiring.

Flame Floral Design Studio, Rita’s homegrown business, specializes in creative, eco-conscious events. The flowers she uses are seasonal, sustainably grown, and she recycles or reuses all packaging materials.

The process of owning and growing a business, even one she feels intense passion for, has not been easy. As a female business owner and mother of two beautiful daughters, she recognizes the very real struggles of ‘having it all’.

Rita, like millions of women worldwide, met the man of her dreams and found herself in the midst of a challenging situation: balancing the desire to both start a business and start a family.

As Rita said, “Life is scattered. It’s hard to be both a mom and a business owner. Often everything falls on the same night and you have to make a choice. You can’t be in two places at the same time. And at this point in life, my girls are my priority. Nothing comes before them, even if it may slow the growth of my business. These years are too precious to miss.”

Rita recognizes her privilege of having a husband who is working and can help support the family, but even with that blessing; she intrinsically understands just how much time and emotional energy a business can take. It’s no small task.

With societal pressure at an all-time high for women who want both a successful career and a family in the US, it is no surprise that increasing numbers of women are aiming to run their own businesses rather than work on someone else’s schedule. It seems to be one of the few ways to have both a healthy work and family life.

In Rita’s case, she’s made her decision to make her daughters her top priority. “Even if it takes more time to get to where I want to be in my business, my kids matter more.”

At Impact Hub we have a number of female entrepreneurs working to balance the home and work life. It’s not always easy, as we can see from many of our peers, but if we choose our priorities and allow ourselves, without guilt, to make decisions based on the welfare of our families we can go far in both business and life.

Flame Floral Design Studio

Written by Kathryn Arthur