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Rising Stars: Meet Mayam Lillard

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mayam Lillard.

Hi Mayam, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I like to think of myself as a serial hobby finder or explorer. Professionally I’m a Senior Marketing Planner for Jafra Cosmetics, which pretty much entails planning monthly promotional offers across four different categories, coordinate with various parts of the business to implement marketing strategies, and I also do a lot of speaking/presenting to our consultants in regards to any “happenings” regarding marketing in the company.

Outside of my professional life, I have a ton of varied interests and hobbies that I’m constantly looking for ways to share with others. I’ve hosted a pop-culture/lifestyle podcast with one of my best friends called “Homegirls From the Valley,” at the start of the COVID lockdowns in 2020, I started an Instagram handle called “quarantinefits” focused on everyone’s different fashion choices during the quarantine; whether it be one of the funny “business on top, pajamas on the bottom” Zoom meeting outfits, cool athleisure outfits, or just encouraging people to dress up at home solely to take photos.

My current adventure right now is a cooking page called “Make it, Mayam” – @makeitmayam on IG. The page, another COVID project, came from my love of cooking and my massive amounts of free time. I love to host and entertain so since I couldn’t physically have my loved ones over for dinners, I figured I could still virtually connect with them and give them the tools they’d need to make the same meal at home so we could at least have a shared experience. Every meal comes with three posts – 1. photos of the step by step, 2. a short video of me preparing the meal itself with a step by step “how to” and ingredient list in the stories, 3. a wine pairing and Spotify playlist they can have in the background while they’re cooking. I love having music playing while I’m in the kitchen so the playlist is a fun way to tie everything up and make the whole thing an actual experience as opposed to just another cooking page.

I do have plans of rolling the page into an actual Youtube channel with full episodes and potentially even a blog, but that will be a little more down the road. For now, I’m just enjoying sharing the foods I love with people all across the internet in hopes that they’ll find some joy in it as well.

Alright, 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?
Make it Mayam has definitely proven itself to be more time-consuming than I had initially thought of. The cooking time for something spreads out at least 20-30 minutes longer per step than what you would do if you weren’t filming. Lighting, angles, even the colors of the food itself all make a difference when trying to put together a meal. And then throw in the time and thought process in making a dedicated playlist and you’ve got yourself at least an entire day’s worth of time.

But I try to be as positive as possible, even on the days that my dishes don’t fully come out as planned or expected. What’s life without some challenges, right?

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I have a “professional 9-5” life and then a more traditionally creative side with my cooking page. But both jobs of mine really require creativity in some sort of capacity.

While Make it Mayam is pretty self-explanatory in the sense that I’m cooking and also filming editorial content for the Instagram page, my 9-5 job seems a little less straightforward in its creative depths.

At JAFRA, I have to challenge myself almost daily on how to creatively sell/promote/merchandise hundreds of products across different categories in order to hit monthly and yearly KPIs. There’s a lot of number-crunching involved that would seem like it’s more analytical than creative, but it takes both sides of the brain. It starts with the ability to understand what targets are necessary to hit, and then after that piece is understood, the true “marketing creative” process of building out a promotional deal begins. Outside of the planning, I also do a lot of on camera work for my position. Sort of QVC type Youtube videos where I explain and describe certain products we feature in any given month. I do these videos in both English and Spanish.

I’m really most proud of my ability to just get the work done – whatever it may be. I’ve learned so much about my perseverance and inner Mamba Mentality in this last year due to how drastic everything changed over COVID. I’m very willing to take on any challenge or be the person that will step up and lead if the situation calls for it.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
BE YOURSELF. As cliche as that can sound, it is always so refreshing to meet people who are just trying to pursue their interests, be authentic, reliable, and do good work. People will always remember that. Networking is really just as simple as making friends and being a pleasant person to work with.

Specifically in terms of finding a mentor, I think it’s important to pay attention to people around you who you admire and who you think you can learn from. I’m really lucky to have found this in my direct boss as well as our General Manager. Both of these women kick serious butt professionally and I’m lucky to be able to work on their team and have the opportunity to learn from them.

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @makeitmayam
  • Twitter: @mayamvictoria

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