In Conversation with Laurel Mintz of Elevate My Brand

Laurel Mintz_Blog Header

Describe your business in a few words?

Elevate My Brand (EMB) is a Digital Marketing and Live Events Agency located in Los Angeles, CA. Here at EMB, we exercise a unique offline and online marketing methodology that provides innovative, creative solutions for new, emerging brands and well-established companies. We specialize in helping both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) clients gain the attention and exposure they deserve within their niche markets, regardless of their size or stage of operational growth.  

Since our founding in 2009, hundreds of clients have taken advantage of our approach to developing and executing perfectly tailored strategic marketing initiatives to elevate their brands. From rebranding to product launching, from online marketing to developing a social media presence with your brand, EMB’s solutions open new markets, expanding your consumer base and increasing your visibility and profitability.

What made you take the leap to start your own business?

Believe it or not, entrepreneurship was never part of the plan for me. I fell into entrepreneurship when I had to run our family business right out of school. My father had become ill and I had to make sure that our family could survive. I was 26 and had a team of 60 and ran two 20,000-square-foot custom retail shops. When my dad recovered and I was able to step away, I was asked to consult for other retailers I had developed relationships with in the time I ran the showrooms. In 2007, I partnered up with a friend in San Francisco who ran a venture fund and we worked to put together projects for our clients and get them off the ground. It was really exciting.

A few years later, I was asked to be a founding member of the Los Angeles Consulting Group (LACG). That was a great partnership, but the firm was focused on financial services, so I exited and started Elevate My Brand. At that point, I realized what I was good at and, more importantly, what I wanted to do and for what kind of clientele. And I never looked back.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

Before starting my marketing agency about 12 years ago, I was a corporate M&A attorney working out of a firm in San Francisco. I know that’s a big jump from being in law to being in marketing, but I did have my J.D. / M.B.A., so I had both sides of the coin.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

Nope! If you had asked me in college where I saw myself in 10 years, my answer would have been as a partner at a law firm. 

Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?

I’m a natural born salesperson so our strategy was all about networking and creating a name for myself and the agency. It takes a lot of time to first create visibility which eventually converts into profitability. It’s a lot of the same work we do for our clients. We really walk our own talk. Of course now it’s not just me and there are a lot of other channels, but we do for ourselves the same we do for our clients because our strategies work!

We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?

Surprisingly even though I’m an attorney I’ve had a few contract missteps. Early on I had a client poach one of my team members and I realized I didn’t have a non-solicitation clause in my contract. I felt pretty dumb about that but I fixed it and haven’t had the issue since. Mistakes are just opportunities for growth. They only continue to be mistakes if you repeat the bad behavior. 

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

Finding and cultivating unique talent and giving back to our community through our pro-bono and board support. The awards are nice but it’s really about my team and bettering my community at large.

When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?

I ask 2 really weird questions:

  • What’s your favorite word and why – this gives me insight into a person’s headspace and likes/dislikes.
  • How many elephants are there in the world – this allows me to see if someone is thoughtful and process oriented which is critical for the type of creative problem solving we need at the agency.

How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well 20% of our business was experiential so that went away instantly, but we’ve found other opportunities like building out stronger content, offering digital events, etc. that have kept us moving forward. We also closed down our offices which, while being a blow to my ego, was the right thing to do for our team’s health and wellness and ultimately for our bottom line. 

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

World domination of course! In all seriousness though, we had a rough year as did a lot of companies, so we’re looking to build back up, hire a more diverse and creative team and launch a few new products for the agency alongside our service model. Stay tuned!

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?

That there is beauty in the unknown. That you grow the most from the things that scare you. That we are more resilient than we could have ever imagined possible. 

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?

That everyone is faking it so I didn’t need to feel less than or intimidated by anyone. I still tell that to my mentees every chance I get.

How have you managed to stay grounded this year?

Lots and lots of martinis.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

You’re never going to be perfectly balanced, so let that shit go. Know that every day is different and sometimes the hardest part is just getting up and putting one foot in front of the other and that’s ok. Being human shouldn’t be a negative, it’s something you should lean into and honor. 

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

Even though my last name is Mintz I HATE mint. Really mint, cilantro, dill, parsley. I guess I have that issue where it all tastes like soap to me. Bummer that it’s in my name and I have such an aversion to it, but hey, life is ironic like that sometimes.

What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?

  • Create a to do checklist in your phone and get the hardest thing done first.
  • Multi-task simple things like take a call while getting your steps in.
  • Delegate when possible. You have a team for a reason, use them so you can focus on your best and highest use of your energies.

What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?

It’s being empowered as a woman, a leader and an entrepreneur. I love the combination of all those things into one word. As a marketeer it’s all about the branding and this is a good one!

Share it!

