YEDaily: Andrea Baxter

Andrea Baxter is a whip-smart young entrepreneur who relied on her passions to carry her through the creation of both her businesses, Bratface Marketing and Smart Cookies – the latter of which is a joint endeavour with four other smart and savvy women. Find out more about this accomplished woman in today’s YEDaily.

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Bratface Marketing is a niche marketing and strategy firm providing customized concepts utilizing online and social media expertise while mixing traditional branding and strategy. With a focus primarily on franchise organizations and startup companies, our clients have included some of North America’s highly recognized, award-winning companies including Vision Critical, Blast Radius, Survivor Bootcamp and Return Path.

Smart Cookies is a money-mentoring brand focused on making financial information interesting and engaging to young women. After appearing on Oprah, we authored two National Best Sellers and co-hosted the W Network television series. In addition to Oprah, we have also appeared on The Today Show, CNN, and ABC News, and have been covered in The New York Time, Money Magazine, and New York Daily News to name a few.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Smart Cookies was originally inspired by a series Oprah was doing on her show called the Debt Diet series which focused on getting American families out of debt. We were also inspired to start taking control of our finances after we all found ourselves in serious financial trouble and lack of accountability. Bratface Marketing was inspired by my love of marketing and really wanting to ‘stay in the game’ because I didn’t want to fall behind in my industry, and I really did miss it after focusing on the Smart Cookies for a while.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is really making each day my own, although it’s still something I need help with. All my friends who work for companies are envious that I get to make my own schedule, but sometimes it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be! You need discipline to work on your own…but it’s still nice to have. So I guess it would be the best part and the most challenging part of my day…

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
New York City. It’s the city I’ve been obsessed with ever since I can remember. I think it was a mixture of the business trips my father used to take there when I was little combined with the fact that I watched way too many 1980s movies about women in business! Seemed to be a good fit for me and I so belong there. There is so much opportunity there and I’ve been fortunate enough to build some solid business connections in NYC over the past couple of years.

What does success look like to you?
Success to me is being your true, authentic self and that comes in many forms. For me, success would be obtaining the work/life balance. It’s something I still struggle with and hope to find one day…soon.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I’m lucky to be able to say I’ve had a few milestones professionally. Being a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show was certainly a high like none other. But I also took an idea of getting the company I worked for at the time on the side of 8 million Starbucks cups as a part of a marketing initiative (for free!) Oh, and there was also hosting my own TV show and publishing two books. Who can say that? I’m pretty lucky to have those on my resume.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I’ve always been very forthright and ballsy when it comes to business, but I think you just have to be OK with taking risks in everything you do. I’ve taken a lot of chances and some were riskier than others, not to mention some that others would not even attempt. For me, when it comes to business, there is no ‘playing it safe.’ Knowing what you want and going for it is part of the challenge, but always worth it.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
For the past year, I’ve been on the marketing board for Fuck Cancer, which is a wonderfully provocative non-profit that’s all about the education and early detection of cancer. I am also a huge supporter of Imagine1Day because anything that supports and raises money for education in third world countries where it isn’t readily available has my stamp of approval.

What is Notable to you?
Perseverance and always following your dreams.