I got a job! Next week, I officially start as Senior Social Media Marketing Manager at BrandLinkDC, a full-service public relations, marketing and events agency. I'll be developing the social media department and hiring a Social Media Assistant ASAP. I'm bringing a couple of my original Pace & Love Marketing clients over to add to the current BLDC client roster, and I look forward to growing that list and the team.
The BLDC office is on M Street in Georgetown, so I plan to move closer to DC by springtime. I've been spoiled by home office living, so the commute will be a big change, but I'm ready. (On that note, please leave your favorite podcasts in the comments...!) Also, if you have great dog friendly apartment building recommendations in the Downtown Silver Spring area, please share. Currently looking to either buy/rent a two bedroom with a yard, but the apartment avenue will likely be the quicker option.
So, why am I leaving a business that I founded and a city that I love?
I started Pace & Love Marketing in November 2015 after my Marketing Team Leader position at Whole Foods Market was eliminated. I found myself in a unique position: I had a severance, a lot of passion and very few expenses (no car, no mortgage, no dog, etc.) I applied to a few jobs, but what really inspired me was the idea of helping small business owners and local makers in Baltimore and beyond. I figured that if I could use my then 7+ years of experience in the food industry, as well as my connections at Whole Foods, then I could provide marketing and sales support for the vendors (both current and prospective) who needed it most. Plan made, business born.
The beginning was good. My first client was Gundalow Juice, and I'm proud to say that they're still my client today and I'll continue to work with them in my new role. After several months of sweat, tears, applications, meetings and phone calls, Gundalow received their first purchase order from Whole Foods Market (9/1/16, WFM Rockville). We added new accounts, I brought on new clients and business was bustling between both the sales and social media arms of Pace & Love Marketing.
This summer, Amazon bought Whole Foods and everything changed. As a customer, I look forward to the systematic improvements that will lead more people to have access to quality food with high standards. As a local business advocate, I am fearful for my clients and friends in the industry. Gone are the days when your neighborhood Whole Foods has the power to bring in a local product. I understand that these changes will make the company more efficient and survive in the long term. Unfortunately, my role as a broker/brand advocate would become obsolete.
This is not a pity party, it's a pivot-- and it's going to be a party! I am so thrilled to switch gears in my career to add more client types to my portfolio. This new position will be my first non-food related job since working at J.Crew in 2007. I'm excited for a fresh set of challenges that will come with clients in different spaces, and also hope to also bring food brands into the mix in the near future. In addition, I can't wait to manage a team again, hire an assistant and work with experienced co-workers on exhilarating projects. Finally, I am in awe of the business that Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman have built over the last 8 years, and feel very grateful for the opportunity to work in this well-oiled machine.
So, what's going to happen to Pace & Love Marketing? I'm going to continue my passion for supporting local makers and small businesses in the natural foods industry through my blog and instagram: @pacelovefood. Follow for food and fun, including some upcoming travel with BLDC to Austin for SXSW!
My sincerest gratitude goes to everyone in the entrepreneurial community, as well as friends and family in Baltimore and beyond who have supported me in my business. I appreciate each positive word of encouragement, every sage piece of advice and even all of the instagram likes. You have kept me going on this amazing, yet often lonely journey, so thank you! I will close this post with a recipe (naturally), because in my world, absolutely everything goes back to food.
Tangy Tart Smoothie Bowl
1 zucchini, sliced then steamed then frozen
1 banana, sliced then frozen
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp moringa powder (or use matcha, if you prefer caffeine)
1 tbsp ginger
1/2 lemon juiced (about 2 tbsp)
3/4 cup of liquid (water, juice or your preferred milk)
Toppings: 1 tsp bee pollen (use coconut flakes, nuts, or your favorite chopped fruits!)
Combine all ingredients, except for the toppings, in your blender or vitamix. Blend until smooth. No need to add ice if your zucchini and banana are frozen. Tip: slice several zucchini and steam for 5 minutes. Place each zucchini coin on a tray and freeze for 3-5 hours. Then, remove the zucchini coins and store in the freezer. Use in smoothies in place of bananas for creaminess… or be extra like me and use both! Top your smoothie bowl with your favorite toppings and be sure to tag #pacelovefood so I can see your creations.