And we’re back! With another AdPurp profile, that is. That might’ve been a little too Jimmy Kimmel-esque, but I’m rolling with it. Since I’ve joined the AdPurp team, I’ve published two employee profiles and one of them was a full-on conversation with myself. So, I think it’s about time for more, yeah?
This time we’re talking with our Account Manager, Emma S, about, well, a lot. I haven’t even had the pleasure of meeting Emma in person, but her effervescent energy bubbled over as we talked about her time living abroad in Australia, how she got her start in affiliate marketing, surviving the pandemic with dessert and dance, and so much more.
Emma joined AdPurp during the pandemic and continues to bring her big personality to the team along with her commitment to bolstering her client relationships. Okay, enough with the introductions! I’m sure you’re as excited as I am to get into this chat, so let’s jump in!
Emma! It’s so good to talk to a native New Yorker. I mean, I’m not a native, but I miss the candor that only East Coast folks can bring. Please, tell us about yourself. We know you were born and raised in upstate New York, but we want more! Where did you go to school? How do you normally spend your time? What do you do for fun?
Yes, I am from the REAL upstate New York. I grew up in a suburb outside of the city of Raaaachester (Rochester). I went to school an hour away at the University at Buffalo, which was even further upstate, making me more of a Canadian than a New Yorker. In my free time, if I’m not loudly talking non-stop to my friends and family at a yummy new restaurant, I’m at home watching the billionth show I’ve seen on Netflix. If you want to experience some real Rochester food in LA, we are home to the “garbage plate,” which you can find at The Garbage Truck (TGT) food truck. And yes, it looks as gross as it sounds, but don’t let that sway you into not getting it!
I’m not going to lie, I actually googled a “garbage plate” and it looks like it oddly falls in the comfort food category. You might’ve swayed me into visiting The Garbage Truck in LA! So, I have to ask, what was the transition like from a fast tempo and please-get-out-of-my-way place like New York to a more chill, laidback, we’ve-got-time state like California?
Although not native to NYC, I am the queen of fast walking and I challenge anyone to keep up with me. Moving to California has been very refreshing as people here actually look you in the eye and say hello when passing you on the street. With only knowing a few people in LA when I first moved, it was so nice to be surrounded by welcoming people. I’m convinced the extra boost of Vitamin D just makes everyone happier here!
First off, fast walkers unite! Second, I’m sure it was nice as a newcomer to have welcoming folks around. I don’t think all that Vitamin D hurts. And oh, before I forget, you spent some time studying abroad in Australia, right? What was that cultural experience like? What was your favorite part of being there and what were some of your best or funniest memories?
I love the Australian culture as they are very upfront, hilarious, and loved to bust our American arses! Even though they also speak English, I learned very quickly that we have different terms for different things. If you ever go to Aussie and want a lemonade, ask for a “lemon squash” instead. Otherwise, you will be deeply disappointed with a Sprite. The best experience of all time was when I went to a Kangaroo Sanctuary where you are let into this massive gated community of hundreds of roos where you just walk up and feed them. But the overall learning experience of being out of my comfort zone really changed my perspective on life. To learn to live in the moment and in the feeling of discomfort is growth.
Your travels sound amazing, and a lemon squash sounds so much cooler than a lemonade. I know what to order whenever I’m in Australia! Jumping back into work stuff, what’s your work background and how did you end up as an Account Manager at AdPurp?
I grew up with advertising in my blood as we have a family-run advertising agency in my hometown. Before COVID, I wanted to be an event planner working at Entercom Radio in Buffalo doing concert events, but they all sadly came to halt in March 2020. I was lucky enough to have a job in the pandemic working side-by-side with my mother at her shop that we transitioned to online. Before coming out to LA, I started a line of clothing called thrïVwear, which was the perfect mix of sofa to streetwear for this time of remote living. I came out to LA for a long visit with my boyfriend who is getting his master’s at UCLA. In meeting up with a mutual friend, I also met the lovely Kailee, who referred me to AdPurp. That is the reason that I’m now a part of the AdPurp fam!
Shoutout to Kailee for the referral! Also, sofa to streetwear? Genius. The branding was in that description alone. I’ve loved hearing about how your career got its start. On that note, what was it like taking over social media for your mom’s store?
