Featured Works

A collection of work examples showcasing my aptitude as a writer and digital marketer.

Sock Fancy: Rock Out with your Sock Out

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, in 2013, we obtained declassified diplomatic cables that confirmed a long held national secret: the nation’s washers and dryers run on a strict diet of socks. While these documents provided peace of mind for many, for most, they still didn’t change the fact that they still always need to buy socks. If you’re motivated by price, you probably head down to your local TJ Maxx and buy 5 pairs for less than a whopper and fries. If sock fashion is imperative to your wardrobe, be prepared to fork out some serious cash at Urban Outfitters. What if I told you that one Atlanta-based startup has brought affordability and style to the sock game? Sock Fancy is ready to knock your socks off (although, they might want you to actually keep them on). We recently chatted with one of the company’s founders to learn more.

Founded by Stefan Lewinger and Futhum Tewolde, “Sock Fancy delivers fantastically random socks to doorsteps across the country every month,” explains Tewolde. “Our mission is to inspire creativity and self-expression through socks and we believe that great fashion starts from the feet up. Whether you’re getting socks delivered every month from our sock subscription or hand selecting your socks one by one at your local boutique, we guarantee you’ll love our socks.”

Lewinger and Tewolde knew that jobs wouldn’t be waiting for them out of college and always had an entrepreneurial mentality. “It happened to be the perfect storm as our interests and expertise came together to form a neat little company,” he recalls. “I’ve always had a passion for awesome socks and Stefan’s expertise is in marketing and e-commerce. We were both fans of different subscriptions (Stefan is a longtime subscriber to Dollar Shave Club (which was started by an Emory grad) and knew that with our combined talents, we could produce a service better than anything else out there. Who doesn’t love that feeling of slipping on a pair of fresh socks? We set out to make that feeling happen every month.”

Although Sock Fancy is a subscription company at heart, the co-founders were always intrigued by the idea of expanding into brick and mortar. “Last summer, to coincide with the launch of the Atlanta Streetcar, we were awarded a grant from the City of Atlanta to open a pop-up shop in the newly renovated commercial buildings on historic Auburn Avenue,” he recalls. “We used that opportunity to learn what it would be like to operate with a storefront and we were hooked. We really enjoyed having a local office and shop because it allowed us to be a part of our local community, meet an array people, and really see how people reacted to our business in person. After the popup ended in September ’14, we hit the pavement in search of a permanent space. In March of this year, we found a perfect little spot in the heart of East Atlanta Village. Thus far, it has really been great being a part of the community and getting the opportunity to hang out with fellow sock connoisseurs.”

Stefan Lewinger (L) & Futhum Tewolde (R), Sock Fancy Co-Founders

Futhum and Stefan grew up together in Athens, Georgia and have been friends since they were seven. Having both moved to Atlanta, “it has been such a treat to see how creative and imaginative the city has really become. Atlanta is a city filled with doers that truly inspires at every corner,” says Tewolde. “This kind of vibe lends itself well to creating meaningful startups and small businesses. I think that’s why we’ve seen incubators and coworking spaces pop up all over the city. People are dying to create something and they need a place to do it. We’re in the same boat. Living in Atlanta, you run into other entrepreneurs, artists, and other creative professionals every day. It makes it easy to gather information from them and draw from their experiences.”

Sock Fancy’s co-founders have bootstrapped their company since its inception. With that said, they are now at a point where outside investment is needed to achieve their next stage of growth and are currently raising their seed round (~$500,000) on CircleUp. “This capital would allow us to purchase socks in larger quantities, increase our marketing budget, and sure up our fulfillment process,” he says. “Furthermore, we intend to launch our wholesale division this year and expand into other product categories like underwear. Sock Fancy is a proven and profitable concept and we believe that with the right type of funding we could grow Sock Fancy into a household name.”

