As of 2019, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. was nearly 13 million.¹ In honor of March being Women’s History Month it only felt appropriate for Agency Spotter to recognize a few of the women-owned agencies on our platform. Meet these 10 women-owned agencies and their incredible leaders below.
Core Services: Digital Strategy, Web, Advertising, Search, User Experience
Located in Boston, MA, 3 Media Web is an award-winning website design and digital marketing agency. They specialize in designing, developing and promoting websites on the WordPress platform for both medium and enterprise-level clients. The company first started in 2001, and since then has helped more than 500 brands grow online.
Meet Lysa Miller – President and Co-Founder
Miller’s journey to co-founding 3 Media Web first started when she left the corporate world early in her career to raise a family and freelance. As Miller’s kids grew, she decided to grow her freelance business into an agency focused on women as a niche.
When asked about what motivated her, Miller responded, “I always wanted to be an agency owner and grow my company so that I could give people the great jobs that they deserve. I also wanted to show my daughters that you can be anything you want and do anything you put your mind to, even if you are a mom.”
3 Media Web is a heavily women-led agency with a leadership team ratio of 4:1. In addition to that, they have 50% of women on both the tech and project sides. Miller remarked, “We didn’t start out that way, but it is where we are now and we love it!”
Core Services: Branding, Advertising, Digital Strategy, Web, Marketing Strategy
Based in New Haven, CT, Response Marketing is a small and mighty hybrid marketing agency focused on delivering creative solutions to marketing challenges. The company works with ambitious brands that share the agency’s belief that marketing is not the savior but the amplifier. Magic happens when its innovative marketing is layered on top of a great product and great operations.
Meet Carolyn Walker – CEO/Managing Partner
The backbone of Walker’s career is her education. She went to Northeastern University in Boston, which is a cooperative education school. By the time Walker had graduated, she already had two years of full-time work experience in addition to her degree. Throughout college, she gained experience working for SAMI/Burke, Kraft/General Foods, Frito-Lay, and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. Upon graduation, Saatchi hired her.
From there she went to Darden Restaurants and was part of a world-class team of brand managers and marketers. Eventually, Walker took that experience to a startup, Sandella’s Flatbread Cafe, where she helped them go from a franchised concept to a licensed one, and grew the brand from just a handful of locations to over 125 in a very short period of time.
When asked exactly how she ended up where she is today, Walker explained, “I left Sandella’s to go back to the agency side and landed at Response and ended up buying the agency from the founder in 2009. I am an ‘accidental entrepreneur.'”
Core Services: Branding, Advertising, Marketing Strategy
Located in Orange County, Orange Label is the leading response marketing agency for established brands that are driven by a fearless entrepreneurial mindset. They help clients across retail and healthcare industries generate engagement with the right target audiences, driving action and creating loyal fans.
Meet Rochelle Reiter – President
With a passion for communication, one of Reiter’s favorite aspects of her career is the opportunity to engage in conversations with fellow thought leaders, community members, and clients.
Throughout her time at Orange Label, she has spearheaded over 40 in-depth brand approaches for clients in the direct-to-consumer and business-to-business space, translating key insights into actionable plans that resonate with target audiences. One streamlined campaign, Reiter and the Orange Label team developed to spread awareness of elder abuse, expanded into a social justice movement that reached the White House!
Core Services: Digital Strategy, Web, E-Commerce
Cutting Horse Creative is a digital agency that offers full transparency and long-lasting partnerships. The team at this agency focuses on statistics based marketing. In addition, they create responsive websites that make you stand out in your industry.
Meet Marie Fraser – President
Cutting Horse Creative originally started out as a co-owned agency. When one partner was no longer active, Fraser bought out his shares. And, in a true power move became sole owner, under the newly branded Cutting Horse Creative. Women in tech are still relatively uncommon, but Fraser explained, “…in our company we celebrate women in tech, and certainly don’t hide this from our clientele.”
She believes that there’s still a long way to go when it comes to equal gender representation in our industry. However, Fraser did acknowledge that we’ve made a lot of progress in gaining traction in the industry.
When asked if she had any advice for younger professionals, Fraser commented, “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to speak up – and when you do, don’t be discouraged when someone says no. For every large number of ‘no’s’, there will be a few yes’s, and those successful deals will make the journey worth traveling.”
Core Services: Branding, Digital Strategy, Web, Marketing Strategy
Inspiratique is a global marketing boutique agency startup based in Tokyo, Japan and in NYC, USA, available globally. The agency focuses on marketing strategic planning with the greater understanding in marketing, business, and creativity. The company’s unique network structure enables the agency to work for clients around the globe.
Meet Yukiko Sakata – Founder & CEO
Sakata believes that it’s a combination of both her personal development and career growth that led Sakata to her current position. Her journey towards entrepreneurship began more than a decade ago with her first job after graduation from the university.
After university, she was an English teacher and found herself wanting to move into the international business field. Sakata explains, “I was 24 years and I did anything I could do, from bartender, translation, office secretary to freelance teaching. Then I joined a PR agency in Tokyo when I was 25.”
Sakata believes being surrounded by talented people and working with them or competing with them are such precious experiences.
