“Sometimes simplifying your mission or message is important for business – but it’s also okay to be smart in your clarity, and if that unnerves someone, so be it.”
By Boston Business Women | November 7, 2018
WERE YOU BORN AND RAISED IN BOSTON? IF NOT, WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE?
I was born and raised on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, but I fell in love with Boston during a high school jazz clinic at Berklee. I moved here in 2004 to attend Northeastern, and I’ve lived and worked here ever since.
TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR JOB OR COMPANY AND WHAT LED YOU TO YOUR CAREER?
Currently, I’m the Operations Supervisor at Mintz, where I’ve been part of the Operations/Facilities team for over 10 years, and also a Boston-based Realtor, investor, entrepreneur, and speaker on The Hustle. I grew up the daughter of a contractor, working in roofing and construction, and now own and manage multi-family property in JP and Roslindale with my partner, Jack Romano. I work as a Realtor with Arborview Realty, which I love – I specialize in helping first-time home buyers and millennial investors narrow their search and navigate the buying process. Jack and I also run boutique design firm Union Jack Creative, currently focused on developing a suite of apps aimed at helping buyers get their offers accepted.
Jack and I began freelancing together in college, and UJC initially focused on developing custom websites; we formed the company in early 2009 when neither of us were entirely sure what might happen to our jobs in the recession. As Squarespace, Wix, and other similar tools because more readily available in the market, we transitioned to high-touch, small-run print design. We sought out real estate investing because we wanted a separate income stream to cushion a potential transition from 9-to-5 to full-time design, and in the process of managing and fixing our first three-decker in JP, realized we like real estate more than the design we were doing at the time. I got my license expecting to use it to find our next investment, but I love helping people navigate the process (it doesn’t need to be so hard!) and I love helping people learn what to look for and how to maintain their homes. After we bought our Roslindale fixer-upper, Jack was able to transition to managing our properties and developing for UJC full time.
All of which is to say: I’m still not sure where this road leads, but the resume that for a decade felt disparate and not cohesive to me, ultimately came together in an unexpected but extremely fulfilling portfolio career that I love. As a result, I also speak on The Hustle (and how starting a business can help you take positive risks in your day job), and on impostor syndrome. Stay tuned for the next phase!
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“Don’t ever dumb yourself down for a date.” I was in fifth grade at the time, and I didn’t really understand what my teacher meant, but those words stuck with me through high school, ringing in the back of my mind when a later boyfriend split because of my higher GPA, and carried into my career. Of course sometimes simplifying your mission or message is important for business – but it’s also okay to be smart in your clarity, and if that unnerves someone, so be it.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET WEAPON? AN APP, A TOOL, A ORGANIZATION METHOD, ANYTHING?!
Grocery delivery! I use Roche Bros. delivery service every week because I despise grocery shopping and the time it takes, and I rely on Family Dinner (@sharefamilydinner on IG) CSA delivery to keep me out of culinary ruts. Also, google calendars.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU?
I had a scholarship to play the tuba in the pep band in college. (I’ve always had a hustle mindset, even when it came to tuition.)
Continue to Boston Business Women for the full interview.