I have always loved solving problems. As a child, I would work on puzzles for hours and create intricate worlds using just paper, tape and colored pencils. Creating and designing has been my focus ever since I can remember. That passion grew stronger during a summer spent in San Francisco where I visited a gallery hosting a graphic design exhibit. It was then and there that I decided I was going to make graphic design a career with aspirations to head my own agency someday.
Fast forward ten years and I found myself doing just that. After college graduation and working in the top advertising agencies and design studios in Buffalo, NY I headed back to California to pursue my dream. A few months after relocating to Southern California, I launched an advertising agency with my future husband. Growing the agency was so exciting and expanded to include film production, magazine publishing and a division servicing clients in the US, Mexico, Japan and Europe.
Fifteen years ago, family brought us back to Buffalo, NY. It was here that my current design agency, Secret Valley Media Labs LLC, was launched. While our offices are in Buffalo, we have many regional clients as well as those across the US and internationally. We have a strategic plan to open a second office in Phoenix, AZ, allowing us better access to our clients in the west.
Having the ability to dictate the shape and growth of my business is one of the most exciting aspects of being an entrepreneur. My team and I are powered by our love for the design process and how it helps our clients define and grow their businesses. Plus, my career path has allowed me to combine what I love – adventure, design, travel, and connecting with others from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Each project is a new adventure.
Joining NAWBO Buffalo Niagara has been a great decision. Collaborating with this fine network of inspiring, enthusiastic, and qualified women – here and nationally – has been a positive learning experience and a chance to connect with other women in business.
An avid painter, I’m in the process of creating a fine art business featuring my watercolor and mixed media art. My work is currently hanging in several companies and private homes and an ecommerce site will be live in January 2017. I’m looking forward to sharing my work.
I try to inspire and motivate others to be all they can be and to take care of themselves. Running (5K fun runs to half marathons) and yoga keep me motivated, in shape and hopefully, an inspiration to others young and old. I also love to travel. What I find most rewarding is to immerse myself in the culture of wherever I am to get a true experience of the place and people – which has led to some of my favorite memories.
Whether it be business or personal, making connections to people and being a catalyst for change keeps me going. Spending time with my family and two beloved golden doodles keeps me grounded.