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Community Highlights: Meet Holly Wachman of Holly E. Creative

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holly Wachman. 

Hi Holly, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In regard to my career story, I graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communications with a focus on advertising from the University of South Florida. Throughout my time in school and prior to college I dreamed of being a ” successful businesswoman.” I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant, but I was highly motivated to figure it out. 

Like others, I changed my major many times and Advertising seemed to be the best fit after trying out many introductory courses like Architecture, Anthropology, Geology, and Public Relations. I was definitely a creative but loved structure and organization. I like having boundaries to work off of, but creative freedom within those parameters. 

During my junior and senior year of college, I held marketing internships with local ad agencies and USF Athletics. I also worked full-time at a restaurant, Stone Wood Grill and Tavern. I started working there when I was 16. 

I met my first employer at Stonewood almost right after I graduated from USF in 2015. I began working for a major art-house, CHC Art and Charles Harold Company, that sold wholesale original art and reproductions to the trade (interior designers, architects, and showrooms). I was so grateful for such an opportunity and I felt very lucky to have found work so quickly right after school. I learned a lot with the art companies and it was the perfect industry to be in based on all of my passions. I grew up collecting and reading interior design magazines, so this was really a dream come true. 

I stayed with CHC for three years but craved more in regards to my professional development. I needed to know what else was out there and experience a large corporate company to see how I could grow. I did exactly just that. I left CHC and took a Marketing Strategist position at a higher education company. I stayed there also for three years and left as a Brand Manager. It turns out, I wanted to be a successful businesswoman, but I wasn’t 100% in love with the corporate atmosphere. I missed the design industry and missed my independence. 

Here’s a curveball for you, I went back to CHC Art and Charles Harold Co. after leaving the higher education company during COVID. I started back with the art companies in June of 2020, but my stay as a full-time employee did not last long. I realized very quickly that I was destined to start my own business. This was always a large goal of mine, but I assumed I wouldn’t do something like this until later in my career. 

That leads me to where I am now – I established Holly E. Creative officially on June 4, 2021. Holly E. Creative helps with marketing consulting, branding, communications, and advertising for businesses of any size. I can manage your social media, run email campaigns, build your website or coach you on marketing basics. 

It hasn’t been long, but this venture definitely feels right. I am so grateful for my clients who range from the design industry to dentistry. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would say it has been a relatively smooth road. I think the struggles I had were more internal and related to my own self-growth. I have been lucky in that I had three clients right off the bat when I started my business. The art companies and an interior design firm still wanted to work with me even though I wouldn’t be a full-time employee anymore. I know it is not that easy for people who begin freelancing or start their own business right away. 

What played a major role in my decision to start my own business was working on my emotional, mental and physical well-being. I started seeing a therapist and focused on taking care of myself so that I could be the best for my clients and those around me. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without dedicating a lot of time to “finding myself.” 

I think another struggle or hurdle before starting this journey was the uncertainty and having to create stability myself. When you work full-time for someone you have steady paychecks, insurance, benefits, time-off, etc. Now, I am responsible for creating structure and boundaries for myself and my clients. 

I still find ways to make time for taking care of myself, because ultimately it gives me the most energy to perform for work and those around me. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Holly E. Creative?
Holly E. Creative offers marketing and branding consulting for businesses that are looking to level up their digital and/or physical presence. This includes social media management, website design, email marketing, content development, and brand identity. I include “physical presence,” because I still love to work with print and am happy to help brand’s showcase their visual identity both online and in their brick-and-mortar location. 

I provide these fundamental marketing and branding services that are tailored to the company, so they can run their business and breathe a little easier knowing this is being taken care of. Really, the goal is for us to collaborate and strategize together to figure out exactly what is right for the business, so I can take this burden off of their plate. 

Right now, I would say I specialize in social media management and I am most known for this. Based on my client’s markets this is a great tool for them. I also offer coaching services where I strictly give them the tools to succeed and teach them best practices. 

I am most proud of my wholistic and authentic approach to my services. I really want my client’s brand to shine with their own personality and not get too caught up in the trends or what competition may be doing. I think this is what sets me apart as well. I always like to steer my clients away from relying on one platform for their marketing/branding. 

I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s never good to put all your eggs in one basket. It’s important to own a website and find more than one source of traffic. 

My values are balance, authenticity, and teamwork. I can’t do my job without my client’s business and vice versa. This is a partnership and a working relationship, so it’s important to communicate and learn your “rhythm” with each client. My ultimate goal is always to provide a well-rounded strategy for my client and their business. I also want to do what’s best for their business’ current needs, so I like to base the marketing on their actual business objectives and goals or their current “state.” 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
In 5-10 years, I’d like Holly E. Creative to grow too more than just myself. I do currently work with a content designer who I absolutely love. I am so grateful I can do that this early on. I am able to provide a higher quality to my clients and use my time more wisely by doing this. 

I truly believe one person can’t do it all if you’re going to have a big book of businesses. Also, we all have that one thing we do best at and I love being able to outsource work that I know would by someone who specializes in that. I think that’s what I am trying to figure out is if I’ll stay more “boutique” or grow into a large firm. 

Based on my experience with corporate and smaller businesses, I think I’d like to be somewhere in the middle. Keep my team relatively small to medium-sized and provide exceptionally high-quality results for our clients. 

Also, I would love to offer more brick-and-mortar services. If they need help with their brand’s physical appearance for their customers that would definitely knock my socks off to be able to assist there. For example, the decor of their location, the print materials they use, and any collateral or visible branding. I’d love to get more involved in all aspects of the customer journey. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Alicia Michael Photography

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