Meet Michelle owner of MVA Studios Inc., a creative social media marketing agency that thrives on helping businesses succeed by providing creative and effective marketing solutions using various social media platforms.
Michelle is wearing Good Vibes T-Shirt
Can you share a little about your story with us?
I have always loved being an entrepreneur and started my first real business in 2009 doing interior design consulting. When COVID hit last year, it became a bit more challenging doing interior design, meeting clients, shopping for furniture, working with tradesmen etc. so I decided that 11 years was enough. I’ve always loved social media and looked into making it a side hustle years back so I figured maybe it was time to pivot into social media marketing. I also wanted a business where I could work from anywhere in the world (preferably a beach) on my own time.
A really good friend of mine wasn’t too happy with his current marketing agency so he gave me an opportunity to test my skills and I immediately fell in love with social media marketing. That’s when I decided to start my own agency called MVA STUDIOS INC.
How you made your first dollar:
In 1995, I worked at the O’Keefe Centre (now known as Meridian Hall) selling “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat” play paraphernalia like programs, t-shirts, buttons, etc. It really brought me out of my comfort zone meeting new people, getting me out of the suburbs and exposing me to the downtown life.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your career?
I would have to say that the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to never stop learning and being creative. Even with interior design, the trends were always changing every year. With social media, it’s changing every week, every month and every clients needs are different so I’ve had to learn a lot and adapt fairly quickly but I love it. I invest in myself by taking courses, listen to podcasts, watching documentaries, following different types of creative people on social media just so my mind is always learning.
How is your entrepreneur routine?
Every day pretty much starts the same way. Coffee first! I’m obsessed with coffee. Workout with my Beachbody morning crew because physical health is important and helps with managing stress levels. Make my list of things I need to accomplish for the day.
I have daily check-ins with my clients that I run social media ads for and I usually spend the rest of the day scheduling posts for clients, creating new campaign strategies, engaging with my social media community which is so important! It’s not even about trying to get new leads but it’s about growing your community and networking. In this online industry, we’re only a few key strokes away from making new friends.
Michelle w/ Manifest Collective hoodie
Tell us about the Manifest Collective; how did the idea come about?
I’ve always been interested in fashion and it’s been a dream of mine to start a brand but I could never figure out what I wanted my brand to be or what I wanted it to look like.
3 years ago, when my life wasn’t in a great place, I started to really pay attention to affirmations, manifestation, positive thinking, etc. It helped me make a really big change in my life and I started to only focus on things I really wanted and things that brought positivity to my life. I met my amazing partner and we both shared the same interests in being positive and manifesting our goals and dreams.
Last year when I started my agency, I met a lot of amazing entrepreneurs on Instagram who’ve either had their business for awhile or were fired from their jobs because of COVID and started their own business. All of these entrepreneurs that I was meeting inspired me and reminded me that when you manifest the things you want, you will receive them.
So my partner and I decided to start a brand of lounge wear called Manifest Collective. It’s our way of reminding people that you can have what you want if you learn to manifest it. Stay focused on it, stay positive about it and be prepared to receive it.
We want our clothing and accessories (coming soon) to be unisex on purpose to blur the lines between what each gender is “supposed” to wear. We just want our customers to be able to express themselves in whatever size or colour they want.
Best career advice you've gotten:
Just do it and figure the rest out later! Sometimes the fear of the unknown can take over us and stop us from doing something that we really want to try. Take the first step and the rest will follow.
Kind of work you'd do for free:
I have and will continue to provide free social media marketing consulting/strategies with businesses that are raising money for a good cause or supporting local businesses and women entrepreneurs. Especially since COVID began, we need to keep local businesses alive so it’s important to help in any way we can.
What marketing advice can you give to women entrepreneurs who are reading us?
Be your 100% true self! Don’t copy what other people are doing just because it’s working for them. People want to see something different, something bold, something unique and also something that they can relate to.
Also, people like to see the real person behind the business. They want to relate to that person so try your best to get yourself on camera either through photos or videos and show your potential customers who you truly are. Love yourself and they will love you back.