If you’re out and about in EAV, check out Sock Fancy’s storefront, located at:
493 A Flat Shoals Ave,
Atlanta, GA 30316

Follow Sock Fancy on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SockFancy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sockfancy
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sockfancy

Originally published at: http://www.hypepotamus.com/companies/sock-fancy-rock-sock/

The Travel Platform You’ll Wish You Had on Every Trip

Last summer, a friend and I flew down to Colombia for a 2 week adventure. We left Hartsfield Jackson with no real contacts or plans, other than a name and number of a local tour guide in Medellín. The three days we spent with Andrés in the coffee laden mountains of Antioquia were without a doubt the best of the trip. This local entrepreneur gave a couple of gringos an authenticpaisa experience that simply couldn’t be found on Lonely Planet. Looking back, I wish I could’ve met an Andrés on all of my travels. In emerging economies, the problem is that most of those whose livelihood depends on tourism can’t be found online. Until now. Atlanta-based Vayando is the first global platform that directly connects travelers with off-the-grid entrepreneurs. They will be presenting at Burning Plan on May 6th and are currently crowdfunding their project on GoFundMe. We recently spoke with one of Vayando’s co-founders to learn more.

Founded by Jason Seagle (CEO), Scott Wilhelm (COO), and Joshua Wine(CFO), “Vayando is a for-profit social enterprise that puts micro-entrepreneurs on the tourism map,” explains Seagle. “Our mission is to create a marketplace of immersive experiences for travelers that unlock economic opportunity for micro-entrepreneurs in emerging economies around the world. We’re developing a travel landscape where millions of curious travelers book visits to connect directly with tens of thousands micro-entrepreneurs to learn about their livelihoods. We are currently piloting in Costa Rica and Rwanda, with a 100 country goal on the horizon.”

Coffee Farming with Don Pancho, San Pedro de Poas, Costa Rica

“Through our field partners such as the Peace Corps, Care International, and Rainforest Alliance, Vayando identifies motivated entrepreneurs, creates profiles for them, and promotes them on our website,” continues Seagle. “Travelers can browse through individual offerings and book experiences with these entrepreneurs. Experiences range from beekeeping in El Salvador, to working with a fashion designer in Kigali, Rwanda, to a skilled brass worker in Kenya. More and more, travelers are looking for locally unique and immersive experiences. In 2012, over 150 million international tourists visited Vayando’s targeted 100 countries. With two to three bookings per month, more marginalized entrepreneurs can double their monthly income.”

Combined, Vayando’s co-founders have over 2 decades of international experience ranging from the Peace Corps to the U.S. Coast Guard. Seagle was an advocate of basing their new venture in Georgia’s capital. “I was living and working in South Sudan when Vayando first started coming together,” recalls Seagle. “Having grown up here, I felt like Atlanta had a few more resources available for startups, vs. being out in the bush in South Sudan. During my time away, Atlanta developed a lot as a city and became much more internationally minded. I had been following along with the development of the startup community here and felt like the time was right to head back this way. It’s impressive with all of the new resource centers coming online and it’s been great to meet a lot of like minded folks, and tap into some leading figures in the city who want to see us succeed. I really feel like Vayando has something to offer Atlanta as a globally focused social enterprise.”

Woodworking with Irenee, Kigali, Rwanda

Vayando are currently seeking out a CTO. Contact them here and apply today. At the time of writing this article, Vayando had raised $1,125 of their $5,000 goal. Visit their GoFundMe page to make a contribution. If you’d like to hear their pitch at Burning Plan, be sure to RSVP here.

Follow Vayando on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAYANDO
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vayando
Instagram: https://instagram.com/vayandotravel/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Vayando/posts

Originally published at: http://www.hypepotamus.com/companies/vayando-travel-platform-wish-every-trip/

Russell Greene | Started from the Bottom, Now He’s Here

When Canadian rapper Drake released his 2x Platinum single in 2013, many argued over the validity of the former Degrassi star’s claims. However, a little unknown bit of fiction is that Started From The Bottom was actually written about Atlanta entrepreneur, Russell Greene. He’s the founder of the wildly popular FIT Radio app, managing partner of the city’s hottest nightclub, and is currently working on a new invention. He’s humble, a risk-taker, and a father of a newborn daughter named Zoe. I recently sat down with Russell at hisOpera office to learn more about his rapid rise to success.

