Everyday, we encounter so many incredible and inspiring entrepreneurs in our city - sometimes it can be difficult to choose what TRULY makes one stand out over the other. This week, the choice was easy for us: another fierce female who started her own creative agency. When women support one another, incredible things happen - and this week, we're introducing you to Amanda Riva from THP Agency!
1. First off, share a little about YOU. Who IS Amanda Riva?
I’m a big family person. I’m a wife, mum to two-year-old Hugo and to our fur baby Winston (the craziest goldendoodle ever). I come from a big sailing family and have sailed to Bermuda with my dad. In the kitchen, I’ve been known to make a mean pasta carbonara and love cooking for family and friends. We are currently renovating a new house and I’m so excited to be building my dream kitchen! Probably less surprising is that I love my work. I really love what I do, my team, our customers and tackling new opportunities. It is such a huge part of who I am and I’m deeply appreciative that I get to pursue my passion with total support from my family.
2. What inspired you to start your own creative agency (THP Agency)? How did you get to where you are today?
As luck would have it, I was in the right place at the right time. It all started with a cooking show on McGill TV called The Hot Plate. We were talking to millennials about cooking at home, and it was just as brands were realizing that they needed to speak to this new consumer segment on their terms. I had the opportunity to food style for a handful of big agencies and brands right out of university and learned a lot about their pain points with content production and social media. From there, it was really about creating a solution that allowed marketers to produce high quality content for social media better, faster and cheaper than the traditional freelancer or commercial options available at the time.
3. Your photos are so creative and fun! How do you keep your content and campaigns fresh and exciting?
Thank you! All of that passion and creativity comes right from our team. We have the most incredible group of young professionals working at THP. The average age in our office is 28 and not surprising they all love to eat! They are so passionate about our customers and making them the best in the world that they really and genuinely want to solve each customers’ unique pain points when it comes to engaging their target audience. We are lucky enough that we get to do that through beautiful content and lots (and lots) of delicious food.
4. Running your own business can be VERY demanding (we know from experience!) How do you balance the day-to-day with long-term, big picture strategy?
Time management is key. Looking back, I probably wasn’t very good at time management until I had Hugo. Having a baby was the perfect moment to get very disciplined about prioritizing tasks, delegating and making sure that I’ve got a keep-doing and a stop-doing list. Our goal is to make sure we’ve got the right people in the right seats on the bus so we can drive it forward together.
5. What do you think are the biggest challenges that brands face on social these days? Any tips?
The biggest challenges brand face are how to keep up with the demands for content and how to ensure that your content stands out and engages with the right audiences. We always encourage our customers to work with companies that aren’t afraid to be flexible and offer on-demand services. Marketers more than ever require high quality, flexible and cost-effective solutions that can evolve with their business. Social media is changing way to fast to be locked down into long term contracts or traditional retainers.
6. Entrepreneurship is like being in school - you learn something new everyday! What’s a recent insight you’ve uncovered that could help your fellow business owners?
As my dad always said, “Shoot for the stars, land on the moon. Shoot for the moon, land in the outhouse.” Maybe not the most elegant phrase but it always rings true. Playing it safe doesn’t pay off. Being an entrepreneur is about pushing the limits and disrupting the norm. Every leap should be well thought out , but you can never back down from giving each each task 120%. This also means that you need to be disciplined. Giving an activity your all is time consuming. At THP, we always evaluate if an idea supports what we want to best in the world at. If the answer is no, we don’t do it.
7. Which are your favourite brands on social right now and why?
Tropicana – Great example of a brand that is working hard to create new occasions and narratives with a younger consumer segment.
Studio McGee – If you’re a renovation junkie like me, then this team is worth a follow. I love watching strong examples of emerging brands and how they use social media to exponentially expand their business.
8. How do you and your team #workit everyday?
5 a.m. alarm, three lattes, a prioritized to-do list, peanut butter sandwich (I know, boring!), office rounds to catch up on the team and home to the family at 6 p.m.