I never really dreamt about being an entrepreneur or starting my own company. When people used to ask me what I wanted to do when I graduated from college, my answer was “Work with nice people.” I realize now that should have been a sign, as the only way to ensure you are working with nice people, is to create the company for them to work at.
My first foray into PR was a post-graduate internship at Edelman. From there, I accepted positions of increasing responsibility with mid-size and large PR firms, growing my understanding of the beauty and healthcare spaces and mastering the process of cultivating public image. Eventually, I became the president of a boutique PR agency, where I also served as the business partner of its founder. As I like to say, sometimes businesses marriages, like romantic marriages, don’t always work out and I soon found myself in the scary position of not knowing my next move.
While negotiating my exit, I observed that no one in the industry was offering senior-level, hands-on, personalized attention in the health care and beauty space. There was also no agency that was owned, run, and staffed entirely by women. As a firm believer in both the importance of professional specialization and #girlpower, I saw an opportunity to provide a different kind of client-agency experience: I had identified my niche.
EvolveMKD was founded upon the philosophy that the client-agency relationship should be a partnership, with the agency operating as an extension of our clients. Our team would comprise seasoned public relations professionals with diverse backgrounds and combined decades of experience in the realms of health and beauty, and our approach to business would be creative, hands-on, and fun. I also prioritized the cultivation of a healthy company culture, charging myself with fostering a culture based on inclusivity, open communication, and respect. A positive, healthy work environment nurtures free-flowing creativity and a collaborative spirit, and, most importantly, supercharges employee morale. Unfortunately, this is a notion that is often overlooked or rejected in an industry notorious for its “mean girl” culture.
As every entrepreneur knows, the process of getting a business off the ground presents some logistical challenges. Obtaining the necessary financial support was the most formidable of these hurdles. I knew I needed operating capital to pay staff and cover the basic business functions until we saw some revenue, but it was difficult to determine just how much and when. My husband and I poured our own savings into the venture, and even turned half of our home into a makeshift office space.
Despite the challenges associated with getting a business up and running, things began to fall into place, and in September 2014, EvolveMKD was officially born. We launched with a total of four employees - including myself - and three clients. While the first few months were exciting, they were also a challenge. Fortunately, occasional moments of self-doubt were quickly extinguished by the continuing support of my husband, family, and friends. The early momentum that Evolve was experiencing was a nice boost, too. It really showed me that having a solid and good reputation matters.
After our first year, we posted positive revenue and doubled both our client roster and our staff. And now, two and a half years in, we’re twice as big. Evolve is now an award-winning agency serving top-notch clients on the cutting edge of women’s health and beauty.
Looking back on both my life and my career, I have always been committed to doing things differently. EvolveMKD is the natural product of my lifelong propensity for challenging the status quo.
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Megan Driscoll is a sought-after strategic media and communications professional with 15 years of experience in healthcare, aesthetics and dermatology, and prestige beauty. She has cultivated relationships with physicians, consumers, key opinion leaders and tastemakers to gain her clients national [...]