The official blog of Nancy Marshall Communications
offering tips, techniques, and thoughts from Maine's PR Maven, Nancy Marshall

 

PLEASE NOTE: This blog has been discontinued.
Please visit www.prmaven.com for new material from The PR Maven®.

 

Subscribe VIA Email

RSS Feed
Powered by Google Feedburner

Archives

fashion

Em Robertson Makes her Mark with Mprint

Owner and Designer of Mprint, Em Robertson
Modeling the Mprint Honolulu Transit Pendant

New York City, Boston, California, Canada and Presque Isle are some of the places this week’s Monday Maine Maven has called home. Em Robertson is the owner and designer of Mprint jewelry, a Maine-based accessories company.

Robertson says her love for the world of design and fashion was cultivated at a young age. She says, “My mother was a retail fashion buyer and would tell me about her buying trips in New York City. That really opened the doors to the business side of the fashion industry to me.”

The Presque Isle native says that she is “extremely proud” that she grew up a country girl adding, “I think it is one of the main reasons I am so driven and hard-working. Yes, it is really far up north, freezing, and it isn’t filled with endless things to do, but it is a great community that is full of hard-working and supportive people.”

Em’s parents wanted their children to experience different cultures, so Em and her family would travel four to five times a year—trips that she credits for her development of “the travel itch” at a very young age.

However, when it came to making a career choice for herself, Em wasn’t quite sure that fashion was the perfect fit. She stayed local, attending the University of Maine at Orono to study business marketing. During her junior year, she interned in New York City with Macy’s corporate marketing division and she says, “It confirmed the idea that I wanted to continue my education in fashion.”

After graduating, Em spent her summer applying to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and moved to Los Angeles. She says, “I felt like it was a place I needed to conquer. Being involved in such a creative culture and community of talented people made the transition much easier.”

Robertson says, “I had a lot of learning experiences in Hollywood,” but ultimately, she decided to move back to Maine to launch her jewelry collection.

Just a sampling of the jewelry you can find at www.mprintjewelry.com

The launch of Mprint has been incredibly successful on local, national and international levels, with her jewelry being featured in online stores, magazines and various noteworthy fashion blogs. One of her necklaces even made an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America worn by correspondent Rachel Smith.

The success of the launch is credited to Em’s strong public relations background and the use of social media. She says, “I wrote everyone I knew to start spreading the word and tried to get as much information and product to top editors, stylists and boutique owners to build awareness of the brand.” She adds, “I think Facebook creates an unreal buzz for designers—people can express to their peers what they like, and it opens doors for other people to like the product. The accessibility to this kind of online marketing for a start-up company like Mprint is beyond beneficial.”

According to Em, social media, Instagram in particular, is a great tool for inspiration, too. Em says, “I definitely draw inspiration for my collection pieces by immersing myself in social media sites, but my go-to is Instagram. Maybe it’s because I’m a creative person, but I just feel like seeing an image speaks so much louder than words.” Other sources that inspire are local consignment shops, family heirlooms, street style and nature.

Em Robertson says that social media serves as a vital part of her branding strategy for Mprint.

What’s next for Mprint? Em says, “I’m constantly thinking about ways to expand Mprint, and to grow as a socially responsible brand.” This is why they will be introducing a new hair accessories collaboration in their Fall ’13 collection with a design-driven nonprofit social enterprise that supports women-owned businesses in Rwanda.

You will also find them at one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplace tradeshows, AccessoriesTheShow, in New York City next month.

To learn more about Em and Mprint you may check out her website, www.mprintjewelry.com, like them on Facebook, facebook.com/Mprintjewelry or follow @Mprintjewelry on Twitter.

Big Solutions for Every Business in Maine

President of CORE Solutions, Heather Veilleux.

What do New York, Maine and Ohio have in common? President of CORE Solutions and this week’s Maine Maven, Heather Veilleux, has called all of them home. While she has enjoyed each of them, Heather says, “The truth is, my plan was to move back to Maine all along.”

Veilleux adds that although it was hard to make the decision to move back to Augusta from New York City,  it was also a very exciting opportunity. She says, “Maine has more space to grow and more ways to be unique.”

Maine also has, by far, a much slower and steadier pace. While living in New York, Heather was working three jobs as a real estate agent at Bold New York by day, and a waitress at LongHorn Steakhouse in New Jersey and Marseille in New York City by night, and the occasional weekend gig through Total Entertainment! Not to mention that she was also juggling classes at Berkeley College and remotely creating her own start-up business. How did she do it? Veilleux says, “I realized that I simply didn’t have the time to go to class, so I began taking online classes. Ultimately, this allowed me to start and run a business that would eventually be located in Maine.”

Heather on a trip to Africa last year with the Flying Kites Global. Former Maine Maven, Ashley Underwood was also on this trip.

