Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I’m Danielle Raymo: co-founder/owner of Rochester Brainery and the co-founder/organizer of Upstate Social Sessions. I’m also a Freelance Social Media Specialist.
Wow. Do you ever sleep?
Tell us what you’re passionate about. What makes you tick?
My passion is social media. Having a solid presence is key- it’s how the Brainery got the word out before we could really afford to advertise. Done right, I believe it can make all the difference in the world.
How did you get started? What were some of the difficulties you faced?
We started on the smallest budget imaginable but we were lucky in that both my co-founder and I have backgrounds in marketing/PR. Public relations efforts and being at events months before we opened were key. Word of mouth influence is so important. People sharing photos and posts on social media is what has kept us going and growing. I would say the most difficult part about us starting is that when we started, there weren’t a lot of businesses like us around. Explaining what a “Brainery” was definitely wasn’t always easy. Most people thought it was a tutoring center for kids or for accreditation of some kind!
What is your biggest regret when starting the Brainery?
This is going to be super cheesy but I’m not sure I have any regrets in regards to business. I’ve certainly had lots of learning experiences and have had the opportunity to make improvements as issues have come up. There are many things I would still like to do and fingers crossed, I will be able to make them a reality one day.
What is your best advice to someone just starting out? What advice do you wish someone had given you?
Your small business will most likely take over your life for a while. It can be overwhelming, but you can get through it! Organize yourself, make time for friends and family even when you don’t think you have it (everyone has to eat, right? Make a dinner date! You’ll feel better!). Try your best to not look at your email after 10 pm and find a 30 minute comedy that can cheer you up in a pinch (try New Girl or Parks and Recreation). Last but not least, find a mentor or a group of people you can can trust to throw ideas around with. Having someonen who has walked in your entreprenurial shoes is invaluable!
(word art by Cara Livermore)
What is your favorite part of what you do?
It’s the people I have met along the way. I’ve met some of my closest friends over the past three years. I love that people have made lasting friendships (we’re talking going to each others weddings) just by taking classes together at the Brainery. I love connecting people. It was one of the driving forces behind starting the Brainery. The fact that this is actually happening in our classrooms is really fulfilling.
Name one of your favorite local creatives.
I can’t pick just one because I have so many for so many different reasons! If I named them all some kind of music would start playing in the background and you’d be forced to cut to a commercial break.