Today we’d like to introduce you to May O’Connor.
May, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have had a really unique professional path. I moved to Miami 12 years ago after evacuating from New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina. In New Orleans, I had fallen in love with fantastic food. When I got to Miami, I started working as a Chef on private yachts. After almost a decade of life on the water, I was ready to settle down on land and decided to start a Catering Company. I was bootstrapping the whole thing- and as a result, decided to tackle the digital side of things myself. I created social media pages, did some PR work, marketing, and began building my own website.
The catering didn’t go anywhere, but I loved the creativity and design process involved in building my website and the entrepreneurial energy involved in starting a business. I began doing that as a hobby and built enough sites for friends and family to have a sizable portfolio. I landed a few paying clients, and my agency born. I named it Magnolia Ad Co. Those beautiful trees are a Southern icon, and my personal nod to my time in New Orleans.
We take customer’s aspirations and concepts and bring them to life. Although we specialize in building beautiful websites, we’ve been honored to create entire business plans from start to finish. Founding Magnolia Ad Co has been an incredible experience. Although it is business, our projects become personal, we are with our client’s every step of the way.
Last year I was recognized by Wix as one of their Pro’s in the state of Florida, and became one of their first Ambassadors. There are now over 100 Ambassadors across the globe, and over 110 million Wix users. I teach free quarterly workshops on how to utilize Wix as a business solution, and at Magnolia we often use that platform to build client’s websites. Being an Ambassador is an amazing way to give back to my community, and a great way to empower people to follow through with their dreams of running their own businesses.
Has it been a smooth road?
Starting as a sole proprietor of a digital agency, I wore many hats. All of them in fact. Back when I started, I never said no to an opportunity. As a result I self-taught many aspects of my industry I wasn’t very familiar with. As a Chef, I was very organized, thorough, and got to be creative. As a designer, those skills translated surprisingly well. Putting together a website is similar- all of the ingredients come together to make something people love. As a founder, I got to experience things growing from the beginning, and as a CEO- I have familiarity with every aspect of our agency because I had to learn the hard way what worked and what didn’t. There was a huge learning curve associated with completely pivoting industries, but I think taking the long way served me well.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Magnolia Ad Co story. Tell us more about the business.
Magnolia Ad Co is a full service digital agency. We started in Coconut Grove, then recently moved to Delray Beach. However, we have clients all over the world. We specialize in designing and building innovative, unique websites. We have evolved to meet our client’s needs as their businesses grow. As a result, we customize full digital packages that include maintenance plans, advertising, marketing, social media management and more. It’s amazing to see an idea become a business, and we are so proud to have so many success stories. We are different because of our personal approach. We listen to our client’s needs and work with them to create something they love that also allows them to reach their goals.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
When you talk tech- there are always big changes on the horizon. Website design has changed significantly; there are so many new design tricks that can set you apart in a sea of sites. It wasn’t that long ago you had to hire an expensive developer to code a website that you couldn’t change or manage. Now, there is a big DIY trend in our industry with companies like Wix. Their technology has turned a corner, and in my professional opinion they’re the most efficient business solution out there. They have just introduced the ability to custom code anything you want into a site- which is a game changer. WordPress is a taxi. Wix is an Uber. We often build websites using Wix as a hosting platform, and then train clients how to manage their sites themselves. More and more- people are starting their own businesses and they have the “do it yourself” mentality that has changed this industry. We start them on the right foot- then set them free to change products, add blog posts, and update pictures- whatever they need. Mobile sites are the game changer moving forward. Everyone is on their phone- and businesses need to evolve if they want to stay relevant. I definitely see that trend continuing, and we have adapted to make it a reality for our customers.
- Mobile responsive websites with custom SEO start at $1500
- Social Media and Advertising packages start at $750/month
- Coaching and consulting packages start at $750.
- Website: www.magnoliaadco.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/magnoliaadco
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/magnoliaadco
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/magnoliaadco
- Other: https://calendly.com/magnoliaadco/15min