Great brands question the status quo. So, we posed eight questions to Sara Hine, founder of Aras Creative Co.
Let’s go way back. What were you like as a kid?
When I was younger, I started so many businesses. I was always thinking up ideas—selling earrings and art. I have an arts background. I went to SCPA (School for Creative and Performing Arts) for creative writing and dance. I took pottery classes, and liked to paint and illustrate.
What inspired you to start Aras Creative Co?
I was at a crossroads in my career. I was really feeling this is just not what I want for my life. My heart wasn’t in it. So, I sold everything and traveled for a couple of months, went to South Africa, went to Vietnam. I traveled, I volunteered.
When I came back, I applied to Parsons in New York in fashion design. I got into their apprentice program, but I had known I wanted to have a child for a long time. I knew I could always go to New York, I could always go back to school, but I can’t always have a kid.
I decided to stay in Cincinnati. I was looking around at jobs at agencies and other companies. But I felt that things were very siloed and segmented in my experience with agencies and marketing departments. I realized I wanted to build an efficient, interdisciplinary, diverse company where people come together and collaborate. So, I did.
Why motivates you about marketing?
I love this idea of communication. I love expanding people’s minds. I realized I can focus on brands that have a purpose beyond just profit, where they are willing to take a stand. Then, when we succeed at creating a purpose and a profit, that is real success.
Why do you like working with small businesses and startups?
It makes me feel like what I’m doing is helping to grow a brand that will have a bigger platform and then inspire a lot of the larger companies to follow suit.
What’s your ideal next project?
I just really want to work with a woman-owned business with a purpose behind it. I want to support them and help them grow.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I’m always kind of working. Work and my personal life seamlessly blend together, and I designed it to be that way.
OK, so when you’re not working or parenting, really, what do you do?
I have always had an obsession with learning. When I was younger, my family always laughed at me because I had all these For Dummies books. I love to know things like how things work.
I just got a new iPad with Procreate and an Apple pencil. I haven’t drawn or painted in a while. Now I don’t have to get the stuff out. I can just do it. One night I stayed up until two in the morning doing Procreate classes on mandalas. Making mandalas on Procreate is the new meditation.
Do you have advice for young people in advertising?
Start thinking about designing the life that you want, and then decide what works to fit that.
Do your own thing, start your own business. You can do whatever you want, including work for somebody else, or find whatever it is that you love to do. It’s OK to choose!