Today I'm super excited to share with you background on a fabulous entrepreneur, Brenda Della Casa, BDC Digital Media.
I had the pleasure of meeting Brenda in New York a few months ago and thought she would be the perfect person to interview and share her experience as an entrepreneur and because she is an inspiration for many looking to start their own businesses and much more.
She is doing great things in the digital media world. She's also an internationally-published author, blogger, and much more.
Here's my Q&A with Brenda.. I know you'll enjoy this read!
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What was your childhood and background like?
My childhood was a bit unusual in some ways in that I was raised by my grandfather who passed away when I was 14. Luckily, he shared his wisdom, good moral foundation and beautiful spirit with me every day we were together. I credit him with anything that is good in me and his death obviously impacted me in a number of ways, even in terms of solidifying my determination to make something of my time here on earth. My grandfather taught me that, if I worked hard enough and was a decent person, I could do something worthwhile with my life. With the support of some amazing mentors and friends, I was able to find my way. I went to university, moved to New York and started working towards my goal of becoming a paid writer. Eventually, I sold my first article to Women's Day, then another, then a book and it went from there.
You have worked in a number of sectors: Television, print, events. Tell us about your interests and hobbies.
I have had the same passions all of my life: writing, exploring, building, supporting others, learning and adding value; most of what I do stems from the combination of these three things. I love to be challenged, to learn something new, to research, travel and experience things that expose me to a new way of thinking. I am someone who always needs a takeaway. It has to make me think or I am not really interested in it be it a movie, book, article or conversation.
Tell us a little about why you started BDC Media and Badass + Living
Again, these stemmed from my passions. In the past, I have assisted my friends and colleagues with their websites and social media platforms and I have been speaking, teaching and consulting as a Digital Media Strategist for the past four years. Additionally, I started a mentorship program in 2012 for young women who wanted to get into the digital field. All of this grew into something where having my own company and magazine made sense.
You recently left a great job at Preston Bailey Designs to work at BDC Media full time and are leaving NYC for London! Congrats! Tell us all about this career and lifestyle change! What will your new (newer?) job role entail?
Working for Preston was a life changing experience for me. Not only was he a boss who allowed me to explore, expand and grow, he was very much a father figure to me through the years. I really grew in that role and I will be forever grateful for that experience. I think one of the main reasons I was there for 4 years was because I was able to take an entrepreneurial approach to my role. Preston always asked my opinion and allowed me to run with my ideas for the brand and content. By the time I left, I was running social media, ghostwriting, writing PR, in licensing meetings, speaking, teaching, editing books and writing scripts. There was just a lot of opportunity there. My company now is doing all of this for smaller brands and it's a very exciting venture.
What made you decide to take a "leap of faith" if you will, and move to London? Where in London do you live?
We all have our "happy place" and London is mine. I have wanted to live there for 15 years and actually cried every time I left Heathrow. When Tech City announced the TechNation Exceptional Talent Visa, I applied with a lot of faith and very little confidence. I was so scared! When I received the visa, I knew that my dream had come true and there was not even a moment I considered not going. I quit my job, sold my things and now I am starting over in the most exciting way. I am currently living with a wildly generous and wonderful friend in a lovely area called Richmond, but am looking for a flat near Notting Hill or Primrose Hill, two areas I love.
What advice do you have for other women who want to break out on their own and perhaps even move to a completely different locale?
We have one life (that we know of) and there are always going to be 100 fears disguised as reasons. We will all meet a hater or two, and unfortunately, sexism and ageism are alive and well. We can allow ourselves to be bullied or we can get up and go. At the end of the day, we have to accept that this is the only life we know for sure that we have. When I accepted that, I realized that I would be miserable if I hit the end of my life not seeing the world, living in London, trying to build my own company and being a mother. I decided to make a list of what matters most to me and wake up every day working towards that, regardless of what anyone thought about it, my relationship status or any other outside factors. That's when decision-making became very easy for me.
What challenges do you think women face starting their own business/blog/etc? How do you overcome these?
There will always be administrative issues and red tape, but I think the biggest challenges, stem from a lack of confidence, clarity and focusing on the wrong things. A lot of people will think what you're doing is great and many more will "warn" you when really they are projecting their own fears or even a little jealousy. Ultimately, you need to make a decision, commit to yourself and not let yourself down. Do the research, reach out to mentors for informational interviews, have a clear idea of your vision and then write a business, branding, marketing and content plan and using all of this to help build your confidence and keep things streamlined. Accept when something is not working and try a new way instead of just giving up.
Finally, any fav London spots you've been to before?
I have so much to discover and explore, but I have been very lucky to experience different areas thanks to friends who welcome me into their lives. I am obsessed with the V&A (my favorite museum in the world thus far) and love Primrose Hill (the area and actual hill). The Wolseley is special because it is where I would go with Sue, The Tower of London is amazing, Experimental Cocktail Lounge, 69 Colebrook Row and The Bat have great drinks, No. 11 in Pimlico and Rock and Rose in Richmond are fantastic brunch spots and Brinkley's and Albert's are great places for a night out. The Flask is my favorite pub so far and the parks in the city are unparallelled. I love so much about London and can't wait to know more.
Background on Brenda
Brenda Della Casa is a digital media expert, speaker, author and blogger. She is the owner of BDC Digital Media and the Founder of Badass+ Living. Additionally, she is the internationally-published author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The former editor-in-chief and Digital Content Strategist at Preston Bailey Designs and a blogger for YourTango and Thrillist.
Instagram: @BDCDigitalMediaPhoto Credit: Lauren Cosenza