I'm very pleased to present our bad-ass lady boss for May! Myrna Daramy. She is a technically savvy digital analyst who embodies the mind of a creative designer. With over twelve years of experience, her natural ability to clarify the blurred lines between technology application and spontaneous creativity is what makes her one of the most insightful digital marketing strategists today. Myrna is the co-founder and CEO of Mezzohead Media Corporation and has worked with well known luxury brands such as Mark Ingram Atelier, Say Yes To The Dress star Randy Fenoli, and bridal fashion designer Anne Barge, (not to mention our own personal SEO Guru at Double G Events!) where she is known as their not-so-secret SEO weapon.
That being said, I have to say that when I first found out I would get to interview her, I was pretty excited to pick her brain. Myrna not only excels in the creative world, but in the technical world as well, and as I have worked in digital marketing, social media and blogging for several years now, SEO and the "techie" side of the creative world has always been fascinating to me. Myrna did not disappoint! She was a delight to speak with, and her insight on how technology and the creative industries are now working together was extremely intriguing. AND she offers three SEO tips. Read the interview below:
DANI :: What degrees do you hold and why did you decide to pursue them?
MD :: I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and an MBA. I have always had a love affair with the field of architecture and I thought that it would be the coolest to walk into a building that I helped design. As for my MBA, I decided to obtain that degree with a focus in Technology Management because I saw that technology was the way of the future.
DANI :: How did you end up switching from your initial work as a senior project manager in construction to working in IT for the wedding industry?
MD :: I had always been a closet tech nerd and it didn’t help that my boyfriend at the time, now husband and Partner of Mezzohead Media was a web application developer. When we were getting married, I noticed the many holes that were untapped when it came to technology and the world of bridal. For our own wedding, we even created our own wedding website with a online custom RSVP system! I fell in love with the entire process and have been in the industry ever since. It was before Style Me Pretty, Wedding Wire and the wedding bloggers hit the scene.
DANI :: How do you like working for creative businesses rather than construction?
MD :: Although I did excel in the field of construction, I wasn't fulfilled. The architectural and construction industries were and still are male dominated fields and it seemed that it would be a long road ahead before I would the have the ability to do the things I actually enjoyed doing. Working for creative businesses allows me to still use my creative ability but in a very tactile, logical way.
DANI :: When did you decide to found Mezzohead and what was the inspiration behind this brand?
MD :: My husband and I founded Mezzohead Media in 2012. The inspiration came from the fact that both us are both technically minded and very creative which is very rare. This seemed to always give us an advantage when problem solving and creating solutions for our clients. So, we decided to run with that concept of being “middle brained” and created the brand.
DANI :: How many companies are you working with right now? Mezzohead, Newly Bride, Your Digital Stylists...there's so many, I lost track!
MD :: As a consulting company, I get the luxury of working with many great businesses and a variety of projects. We usually have between 8 - 12 projects in the pipeline as we continue to work with several companies across all genres in bridal, from bridal fashion designers to publications. Our newest internal project, NewlyBride is our baby and our love letter to the bridal industry.
NewlyBride is a new way for people in the wedding industry to collaborate - we've made it easy to search and find content, while giving everyone a chance to contribute in the form of a bridal tip. Whether you are a bride-to-be or a seasoned expert, the NewlyBride platform is a win for everyone.
DANI :: How do you find IT and the creative industry have worked together in the past, how they’re working together today and where do you see them coexisting in the future?
MD :: In the past, creatives were very reluctant to embrace technology. In fact, we were one the first companies to provide online an API (Application Program Interface) solution to bridal salons in the bridal industry where brides could complete an online appointment request form. Today, business owners have accepted that they need technology in order to survive and grow. As for the future, technology will be incorporated in every aspect of a creative business' workflow process. In order to cater to millennials and future generations who were born tech-savvy, it will be essential.
DANI :: What do you like most about working in the wedding industry? Is there a specific segment of the industry you prefer?
MD :: Although I love the wedding industry as a whole, I like most working behind the scenes with the fashion designers and the businesses that sell their collections because that is where we started. It’s still fascinating for me to be a part of one’s journey through the wedding planning process. It’s one of the most life changing rites of passages in a single person’s life and it just doesn’t get old.
DANI :: You do a lot of work in SEO. How did you decide you wanted to work specifically in SEO?
MD :: I actually fell into SEO by accident. Because we are primarily a software company that has worked on digital marketing strategies and website applications, we had a solid understanding of how search optimization works. Clients seemed to always ask me the same question - “How do I get more brides?” So it was just natural for us to implement optimization strategies.
DANI :: We hear about SEO constantly, but how important is it really?
MD :: I often tell my clients that an SEO plan is essential in order to attract the right customers and position their business to be in the right place so that prospective customers come at the right time. There is a famous quote - “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” This is the premise to SEO - prepare your online presence in the most optimizable way to successfully attract and convert your customers.
DANI :: If you could only give creative and small businesses three pieces of IT and SEO advice, what would it be?
DANI :: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
MD :: When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my kids and family. I also enjoy traveling. I will also admit that I am a fitness enthusiast and often sneak away to the gym whenever I can, as I taught group fitness classes for over 8 years.
DANI :: What do you see for yourself in the future?
MD :: This is a tough question, since I have so many different paths in my future along with so many loves. With the launch of NewlyBride, I know that is definitely going to spiral into a whirlwind of opportunities for us. I am already starting to take on more public speaking engagements and mentorship opportunities for young entrepreneurs in technology. But one thing I do know for sure, whatever my future self will be doing (more public speaking, philanthropy, coaching) it will be a better version of myself.
Well, I for one am glad that we have individuals like Myrna who are able to help the wedding industry be the best that it can be through optimization, operating systems and customer relationship management platforms. I mean, fascinating, amirite?! Who else loves the technological side to the creative industry? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks again, Myrna, for sharing your wisdom and personal and professional insights with all of us at Double G Events!