Tina Wells is wired for success.
As a self-proclaimed professional problem solver, Tina is an expert on youth marketing and serves as the founder + CEO of Buzz Marketing Group. When Tina’s not helping her clients succeed, she’s writing a best-selling teen fiction series and overseeing the tween site http://www.mackenzieblue.com.
Tina is a proud Philadelphia-native who’s quick to share tips on where to find breathtaking views and delicious food. Read on to learn what it takes to be named one of Fast Company’s most creative people; specifically how Tina stays inspired, the mantra by which she lives her live and why she loves marketing to (fearless!) young people.
Right now, my mantra is “how do you want to feel?” Pretty much everything we do is to satisfy a set of core feelings, so right now I’m focused on how I want to feel, then what I intend to do to feel that way. One of my core desires for 2016 is creativity. So when I look at my schedule for the week, I’m going to make sure I’ve reserved some time for writing, crafting, cooking…anything that allows me to be creative.
Describe a day in the life as the CEO + founder of Buzz Marketing Group.
Sometimes my job is to be a professional problem solver. I help clients connect with their core consumers and create communications strategies to reach them. I always say to my team, “we need to be the calm in the storm.” So I try to do things all day that help ensure that happens.
I start my day with some sort of positive affirmation. I love Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie app. Then it’s CNN and a quick read through of newsletters with the morning’s news. I love Fortune’s morning newsletter.
I tend to arrive at my office between 10 and 11am. A lot of my day is spent in planning meetings with our clients and then meetings with our team. We are working on several research projects right now and finalizing our Top 10 Trends of 2016, so it’s a lot of planning and reviewing at the moment.
I spend one day each week in New York City visiting with clients. And each month, I have at least one trendspotting trip (I’m really excited about an upcoming fashion trends trip to Amsterdam and Copenhagen!).
I also spend some time with my team that works on my tween girl site, http://www.mackenzieblue.com. It’s based on the best-selling middle grade fiction series I write that’s published by HarperCollins. This is, by far, the most fun thing I get to do everyday. Writing fiction and chatting with girls and knowing I’ve created characters they love is absolutely the most fulfilling thing I’ve done.
At least three times each week I take yoga classes and I try to cook dinner 3-4 times each week if I’m not traveling.
I also have five younger siblings, so my days are filled with text messages, emails, and phone calls catching up with them!
When people think about advertising and marketing, many think about cities like New York City, Chicago and LA. What do you love about operating your business in Philadelphia?
I absolutely love the city of Philadelphia. From history to amazing food and culture, it is just the best city. Whether you taken an afternoon at The Barnes Foundation to see some of the most breathtaking art ever or go to Reading Terminal for the best doughnut you’ve ever had, it’s just an amazing place to be.
A few years ago we left Philly for Haddonfield, New Jersey, which is just a dream little town. I can walk to the train and be downtown in 20 minutes, and get to enjoy streets full of family-owned bakeries and juice bars!
We just love it!
You’ve been named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company. Where do you find inspiration?
I always have a new thing. I just think it’s the way I’m wired. Right now, I’m into paper crafts. I generally didn’t think I was too creative, but there are like scrapbox-in-a-box kits that really make paper crafts full proof.
I am also a content junkie. I am always consuming. But honestly, I find most of my inspiration through our buzzSpotters. We have 37,000 trendspotters worldwide who talk to us constantly about what inspires them and their favorite things. My team is also very inspirational. Yesterday I was being educated about #blessup and it was just hilarious!
You write a powerful book on youth marketing. What attracts you to youth culture in particular?
I love the vibrancy and tenacity of young people. I started when I was 16, and I was just so fearless then. I love how open and honest young people are about life, possibilities, and what they want. I also love how unapologetic they are.
Describe your role on the United Nation’s Global Entrepreneurship Council. What kinds of decisions or initiatives are you supporting?
It’s such a great honor. The council is made up of 8 to 10 entrepreneurs, and our main role as council members is to bring innovative ideas to the UN Foundation to help move its mission forward. During my tenure as a council member (sadly, I’m now an emeritus member) I was able to travel to a refugee settlement in Uganda, work on the My World 2015 survey in support of the UN’s SDGs, and also launch the Global Accelerator at the UN. It was great to work with such great entrepreneurs and help such a worthy cause. Oh, and getting to meet Her Majesty Queen Rania a few times is not bad either!
What’s your experience been like with about.me so far. What do you like about our platform?
I love it! I love storytelling, and this is such a great way to tell your story. We’re living in a great moment that’s all about great stories across so many platforms – TV, Youtube, Netflix, Instagram. We’ve all become storytellers, and about.me is a great platform for telling the story of you.
Anna Lizaur is a Marketing Manager with about.me. She graduated from the University of Virginia. Anna is fluent in Spanish and can count to 100 in Chinese.