Gina Michnowicz: I Tap Into My Human Resources Experience More Than I Would Have Ever Thought

Gina Michnowicz

Gina Michnowicz of The Craftsman Agency .

Tell us about yourself?

Gina is CEO and Chief Creative OfficerT of The Craftsman Agency, where she focuses on creating magical moments through custom experiential marketing and immersive storytelling for B2B and B2C brands.

With clients including Cisco, Disney, Paramount, and Microsoft, Gina has led projects from concept to delivery of immersive digital experiences, experiential installations, websites, and bespoke advertising campaigns.

Gina’s work spans from marketing and sales within brands, to agencies, to management consulting.

Her time in management consulting has strengthened her ability to think both strategically and creatively, leading teams to push the envelope with work that surprises and intrigues prospective clients.

What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?

That you are a start up only for one to two years. It can take much longer to achieve your company vision.

If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?

I started the journey as a generalist in my field which meant I could handle a lot of different types of tasks. Just because you CAN do it does not mean you SHOULD do it. Essentially, work consistently ‘on’ the business versus ‘in’ the business.

What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?

I have a unique background in many functional areas of the business which helps me make better decisions for our growth. I tap into my human resources experience more than I would have ever thought.

What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?

I have a good routine to get my day started. I find doing walk and talks to start my day are effective for getting me in the right mindset. I meditate before I review my weekly goals and prioritized tasks for the days.

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And, I am learning to shut down and rest. The notion of working less to get more done was pretty foreign to me. The pandemic made me shift how I work and for how long. I get so much more done now and the ideas and work are better.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

We believe marketing is about human connection. By partnering with imaginative brands, we’ve been able to create magical moments that stand the test of time—whether we’re working on a new brand identity, an experiential activation, or a social campaign.

Bold storytelling that crosses physical and digital boundaries to leave lasting impressions is our sweet spot.

Where do you see your business in five years?

Our business is continuing to evolve. Our work is shifting more and more to the vision of being the go to shop for imaginative brands.

We are working on diversification and adding products to our portfolio. In five year, our company will be working on even more immersive experiences and activations.

What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?

It seems like time goes by so quickly so making time for the strategy to get there is something that we have to keep top of mind.

Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?

We are proud to be working with some of the most beloved brands in the world such as Disney, Fox Studios, Pixar and Cisco.

Our team is highly talented and supportive. We are proud of the culture that we have built even in a remote environment.

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How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?

Most of our clients are word of mouth or bring us with them. I would prefer to think of what we do as problem solving or helping clients achieve their business objectives versus selling.

If we are not consultative, then we run the risk of missing the true goals of our clients.

What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?

Hire the best and most diverse team around you. Your people are your greatest asset and should have different perspectives than you.

This makes you a better leader and the company a better place in the long run.

And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?

I hope we continue to evolve including myself. I want to be a better leader and try to show up as my best self every day. What I consider as my best self actually evolves over time because the bar continually gets higher.

I want our business to be a place where people come together to create magic and enjoy it. If we do breakthrough work and have fun, that is nirvana for me. Most importantly, I want everyone to have full lives both personally and professionally including myself.

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