Today we’d like to introduce you to Erika Brechtel.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been doing branding for about 15 years, and I work mainly with small business owners and women in lifestyle, design, fashion, travel, food, and professional services. But I went to school for Art History (UCLA), then Interior Design (FIDM) and worked in that industry for a few years on projects for Disney, Warner Bros., and Lego before the internet boom when I got the itch and made the switch.
I taught myself to hard code HTML for my very first online portfolio to get a job as a junior designer, and from there, I was able to work my way up to an Art Director position with an international corporation. When that company was bought out, I moved to NYC in 2003 and like a lot of young, aspiring women, had big dreams of a big fancy job in the big city. Throughout my interviews however, I didn’t fall in love with any of the one-dimensional opportunities, and simultaneously, I was getting freelance work for more comprehensive, full-scale branding projects on my own. So, I decided to go with it. 15 years later, here I am.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In 2008-2009 with the recession, everything came to a halt. Everyone around us was losing their homes and/or their jobs. That was the scariest time for me especially because I was also pregnant with my daughter, and had her in March 2009. I think for a lot of us who went through that time period, we definitely don’t complain when our schedules are packed and our plates are full now! It taught many of us about hard choices and perseverance. To be a new mom with very few prospects on the horizon, I hustled to find new work.
And in 2010, I decided to start a blog to get my name out there, get some traffic to my site, gain new clients, and thankfully, get some great press pieces along the way. If the road had been smooth, I would not have pushed myself to look for new opportunities.
Please tell us about ErikaBrechtel.com, Mavens Media Group and Orange & Bergamot.
Beyond branding for small businesses and women for the past 15 years, last year I partnered with Kalika Yap (serial entrepreneur/inventor/rockstar) on a media company to empower women entrepreneurs, Mavens Media Group. We lead workshops and interview female founders, and soon, we’ll be coming out with a podcast and a book. Then more recently I joined Kalika as co-founder of Orange & Bergamot, where I get to bring my one-on-one skills to a larger market (which I am thrilled about!). Bringing our combined 3 decades of experience together, we have unlocked the key to bringing good branding to the masses, and are committed to being a one-stop, affordable and fast go-to solution for small business owners to build their digital presence, and grow their audience, revenues and companies.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I grew up on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, and have incredible memories of wandering in ironwood tree forests, running across the street to Pipeline after soccer practices, and riding horses to friends’ houses. Being from Hawaii, I feel very fortunate to have been raised on the spirit of Aloha, which are core beliefs we are taught and live daily, to be good people, have compassion, give back to our communities, and take care of the natural world around us. I still love it here in LA, and teach those values to my daughter every day.
- A branded website starting at $999
- Plus $99/month that includes hosting, content updates, backend security and maintenance, and support
- Address: 2525 Michigan Ave. Suite J2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
- Website: orangeandbergamot.com
- Phone: 888-282-3996
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Other: http://erikabrechtel.com/about-erika/ || http://erikabrechtel.com/portfolio || http://erikabrechtel.com/press/