Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel McFadden. She and Hazel share their story with us below:
At the end of 2011, Hazel Geary and Rachel McFadden were at a similar place in life, two small children each and looking for something fulfilling yet flexible for their careers. Hazel had a background in marketing and Rachel, engineering, so they put their right brain and left brain skills together to form Drio.
Drio was founded to help organizations with website design, digital marketing strategy, and customized services that get them noticed online. For many years Hazel and Rachel were a two-woman show. In their 10th year of business and after Hazel graduated from Goldman Sachs’ 10K small business program, growth has been on the horizon. They have used 2021 to expand their service offerings, grow their team, and tighten their focus.
As two women in business, who are fierce advocates for other women entrepreneurs and leaders, they see the value in supporting those very women with their services. While they still work with all business owners they prefer to do their part to help their fellow women leaders stand out online.
Hazel and Rachel don’t take for granted the support they received when first starting out in the creative world. They leaned heavily on friends and connections who had started their own businesses in a similar space. One group, in particular, called B’More Creatives, where they met fellow women creatives and leaned on them for advice, and eventually offered others advice as they became more seasoned. Hazel and Rachel eventually became board members of the group and supported their online forum as well as in-person events. When the group closed its doors in 2018, Hazel and Rachel opened a similar group called Monument Women’s Creative Alliance. At MWCA they support women in all creative fields with a mission of cultivating a community that enables connection, inspiration, and education.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
We don’t think that the road should be smooth. In terms of business growth, if you took a look at our numbers there has been steady growth since the beginning, but it certainly has not been smooth. We started this business to have a career that challenges us, so if things were smooth all along, we probably wouldn’t still be here. It’s those bumps in the road that allow us to grow, give us new perspectives, and give us the drive to want to make a change.
The bumps vary, but will always be there and after 10 years of working together, we are grateful to have one another for support. Some of the struggles have been internal, some external. We have had tech struggles (all of our site’s getting hacked), client struggles (when we just can’t get in sync), and growth struggles (finding the right team and training them).
We’ve been impressed with Drio, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Drio is the marketing strategist in your back pocket, when you work with us we’ll be the sounding board and outside perspective you need to get clear on your unique market position.
We build websites and have built over 100 of them, but we take the unique position of wanting what’s best for your organization. We work best in a collaborative environment where we can make suggestions to make the client think and ultimately drive the direction of their project, always with future growth in mind.
Drio is known for our ability to connect and relate. We may not know all of the ins and outs of every business, but we pride ourselves on the softer skills and helping translate that from your business or organization to your potential clients and customers. We also form lasting relationships with our clients, whether it be helping with ongoing digital marketing services or just being a trusted resource to bounce ideas off of.
We are proud of so many of our projects, some that stand out are: https://welcominginternational.org/, https://antidisplacement.org/, https://www.karenjseymour.com/, https://www.erikaholmes.com/, https://mariannebanister.com/
In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Our industry is always shifting, We have to stay on top of what the latest social media trends are, what the latest website trends are, and what the latest technology trends are. We stay on top of these by attending tech conferences and seminars regularly. If 2020 taught us anything it’s that we are able to adapt quickly to the new trends. With conferences all going online and zoom becoming part of our daily lives we have helped clients to use these tools successfully.
- Website Design starts between- $11-$15k
- Digital Marketing Strategy Intensive- $1500
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: drioduo.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drioduo/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrioLLC
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/drioduo
- Other: https://clutch.co/profile/drio