Growing up in an advertising household definitely sparked my love for promoting and connecting people. Being able to have the opportunity to take over her social media with free-range helped me understand affiliate marketing on a smaller scale and that I really enjoyed working in this type of environment.
That’s awesome that you were able to discover that you liked working in environments like that. As someone who didn’t come from a background in affiliate marketing, how did you familiarize yourself with it? And, from your point of view, how is it a beneficial channel?
Even though I do not come from a background in affiliate marketing, I think this last year of helping my mom really helped me understand the overall marketing side of things; especially for a small business. Coming to AdPurp, I realized that I knew .5% of the extensive amount of work that goes into affiliate marketing and I’m still learning new things every day! I believe this is a beneficial channel because it’s the future of advertisement. Specializing in different verticals and using data analytics to indicate the needs of different clients is a more beneficial way of promoting.
Copy that, Emma. Speaking of affiliate marketing, you recently got shouted out in the AdPurp group chat for visiting your clients’ store, taking photos, and sharing your experience. Go you!! Since getting to AdPurp, how have you committed yourself to go above and beyond for your clients?
Thank you, I’m very grateful for the support and encouragement I received from that post. It definitely was a confidence booster, indeed! As for going above and beyond, my past experiences helped me be on the client end of things. Putting myself in their shoes, I knew that if I was a client, I would want to see the extra efforts because it shows commitment to doing a great job. The extra effort put into making a client feel special makes the client-business relationship stronger, in my opinion. And also… who wouldn’t take pictures of that amazing store?
What’s one big thing you’ve learned from your teammates? It can be about affiliate marketing or really just anything you found helpful. Are there any lessons you’ve passed on, too?
What have I not learned from my teammates? From the business side of things, they have helped me with every question, concern, and how-to needed to work at AdPurp. On a personal level, they have supported me and welcomed me with open arms, which I truly appreciate; especially moving across the country and starting a new job remotely. It all made me think, why wouldn’t I share the same love with anyone who is new to AdPurp? Shoutout to the Purple Dinos for making every day at AdPurp awesome!
What a great team mentality to have. And yes, big ups to the AdPurp team for making every day a win! Okay, let’s get back to life stuff. What has it been like going through the pandemic while sharing a space with your significant other? I know more than a few of us have gone through that challenge.
Yes, a true test to a five-year relationship is living together in a studio and both working remotely. But this experience is something I would have never given up because we grew stronger from this challenging situation. As I move into a new place next week, I’m happy to say that I’ll miss my closet desk sanctuary in the studio. It was the start of my new life in LA. And I’m thankful to get back to the office soon so he won’t break up with me 😉
I totally feel that. Sharing a space is t-o-u-g-h during the pandemic. What would you say was your pandemic survival kit? For some of us, it was music, meditation, or food (of course). What about you? Did you have some things that really helped get you through this?
Living at home for half of the pandemic, my family and I survived off of dessert and dancing. This was something we did beforehand but was much more appreciated in the midst of lockdown. As for LA, my boyfriend and I took advantage of the outdoors with walks on the beach, hikes, and supporting our local LA restaurants with our mutual food obsession.
Dessert and dancing—gotta love it. What are you most excited for once California reopens completely?
Considering I have only lived in LA during the pandemic, I’m excited to explore my new city! I have already fallen in love with it and can’t wait to be embracing the Cali lifestyle. I’m hoping to learn how to surf and might even buy some rollerblades to skate around Santa Monica, so watch out! (No, really, I mean it. I haven’t skated since my elementary rollerblading parties.)
You heard, everyone! You can catch Emma on the boardwalk in skates once the pandemic is over. Well, our interview is coming to a close sadly, but I’ve got one more question. What are your top three favorite movies or TV shows you’ve watched on Netflix the last few months?
You’re killing me, Noelani. To pick only three is hard as I will admit that the amount I have watched is concerning. But, three favorites that I have watched in the last few months are Arrested Development (rewatching and still as hilarious), Ted Lasso (so heartwarming), and I will always put down The Office because there is not one life situation that cannot be answered with a one-liner from The Office.
So much truth was shared in this interview, including the fact that there really is no life situation that can’t be answered with one-liners from The Office. Thank you so much for the great conversation, Emma. It was a blast learning about everything from Rochester cuisine and how to order lemonade in Australia to your commitment to AdPurp clients. Enjoy your new apartment and California!