Lydia Martinez is the driving force behind Elle Marketing & Events. Over the last five years, she has created a successful woman-owned business and a female-centric team. Her company is one of the top creative marketing agencies in the Salt Lake City area. 

Elle Marketing has handled social media management, marketing strategy, event planning, and business expansion for several clients, including Hugo Coffee RoastersLaziz KitchenM. Kobernik DesignsMarket Source Real EstatePunch Bowl Social, and Cache Toffee Collection.

Keep reading to learn more about the woman who put Elle Marketing & Events on the map.

Lydia’s Early Experience

Lydia worked in marketing for years before deciding to launch Elle Marketing & Events. Her most recent marketing experience contributed to her talents as a marketing specialist and event planner for Whole Foods Market for almost seven years.

Before working for Whole Foods, she worked for Barnes & Noble as their community relations manager and event planner for almost four years.  Working in fast-paced retail environments, Lydia managed a team to work on long term strategy, drove marketing outcomes, and learned to analyze and measure results. 

“I see marketing as storytelling, first and foremost. Great marketing takes customers on a journey from start to finish.  Helping customers understand the journey by showcasing the business’s story is what I took away from all my years of working for big retailers.  It applies directly to all businesses,” said Lydia. 

In addition to her work for Whole Food Market and Barnes & Noble, she is the original chair of the board and founder of the Sugar House Farmers Market, a writer for Salt Lake Magazine and other periodicals co-creator of the Suitcase Foodist blog.  She is also the owner of Restaurant Owners Marketing Academy, a new venture launching in 2021.

Starting Her Own Business

In 2015, Lydia realized that she craved more than her life at Whole Foods. She’d been doing some consulting on the side for several years for local restaurants and a couple of events.  She also loved the job and thought she wanted to work her way up through the ranks. But then, Whole Foods told her that they were dissolving her position. They said they didn’t want to lose her and tagged her to promote a regional marketing specialist that she had always wanted. 

Even though she knew she was ready to step up into this new role, something didn’t sit quite right with her. By the time she got home from work that night, she was ready to say goodbye to her career at Whole Foods. 

When she talked about it with her husband, he told her that he fully supported her decision to focus on something that would truly make her happy. He had noticed that she hadn’t been as fulfilled as expected.

“It was scary going from something I thought I wanted, to realizing that I had grown beyond that point, to changing the entire direction of my professional life literally overnight. I realized that my passion was actually in the consulting I’d been doing and that it was time to move on. I had a great support system, but it felt like stepping off a cliff.”

Lydia didn’t have an exact plan, but she knew that she was destined to do something with marketing and event planning. From that strangely peaceful uncertainty, Elle Marketing & Events was born.

The Origin of “Elle”

The name for the company came from Lydia’s childhood nickname, “Elle.” It was something that only her immediate family called her. When she started the company, she wanted to go into it with familiarity and ownership. Fun fact: Elle also means “she” in French, which felt very appropriate given the diverse, female-centric team at Elle Marketing.

Lydia’s First Clients

Of course, to have a successful marketing company, you have to have a great client base. To gain some customers, Lydia sent out some emails to see if her contacts were interested in her services. She figured if nothing came of this, she could brush up her resume and start applying for jobs. 

“I left my job on a Friday. Let myself feel sad on Saturday. Panicked a bit on Sunday.  And on Monday, I got to work.  My goal was to reach out to a few contacts and have one client by the end of the day.  I sent out three emails.  At the end of the day, I had three clients. They were just little one-off projects, but it gave me the confidence to believe that I could do this!”

Elle Marketing has worked with a diverse range of clients across various industries, with many falling in the creative fields – from restaurants, food and beverage, real estate, and services.  

“I am so fortunate! Our clients tend to work with us for the long-term.  I even have several clients that we’ve been supporting with marketing services for the entire time we’ve been in business.  They have become so much more than clients – they are friends and a business support system.” 

The Power of Stories

In college, Lydia studied theater and broadcast journalism, where she discovered her love of telling a well-crafted story. This is how she found her niche in marketing. You can’t properly brand or market your business if you don’t tell a great story. 

Although she started her first business at eight years old selling tree-climbing lessons, Lydia is not all about business. You can find her climbing cliffs in her spare time, enjoying a good book, or traveling with her husband and partner in adventure.

If you’re eager to have Lydia and her team tell your story, contact Elle Marketing today. We would love to help you improve your business in any way we can.