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Meet Lucy Rendler-Kaplan of Arkay Marketing & PR in North Side

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Rendler-Kaplan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been incredibly lucky and am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve gotten in the work I’ve done. My very first job out of college was at Red Bull, and I was able to use that as my “school” to really teach me all about marketing, and I immediately fell in love.

I’ve had the chance to work in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York with some really incredible startups, and always knew I wanted to do more. Startups are my favorite because you really get to see the results of what you’re doing, pretty much daily. After 17 years, I was working for a company that was about to get bought out by a huge soda company, and nervous about now having work after that, I finally faced my biggest fear and opened my company.

I’ve been so very fortunate getting to meet groups of really incredible people that have always been there for me to give me advice, refer new clients to me….for many years I lived by the motto of “Work doesn’t have to be fun. That’s why its called work,” but that isn’t a terribly fulfilling way to live. I’m busier now and work more than I have in my entire life, but I find myself smiling with each new email that comes in, and could not possibly love my clients more than I do.

Has it been a smooth road?
NO! Starting out on your own, after always working in-house is one of the scariest things ever. I thought I’d have to constantly hustle to find clients, and what would I do if I couldn’t find enough? Or if they weren’t all able to pay a rate I was accustomed to? Fear kept me from moving forward and opening my doors for YEARS. But there’s nothing worse than living with “What ifs?” constantly, and at some point, I had to bite the bullet and take a chance on me.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I run a marketing and PR company, with a very strong focus on social media. For a few years now, I’ve been able to have social media articles published and have gotten very involved both personally and professionally with Twitter. Many of my clients are referrals from Twitter friends!

I think what helps set us apart is that I’ve truly been focused throughout my career on building up my employees and being very focused on their professional growth. I think that has allowed me to build an incredible network around the country and allows me to bring my clients the resources they need without having to search hard for them.

I’m most proud of the teams I work with. My part-time teams around the country are unbelievably talented, and I’m so fortunate to be able to trust them to be “me” when I’m not in the city.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
YES! It’s so amazing that Chicago is growing faster than so many other cities in terms of tech! I’m working with a team right now developing an app and we could be launching it anywhere, but have chosen Chicago because of what a tech hub it’s become!

If someone is just starting out, my biggest recommendation is to go out and meet people. Attend events in your industry. The city has great networking possibilities because it’s not as spread out as other cities like New York and LA. I always tell people that visit Chicago that when they leave, they’re going to feel as if they now know everyone in the city- we’re an incredibly welcoming group!

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