ABOUT Denise is one motivated and inspirational woman! As CEO of The S3 Agency (what she describes as “half ad agency / half PR firm / half social media hotbed”), she’s developed groundbreaking-and award winning!-communications programs for clients like Aston Martin, Eight O’Clock Coffee, the NBA, Turtle Back Zoo and Wyndham Worldwide. Since starting The S3 Agency in 2001, she has helped it grow to a multi-million dollar enterprise that ranks among New Jersey’s largest woman-owned businesses. Denise is a frequent speaker and featured marketing expert in local and national media. When she’s not dreaming up creative ideas for clients, Denise can be found spending time with her husband and 5-year-old son; doing crossword puzzles; traveling; attempting yoga; or tweeting as @AdvertGirl.
Robin Baron: Tell us a bit about what you do…
Denise Blasevick: I run a creative company called The S3 Agency. We specialize in helping companies large and small conquer their communication challenges by ideating and executing unique, breakthrough strategies to reach their audiences. Think Don Draper on Mad Men – only much nicer and more modern.
I spend my days (and nights) thinking of creative ideas for some of the best brands out there. In any given day I can be working on launching a new car, developing a social media promotion for a coffee company, devising a way to get zoo animals on TV… It’s my dream job, and I still can’t believe this is what I get to do each day.
RB: What is your personal mantra?
DB: My personal mantra is: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.
RB: Where do you find creative inspiration for your job?
DB: Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. The brain is the most gorgeous part of the body. I love how it combines a memory from third grade, a meal in Vienna, a character from a novel, something my 5-year-old son says, and a song lyric…mushes them all together…and spits out an advertising concept that is right on target. Now that you know how I think, you can probably guess whether or not I have a neat desk – ha!
RB: How would you describe your workspace? Your home décor?
DB: My personal and professional décor reflect that fact that I want to live IN the DaVinci Code. I ensconce myself in carved wood, gothic light fixtures and Salvador Dali artwork throughout my home and office. The rest of my agency has a very funky vibe. Our office building is a former bank, and the walk-in vault (complete with safe deposit boxes) is a key focal point. According to legend, our building is haunted by “the blue lady.” I’ve never met her, but I am friends with her on Facebook.
RB: Your job is all about being in the media…How do you unplug?
DB: Unplugging is hard, and focusing is important, but there definitely is crossover between work and personal life. When it comes to my husband and son, however, I make a concerted effort to turn it off. Pushing away the iPhone (gasp!) is essential to “being all there” with them. After all, when I look back on my life, I doubt I’ll be wishing I’d sent more texts! Crossword puzzles and yoga are also great mental Etch-a-Sketches.
RB: What do you love most about your home and why?
DB: I built my house and got to pick out everything in it – which was simultaneously fabulous and stressful. The downstairs level is wide open, and the great room is floored with wide-planks of dark, hand-scraped black walnut, which I love. Floors are so important for grounding a room, and black walnut feels warm, as if it’s been here for generations, equally suited to everyday living and holiday entertaining. Plus, we have a black walnut tree on our property, where we enjoy watching the squirrels steal our nuts, so it brings a little of the outside in.
RB: What is the one thing in your home that everyone always comments on?
DB: Our dining room table. It’s huge, which is ridiculous since there are only three of us in the house, but I had to have it. Distressed wood from Tuscany, braided wood inlay pattern near the perimeter, angled at corners and rounded at edges, in a gorgeous amber color. Ooh, talking about it makes me want to go sit there right now. Definitely the kind of table vampires would enjoy dining at, you know, if they ate food.
RB: What is one piece of wisdom you would share with someone whose dream it is to start their own company?
DB: Stop dreaming about it and do it! Starting a company doesn’t mean opening your doors for business, though. It means getting your plan together so you can be one of the minority whose business succeeds when you do open those doors. (And if it doesn’t, you can always go back to something else…but at least you will have tried.)
RB: If you weren’t running your own company right now, what would you be doing?
DB: I’d be a travel editor. What could be better than being paid to travel the world?
RB: What is your favorite part about your business?
DB: I am so fortunate to have the very best business partner, staff members and clients! Let’s face it: most of us spend more time at work than we do at home. Working side-by-side with smart, talented, caring people on projects for smart, talented, caring people is what work should be all about. And it is!
Each Friday Simplifying Fabulous! presents Fab Fridays, an up-close-and-personal look at how one of our community members simplifies fabulous in their own life. Is there someone you’d like to see featured? Email your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.