I stay motivated by… listening to the amazing success stories of my fellow peers and all the ways that we as a generation continue to push the envelope on entrenched industries and conventional business methods.
Three adjectives that describe me are… committed, tenacious, and scrappy.
If I could have dinner with one person it would be… Gertrude Stein because I’ve always held in high regard how among the esteemed “boys club” of artists of her time — Ernest Hemingway, André Breton, and Pablo Picasso, among others — Gertrude was the unequivocal taste-maker, convener, and gatekeeper of the avantgarde.
The most exciting innovation to me is… the emergence of new media in the arts, particularly how evolving social media and information dissemination channels are affecting both the kind of art that is being produced today and the ways in which the public gain access to knowledge about it.
Hayworth is a strategic PR and communications consultancy committed to promoting intrepid ideas in the arts and design. We combine the quality and sustainability of large, institutional corporate communications with the curiosity, energy, and agility of an independent consultancy. Our clients include a visionary roster of artists, galleries, non-profits, interior design companies, and fellow storytellers. The underpinning of our relationships is to foster a quality, mission-driven community that shares a genuine enthusiasm for the creative process. At Hayworth, we believe in cultivating authentic networks and therefore focus our efforts on developing and seeing to fruition strategic campaigns surrounding programs, events, benefits, exhibitions, and performances. We are unabashed in our pursuit of effecting mutually-rewarding relationships with our clients and their audiences and optimizing visibility for their initiatives and milestones.
To learn more about our results-driven approach, please visit our website. If you share our passion for art and design, and would like to be more familiar, please follow me on Instagram at ellie.hayworth. I am always enthusiastic to connect!
What motivated you to become an entrepreneur? Is having your own business something you always wanted?
I’ve always had the drive to build a professional legacy and I recognized that this would necessitate my taking the time to be thoughtful about the kind of company I founded and the values that underpinned our strategy. I took great care to be a fast learner under the tutelage of professionals in the arts that I respected and who held me to exceedingly high standards. I’m very motivated by relationship-building and I am energized by the opportunity to help people achieve their professional objectives and to find solutions for their problems. I was raised in a Cuban American immigrant family — my grandfather moved to New York City in exile from his home country and proved that through hard work and perseverance one can indeed earn their luck. My father is also an entrepreneur. As such, I grew up steeped in an environment that valued above all else hard work and professional integrity. I knew one day this would lead to the founding of my own company where these tenets would become a daily standard.
Do you have a fixed work routine? Is it important to have one? Any tips for our readers?
I am a stickler for my morning routine. I’m a very early riser. I clear my inbox, pitch new business opportunities, follow up on timely leads, and jump-start my day with a boxing lesson — often before 8am. That said, once business hours are in full swing I need to remain quick on my toes to be able to pivot on a dime in response to client needs, the media cycle, and other timely opportunities that arise throughout the day. I find that striking the balance between a disciplined schedule and the freedom to break the mold is where my best — and most creative — ideas are conceived.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle for female founders? How can we overcome it?
I believe contemporary society has significantly improved its perception of female entrepreneurship and I genuinely believe strides are being made to incorporate more inclusive hiring and professional development practices. I credit our progress to being unabashed in vocalizing our needs and being relentless in demanding visibility, particularly in recent years. That said, there are moments, particularly in a service-based business, where I see flashes of a patronizing societal underbelly — the tendency to want to relegate women back to outdated secretarial or domestic archetypes.
I think more importantly perhaps, we as women need to continue to demand fair and equal consideration with regard to personal and professional development. Appropriate infrastructure needs to be in place to promote healthy maternity-leave policies, to break the stigma surrounding expectations of “what women want”, and most importantly I believe, to demand that executive and C-suite level managers are having an open dialogue with their teams about enforcing equal pay and equal promotional opportunities.
How do you generate new ideas to stay relevant on the market? Is it important to innovate in your space?
Beyond routine consumption of the media necessary to stay apprised of the goings-on for my PR-related work, I am always reading — often several books at a time. I find myself simultaneously reading fiction for pleasure, historical non-fiction for perspective, and a business or sociological book both for professional and personal development insights. In addition to traditional books, I often listen to audiobooks on my leisure time or in commute, and have a rotating list of go-to podcasts that I pepper in throughout the week. As a result I feel I can apply a breadth of knowledge and experience to the challenges at hand both in professional and personal life. Beyond practical application, I credit reading with my proclivity for the written word, vocabulary, and rhetoric. While innovation is key to maintaining an engaged and curious community, I find that traditional values surrounding written communication, social decorum, and professionalism help distinguish my approach from my competitors.
What are your short/long term goals?
I am committed to building Hayworth into a powerhouse agency at the intersection of art and design. However, I recognize that to do so while maintaining a dedicated attention to the quality of our work and the commitment to our core values will necessitate a methodical, patient, and stalwart growth process. Patience is a virtue I challenge myself to hone daily. My goal is to selectively build a team of like-minded individuals who share my passion and dedication to the craft — for me, professional integrity and unrelenting tenacity are paramount for the long-term success of my company. I subscribe to the philosophy of Warren Buffett: I keep my eye on the ten-year, even fifteen-year milestone. This means I celebrate the short-term victories fleetingly. Each small success contributes to our sustainability while posing the challenge to keep raising the bar of excellence. It is important not to lose sight of humility and to be wary of hubris.