It isn’t every day that you meet someone with a similar story to yours. We had the amazing opportunity to chat with Akvile DeFazio who owns AKvertise. Our conversation with her about her path to running a social media advertising agency was very interesting.
She attended university to pursue a career in medicine after following nudges from her family members that worked in healthcare. As Lithuanian immigrants, she and her family knew that medicine would be a sound career choice as it would always be in demand and would provide for a better life than one they had while living under Soviet rule and later escaping the Cold War. While she excelled in her studies, she realized that her artistic hobbies and curiosity in marketing never subsided. Any opportunity that arose around marketing tasks at the physical therapy clinics she worked at, she jumped to take them on.
Her interest in marketing led her to leave the medical industry and to pursue a career in marketing. She attended graduate school for one year in an effort to obtain an MBA, however, after a year and further review, she realized the program wasn’t going to fulfill her goals and her drive to get to work sooner in order to gain experience and excel. She then interviewed for an internship position at an ecommerce company she greatly admired and wanted to contribute to. While she was the only candidate without a marketing, business, or communications degree, she fought for the position and is still grateful to this day that they ended up going with the wild card; her. Upon the completion of her internship, she was offered her first full time marketing position, which kick-started her new career. Shortly thereafter, the 2008 recession hit, layoffs took place, and while she made the cut to stay, pay cuts transpired. With school loans kicking in, she needed to earn more so she landed another internship at a pet insurance company, which she later headed paid search for. Several years later, she relocated from Seattle to San Francisco and then Los Angeles to work remotely for a marketing publication and global event company where she continued to sharpen her skills, oversee various advertising channels, and broaden her experience in the field.
This next part that we are about to share with you is something that us at Wholesome hold close to our hearts because we went through this exact same situation when starting our business!
The knowledge that Akvile had was pushing her to want to start her own business and control her life. She didn’t want to work under a company anymore and wanted to let her creative thoughts and ideas flourish with other clients. She knew someone who was very successful in the industry however didn’t want to bother them. She waited nine months to talk with the individual and when she did she was overwhelmed with excitement. Not only did the individual say yes to Akvile shadowing her for a day but she told Akvile that she would give her half of her clients and teach Akvile how to run her own agency.
How cool is that? Akvile wanted to hit home with us on not being afraid to ask a question. She stated “Don’t be afraid to ask any question you have in mind, no matter how small it may seem, as you never know what big things may come as a result.” Us at Wholesome actually feel this on a deep level because we went through the exact same situation. We didn’t think we had it in us to start this and do it until a friend told us to “just do it.”
Right now, Akvile runs her social media advertising agency that manages campaigns and provides consulting for ecommerce, mobile app, and entertainment brands. She has learned to love Facebook and all of it complexities because as she said, “It isn’t going away anytime soon as it’s always innovating.” Her biggest piece of advice for all of you is to test various audiences and messaging with each, as “You have to see what works for your prospective customers,” Akvile said.
Akvile lives in Central California where she continues to grow her business and provide advertising strategies to her clients. You can keep up to date with Akvile and her company here:
LinkedIn: Akvile DeFazio