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  • Writer's pictureBrilliant Marketing

How Brilliant Marketing got its start: the stories and inspirations of co-founders Emily + Mikaela

Oftentimes in life, inspiration comes to us not from happy and positive experiences, but more so from the harder, negative ones. This was the case for both Brilliant Marketing co-founders, Emily and Mikaela.

Difficult situations can bring unexpected and hopeful inspiration

For Emily, inspiration came after experiencing a life changing moment. While mountain biking, she had a really bad fall and suffered a concussion. After her accident, going back to working 40 hours a week in an office and sitting at a computer all day proved to be difficult.

While looking for ways to help her body and mind heal, she stumbled upon kundalini yoga and decided to take a class. It was after that first class while driving home that she had an epiphany saying to quit your job, start your own marketing and branding company, work with companies who are making the world a better place, and work with kind people. With these ideas brewing, she didn’t quite have the leverage yet to make them reality.

Picture what you want and make it reality

During the same time Emily was recovering from her accident and toying with the idea of starting her own business, her sister and Brilliant Marketing co-founder Mikaela, started feeling burnout at her job. She had been working at a large clean energy nonprofit, had liked her job, and was growing quickly in her role. Eventually the quick growth turned to burnout and feeling inefficiently supported.

Mikaela started thinking about job criteria she liked, didn’t like, and what she needed. First, she wanted the ability to work remotely—having the flexibility to travel and spend more time with her family across different states, and secondly she wanted to be able to take the non-profit mission driven energy she had experienced and combine it with the efficiencies of the for-profit realm.

Sometimes the best grounds for thinking and accomplishing is simply by being out in nature

By June 2018, both Emily and Mikaela both had quit their jobs. Together they went on a two week road trip, hiking and camping, which resulted in hours of conversation and brainstorming. Ultimately, this time of being free and out in nature led them not only to the idea of starting a new branding and marketing business together, but also gave them motivation to actually do it. They were excited to take their combined experiences of working with nonprofits, B2B tech, and professional services and create a new and different type of company that had mission-driven energy and purpose.

So, it was that summer of 2018 that Brilliant Marketing was born. Later that year, they created their website. In Spring of 2019, they started getting their first bigger clients and continued gaining confidence and momentum. Now in 2022, they are in their 4th year of business, love their clients, and couldn’t be happier!

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