As I followed Greene to his office, I looked around and thought about all the wild scenes that must take place night after night inside the Midtown nightclub. On the surface, running a hot spot like Opera sounds like it’s all fun and games. But when we sat down and started chatting, Greene is strictly business. Sitting behind a trading screen and a perpetually buzzing iPhone, Russell is clearly a busy man. An Atlanta native himself, he’s proud to be, “one of the few who’s actually from Atlanta,” he jokes.

Greene got his start in the nightclub business at the age of 19 as a security guard at Opera (then 1150) while studying Physiology at Georgia State. In just 5 years, at the age of 24, he became manager of Opera. “I was thrown into the fire when I had to manage 120 people with no operational experience,” he recalls. Today? He’s a partner in the club. But, how did running a nightclub translate into starting a music streaming app?

After seeing thousands of party-goers pack out Opera night after night, he realized, “there’s a reason people come dance. They want to move.” The same people dancing the night away would approach Greene the next day and tell him that they wanted the same music for their work outs. He realized that it didn’t make sense to have to sit down and make playlists, especially since he regularly books world famous DJs. Fast forward to today and FIT Radio is one of the top grossing apps in health and fitness on the app store. While there are a plethora of music streaming apps out there, “I want to own the health and fitness lane,” he stresses. But even with the success of his app, he’s not done yet.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where we speak to Russell about Atlanta, what’s next for FIT Radio, and his latest invention.

Email Marketing Campaigns

Below are examples of email marketing campaigns I've done. All were created using MailChimp.

1. An email sent to Atlanta-based startup CEOs and business leaders encouraging them to utilize Hypepotamus' free job board.

2. An email campaign sent to current We&Co users explaining the speed of the new application process.

3. An email campaign sent to We&Co leads (restauranteurs) prompting them to sign up for We&Co's service industry specific hiring platform.

'Twas the Night Before Black Friday

This year we are poised to spend even less time with our families with shops opening as early as 6 pm the day before Black Friday or, as some of us like to call it Thanksgiving. We decided to have a little fun with a holiday classic and remind everyone that fighting over sales at 2 am isn’t our only option during the holidays.

Video: Produced and Edited by Carey Tucker

Transcript: Written by Jessica Muñoz

Originally posted at: http://www.sideqik.com/marketing-humor/twas-the-night-before-black-friday-poem-and-video

Super Tip Tuesday: The Best Place on the Internet to Hide a Body

No, it’s not Camden, New Jersey. Nor is it Boston’s infamous Charlestown neighborhood. Instead, we’re talking about the second page of Google: where sites go to die!

When looking for a new TV or that chic, new restaurant, how many of you have never been beyond Google’s first page before changing your search?

That’s what I thought. It’s no secret that it’s imperative for any site to have a strong Google Ranking to survive. A significant percentage of any site’s users arrive there via organic search and Google is the most visited website in the world.

However, many are still using SEO practices that Google clamped down on years ago with its many algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin. Google made it crystal clear that they want to provide content that is genuinely relevant, not from content farms that forcefully put a keyword in an article 736 times.

Do you want to avoid the mausoleum of pages 2 through infiniti?

Of course you do! What you need to understand is that today, content is king. It is critical that your articles, images, videos, etc. are relevant, engaging, and of top-notch quality. After all, Google’s purpose is to help users find the answer or solution to their search query. If your site has what they’re looking for, users will stay on the site (i.e. a lower bounce rate), engage with your content in the forms of comments/sharing, and return. Google’s algorithm rewards this and you’ll move out of the depths of the second page abyss.

Google cares about one thing to put you on the first page. Are you serving the right information to their customers? If you want to be on the first page, you have to understand what is going to be truly beneficial for your customers, who are also Google’s customers. If you focus on creating content that is solving their problem, then Google will recognize that and get you towards the front. There’s no magic bullet.
— Roger López, VP of Marketing at Sideqik