News, Summer 2015
Need for Greater Creative Fulfillment First Motivated E Creative Founder
STORY BY KARA SCHWEISS | PHOTOS BY DEBRA S. KAPLAN
Esther Mejia—founder and creative director of brand development, website design and creative communications company E Creative—didn’t leap into full entrepreneurship right away. It was the urge for greater creative fulfillment that first motivated her to start freelancing nearly 20 years ago, and to eventually transition from taking on occasional side projects into assuming full-time business ownership.
“When you’re working in the corporate world and or agency world, sometimes as a part of the creative group you don’t really get to work directly with the owners or the businesses; sometimes you work through another person,” she explains. “That’s what motivated me, the joy that I see from working directly with other business owners that are trying to build something. Working directly with them and working with amazing people and helping them realize their goals has really been a motivating factor for me.”
E Creative entered into a formal business partnership in 2014 with Vic Gutman & Associates, a longstanding local leader in event management, fundraising, marketing and planning services. Today, Mejia employs one full-time graphic designer (Annette Romano) and partners with other creative professionals on a spectrum of projects.
“I enjoy that I have some flexibility in how I do my work. It doesn’t mean you work less hours but you have flexibility in how you work those hours,” she says. “It gives you opportunities to be a bigger part of your community and make a difference there, too.”
Mejia not only works with many community nonprofits professionally through E Creative, she is also a past board member for Girls Incorporated of Omaha and currently serves on the board of the Latino Center of the Midlands.
“How fortunate are we that we get to help organizations that help so many other people?” she says. “I think it’s helped me be successful because it comes naturally for women to want to help others; I feel that’s exactly what E Creative does for other businesses. I also believe the sixth sense and intuition a woman has to offer helps her to understand the client’s vision and create the expression of that vision.”
Mejia says her own vision for a future career started early and never wavered. “Everyone in my family is really creative so I knew from an early age that I would be in a creative field,” she says. “And in the process of my professional career in the corporate and agency world, I found that I was really passionate about what I was doing and I love what I do for a living.”
Business ownership, however, was more of a step-by-step process, and she offers aspiring women entrepreneurs encouragement that their vision can become a reality.
“These are the words that came to mind: You have to have integrity, determination, confidence, consistency, passion, compassion, be reliable and be fearless. Make sure that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Be confident and believe in yourself, don’t be afraid to take chances. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and believe in you and advocate for you,” Mejia says. “What’s helped me in succeeding are the relationships I’ve developed through the years. When you’re authentic and genuine and consistent in your relationships, there’s a mutual trust that’s been built, and I think that’s true in your working relationships in your business as well. It also naturally progresses to having people advocate for you in your life.”
Mejia says many personal and professional mentors have supported her as she created and expanded her business. Looking back at the evolution of E Creative, Mejia says she probably wouldn’t change much, if anything.
“I probably wouldn’t if that leads to where I am right now. I learned a lot along the way,” she says.