Posted in
Tags

Leave a Comment





Ansley Pridgen of Ansley Media Co. on helping small businesses grow

Describe your business in a few words: After attending SMU and receiving an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting, I moved to New York City to begin a career in fashion. While in NYC, I learned about fashion production, design, life, and hard work. However, I couldn’t suppress my deep love and connection to the South. After…

Clinical Therapist Kendra Toothill on how to unlock your well-being transformation

Describe your business in a few words: Hey! I’m Kendra Toothill. I help women unlock their well-being transformation by using their physical scars. I have been a clinical therapist for nearly a decade, and I help women heal from their physical and emotional health challenges by using my groundbreaking system: Scars Reigniting Your Feminine. Did…

Michelle Carter-Love of sHe Eco Investments promotes a healthier and more sustainable home purchasing option

Describe your business in a few words: What motivates me to have chosen a field dominated by men to pursue is to take part in lowering gas emissions and decreasing waste that has led to the acceleration of our climate crises in the construction industry. By profession, I am a financial coach for over 7…

Ariela Gorodzinsky of ZIBARI on founding a premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world

Describe your business in a few words: I grew up in Mexico City. Four years ago, I moved to New York to study for my masters in Food Studies at NYU.  Two years ago, I moved to Miami and founded ZIBARI. A premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world, offering a diverse…

Vanessa Ungvarsky of Taylor Made on creating her unique custom nail polish kits

Describe your business in a few words: Taylor Made Polish brings elevated experiences to savvy clean beauty enthusiasts with our patent-pending Custom Nail Polish kits and 15 Minute Organic Manicure sets.   Anchored in historic downtown Easton, Taylor Made sits at the intersection of scrappy and stylish. We are deeply connected to our community and if…

Kristen and Lindsey Archer of ARCHd on empowering women through handmade home decor

Describe your business in a few words: Sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer create handmade home decor with their original female empowerment illustrations, skyline designs, and landscape photography. From “build your own” wood bookend sets to large wall art, each piece features bold colors and is uniquely made. ARCHd gives back a percentage of each online…

Felena Hanson of Hera Hub on collaborating with like-minded business owners

Describe your business in a few words: Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven.  Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provide a productive environment for growing businesses.  Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to…

Joy Williams & Jane Molina of Ninni Co. on being moms’ “breast” friend

Describe your business in a few words: We are Joy Williams + Jane Molina. Sisters, best friends, and co-serial entrepreneurs. We launched the Ninni Co. brand on March 1, 2021, and sell direct-to-consumer from our website. Our featured product and what we’re known for is our breastlike pacifier. It’s a technology we patented and worked…

Business Coach Mary Massey on gaining clarity and achieving success

Describe your business in a few words: My journey to becoming a life coach began over 13 years ago when I became depressed after my father’s passing. Having lost my mom at a young age, I learned to grow up fast but never had the tools I needed to help me overcome loss and other…

Candace Noel of Flora Noel on setting the tone of any event with florals that convey desired moods

Describe your business in a few words: Hi! I’m Candace Noel, Founder and Owner of Flora Noel, a floral and event design studio based in Houston, Texas that specializes in personalizing experiences for special events and private spaces. We design floral arrangements that convey the desired mood of each event through color, shape, texture, and…

Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare on streamlining the nanny-parent relationship

Describe your business in a few words: I am Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare, a mom, nurse, and researcher.  Through using my academic lens and personal experiences in working with nannies, I have streamlined the nanny-parent search, hire, and onboarding process by creating a time-efficient online course both parents and nannies take together. …

Dental Entrepreneur Melissa Turner on making dentistry a better experience for patients and providers

Describe Your Business in a few words: I am Melissa Turner, a dental entrepreneur. I am a dental hygienist who has launched several businesses. I am an influencer and speaker to make dentistry a better experience for dental patients and dental providers. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’ve been in dentistry…

Product Management Consultant Christina Kelley Weiss on empowering business development

Describe Your business in a few words: I’m a product management consultant & interim product executive for startups with ten years of experience in product management, software development, and digital health. I work with early- and mid-stage startups to help them grow & optimize their strategy, product team, and development processes. What was your background…

Kaitlin Nares of Hagen | Nares PLLC on helping families affected by serious injuries get relief

Describe your business in a few words: I am a Coloradoan. I am a mother to a beautiful and funny 6-month-old redheaded son named Brody. I am also a dog mom to two rescue pups named Boston and Bella. I am married to an entrepreneur, and he encouraged me to launch my law firm. Hagen |…

Michelle Dear of Tandem on empowering couples’ financial lives together

Describe your business in a few words: Hi Entreprenistas! I’m Michelle, the Co-Founder of Tandem, the easiest way for couples to share expenses. Tandem is an iOS app that eliminates the back-and-forth of Venmo without the need to get a joint account. Our mission is to empower couples’ financial lives together. What was your background prior…