Core Services: Social Media, Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy
E29 is a full-service, strategic marketing agency. They take the time to understand underlying challenges; then provide strategic results-driven work of unparalleled quality. E29 likes to keep things simple, convenient and transparent. In addition to this, their company relies on data to provide proof of the value they’re delivering.
Meet Amie Stanley – Founder and CEO
Stanley has always enjoyed a challenge. She said, “…if I needed to work harder than my male colleagues to advance in my career, I was up for it.” Stanley strongly believes it’s the challenges she’s faced throughout her career that have made her stronger, smarter and better equipped to lead her agency today.
Her passion for the advertising industry began as far back as Stanley can remember, “…growing up on a farm in the heartland of Iowa I learned the value of a hard-work ethic from an early age.” Stanley’s thankful that her parents instilled the idea that if she “dreamed big and worked hard” then she could achieve her goals.
Stanley feels incredibly lucky to love what she does, “I’m lucky to love what I do and what motivates me today is the satisfaction of doing great work for my clients and leading my amazing team that inspires me every day.”
Core Services: Innovation, Advertising, Content Marketing
PB& is a creatively driven S.W.A.T team that uses creativity to solve problems and unlock business potential. They aim to attack brand’s toughest challenges. Regardless of the challenge, PB& aims to be the team partners can call when their backs are up against the wall.
Meet Brittany Fero – Principal
Fero’s career path in advertising and marketing has been circuitous. She said, “I’ve followed my curiosity and looked at every opportunity as an opportunity to broaden my skill set.” Fero highlighted that every role she’s held has given her a different perspective on the business and where PB& as agency partners can add value to both clients and consumers.
When asked about gender representation in the industry, Fero candidly responded, “Honestly, I’ve been fortunate in that I started my career working for some amazing women and seeing great women in leadership positions.” In fact, Kirsten Flanik, the current CEO of BBDO NY was one of Fero’s first bosses. She elaborated that whether her bosses were male or female they always gave her the opportunity to do great things.
Fero replied, “So I guess I always saw the opportunity for females to lead in agencies. That said, it’s been amazing to see the number of females take the reins at both agencies and Fortune 500 companies in the past few years – and how that’s shaping the future of business.”
Core Services: Direct Marketing, Social Media, Healthcare Marketing
Located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, HERO is an integrated marketing and advertising agency. They aim to make clients happy. Because whether they’re delivering cross-channel campaigns, data-driven insights, or a much-needed high-five, HERO does it because watching clients succeed is their passion.
Meet Lyn Rundell – Founder and CEO
Rundell is one of the few people who is still working in the field in which she majored in. She elaborated, ” I always knew I wanted to do marketing, and have never been unhappy with my choice.”
After putting herself through college, Rundell started in corporate marketing. However, she found herself dreaming of making the switch to the agency world. That switch finally happened in her late 20’s…and she never looked back.
Throughout Rundell’s career, she always found inspiration in the people closest to her. She explained, “My mom was the child of immigrants from Greece, and my dad’s dad was an itinerant worker most of his life. Both of them, however, worked exceptionally hard to lift themselves up and provide more for our family. By their actions alone, they taught us the importance of setting goals and working hard. So, from an early age, I’ve set goals, worked hard, delivered on promises, and not taken no for an answer.”
Core Services: Healthcare Marketing, Search, Media
Founded in 2002, Underscore is a worldwide strategic media company providing marketing solutions by an integrated team of cross-media specialists. They focus on providing accountable solutions for clients primarily in the health & wellness, healthcare, and pharma space.
Meet Lauren Boyer – CEO
Boyer’s career in marketing and strategy began in the mid-’90s, just as digital was becoming a viable communication and channel. As an early pioneer, she was a part of some amazing teams launching first-of-a-kind initiatives. Such as: the first digital media campaign for SmithKline Beecham, the first website for Medicare Supplement and Replacement Insurance for Independence Blue Cross, and many others
Boyer indicated, “Now, I gain motivation from my deep need to share what I know with people who can apply it for their own growth. This has led me to a commitment to mentorship—internally with my team as well as externally with burgeoning entrepreneurs.”
She advises younger women in the industry to trust your gut. And, to keep going in the direction that inspires you.
Core Services: Influencer Marketing, Social Media, Experiential Marketing
Enthuse is an experiential consultancy that pushes innovation partners to discover new ways of growing business. They funnel the excitement of a new offering or brand and use data-informed, agile strategies to activate experiences that solve problems, promote stronger partner relationships, and drive growth.
Meet Kim Lawton – CEO
Lawton was extremely fortunate to have strong support and mentorship from an early age. She mentioned that her father was her first mentor. He was an entrepreneur who listened carefully to Lawton’s ideas about marketing one of his businesses and allowed her to implement them even though I was still in high school.
Lawton explained that she has always been ambitious and early exposure to entrepreneurship helped shape her worldview. She stated, “I believe there are always opportunities to do better – for myself, my business, and my clients – and I am motivated to find ways to constantly improve.”
When asked what advice she had for younger women in the marketing field, Lawton provided the following: “Filter out the self-doubt and stop listening to the voices that tell you you’re not good enough. You’ve earned a seat at the table – be prepared, show up confidently, and be ready to participate.”
¹ THE 2019 STATE OF WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESSES REPORT