We hate to get political, but it’s hard to ignore that Heather’s life became consumed with politics shortly after she moved back to Maine last fall. Her fiancé (then boyfriend), Matthew Pouliot, announced that he would be running for office. “Little did I know what a great ride we were in for,” she says, and it would become a great inspiration for her re-evaluation of her business, Heels to Healing.

Through designing and planning advertisements and social media outreach during the campaign, Veilleux realized that there was an opportunity to help small businesses in the area using the same tactics. Heels to Healing was originally created to raise money through events for other nonprofits, but she realized that this model was making her business into a small United Way.

“I felt that rebranding and creating a for-profit business with a strong social mission was a better way to run a business and help my community,” says Veilleux about the change. With a new outlook and the creation of CORE Solutions, her goal is to help other businesses and organizations by offering services that they may not be able to have without hiring a full-time employee and/or hiring multiple companies. CORE Solutions offers high value for a low cost in assisting with event planning, fundraising, marketing and more.

CORE Solutions is an Augusta-based company offering quality business solutions that are designed to fit every budget.

CORE Solution’s signature event is the semi-annual Maine’s Fashion Night Out (MFNO). Originally created as a starting point for Heels to Healing, the event incorporates all of Heather’s favorite things: fashion, music, dance and central Maine! That’s right, it’s located right here in Augusta. Veilleux says, “I feel that central Maine is deprived when it comes to big events, especially in fashion. I live in Augusta and grew up in Hallowell, and I want to be a part of its growth.”

The mission of MFNO is to bring together the community, to promote local business and nonprofit organizations, and to network. They are currently looking for sponsors and volunteers—check out out www.MainesFNO.com for more information on how you can get involved and/or purchase your ticket for their upcoming event at the Armory.

To contact Heather, you may follow her on Twitter @coremaine, like her page on Facebook www.facebook.com/coremaine, or email her heather@coremaine.com.

The Art of Search

 

Hi, Erika here.

The other day I was doing an assignment researching paper/card stock and I was looking for how-to guides for choosing the perfect stock for your needs. It seems silly, but type “paper stock” in your Google search bar and tell me what you find. While, yes, I found a lot of information on paper stock, I also found a lot of information from investors telling me that buying stock in toilet paper was a smart choice and that “people will always need it.” You’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Ok, I got plenty of results about actual paper stock too,” but I wanted visuals to demonstrate the images in my head. You might say Google has images, but for some reason all I could think about was Pinterest. I knew that by using Pinterest, not only would I be likely to find bloggers with real experience, but bloggers with an interest to share not only their thoughts, but images too. This raises the question, have you thought about using Pinterest for some of your search engine needs?

The board I used to tell my hairdresser what “look” I wanted.

I will start this by saying—I am Google addict. Not even the Bing vs. Google test could sway my opinion (I was not in the 2:1 group that chose Bing over Google). However, the last time I went to my hairdresser, I opened up my hair board from Pinterest to show her the “look” I was aiming for and she loved it. Previously, we would look at all these photos I had saved from Google into my phone and it would take forever because I would have to go through my pictures, opening and closing each image. With Pinterest all I have to do is scroll. Pinterest certainly won’t work as a searching tool for most business-related topics, but for visual and creative areas, like wedding planning and designing, not only is it more functional, but it is more visually appealing.

My best friends Grace and Jordan have been using Pinterest instead of Google religiously when it comes to planning a wedding (Grace), and working as a designer (Jordan), as they are always looking for inspiration. Pinterest allows Grace to create living “inspiration boards” for her wedding planning needs. Grace said that she went from showing up to with folders full of crumpled paper to opening up her laptop and sharing her wedding boards. “I found hundreds of ideas, not just for the dress, but for flowers, drinks, photos, things that I wouldn’t have ever thought of myself or found in a magazine or by searching Google.” Jordan agrees that as a designer, “Pinterest is an exponential database of images and resources that keep you in an infinite loop of information. That’s why it’s so addictive; it’s organized chaos.”

The result of a Pinterest image search.

The result of a Google image search.

When it comes to recipes, Pinterest also seems to have a functionality advantage. Google doesn’t present images and recipes together. You have to click the image to possibly get to a recipe and if you don’t like that recipe or it’s not what you’re looking for, then you have to back your way out of the item you’ve clicked to get back to where you started. On Pinterest the description is featured under the image and if you want a better look, you click the image and it appears almost as a popover—to keep looking you simply click anywhere else on the screen and never lose your place. So what’s my advice for when to you use Pinterest instead of Google? I’ve listed three easy TIPs to help you decide:

  • Use Pinterest if you’re looking for buyers—people are over 50 percent more likely to buy from Pinterest than Google search.
  • Use Pinterest to explore gift ideas and/or inspiration.
  • Use Google when searching for in-depth information on a product or service.

Here at NMC, we use our Wednesday Witty Wisdom to help you think about things differently. I had honestly never realized how much I was using Pinterest over Google until writing this article and I hope that this helps you to expand your search options, particularly with photos, with the use of Pinterest.

Happy searching!