We had the good fortune of connecting with Hazel Geary and Rachel McFadden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rachel and Hazel, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Choosing to start a business in the creative space is tough because there are so many others doing similar work, but in the website design and digital marketing world the combo of our left and right brain partnership allows us to shine. We are able to approach each project from both the logical and problem-solving, left brain and the creative and innovative, right brain. The result is a carefully executed solution that we are not only proud of but is ultimately the workhorse that our clients need to grow their business.

We love this combination because it pushes boundaries and requires us to continually learn and grow so that we can keep the creativity flowing and always look out for the next best solution for our clients.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our company is Drio. We call ourselves the Drio Duo. We have Rachel who is the left-brain more logical and problem solver and Hazel, who is the right-brain more creative and thrives on human interaction.

We like to say that what sets us apart is the approach that we take to each project and the relationships that we form with our clients along the way. Our clients love the personalized attention that they get when working with us and are ultimately wow’d when the end-result not only meets, but exceeds their expectation. Our careful attention to details and the ability to listen to what the client needs results in not only a beautiful end result, but a user experience that is second to none.

What we are most proud of is the extensive list of clients that we have worked with and continue to work with in helping them build their digital brand. We started this company with little formal experience in the web & digital space and have continued to meet and exceed our clients expectations, which is very reassuring that we are doing thing right.

I (Rachel) began my career as a civil engineer and Hazel began leading marketing efforts for Under Armour. Our paths crossed after college and we ended up becoming close friends. After we left our first careers we both found ourselves looking for a way that we could leave our own mark. I (Rachel) always loved the opportunity to problem solve & brainstorm, especially when the sky was the limit! Hazel loves people, she seems to know everyone in Baltimore (and I am the native). We put our skills together with the goal of helping other businesses solve their problems and create head-turning brands.

The road has certainly not been easy, but 10 years in we still love working together and are very proud of where we have come. Our ability to voice our differences to one another is one of the main reasons for our continued success. We do argue and we do have our differences and ultimately it’s finding the middle ground that makes us stronger.

Along the way we have learned to lean on our community for advice and help along the way. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t take the opportunity to listen and learn from others.

We started this business because we have a love of both creativity and problem-solving. They are the two things that excite us & keep us going. We love the freedom that we have in working with business owners to make suggestions, build upon existing dreams and ultimately provide them with a product that elevates their brand. We continue to work day in and day out to build relationships with our clients so that we can be a part of their story as they evolve and grow.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We are in Baltimore.

If friends are visiting from out of town, we love to take them to see a little bit of everything.

We would first visit Hampden (pronounced “Hamden”), where our office is. Hampden is the home of the miracle on 34th street christmas lights and the Hampden Hon’s as seen in John Water’s Hairspray. Hampden home to some awesome local restaurants. We would start off with a delicious lunch from our favorite vegan/gluten free restaurant, Harmony Bakery. Their food is so delicious you wouldn’t miss the cheese, meat or gluten.

The next day we would bring the kids down to Baltimore’s harbor and visit some of the local climbing friendly art installations along the water. We’d follow this with a trip, just north of the harbor to Remington to a family friendly cafe style group of restaurants called “R-House”. They literally have a meal that everyone can enjoy.

We would continue the Baltimore tour the next day with a visit to Rachel’s brother-in-law’s glass blowing shop. He does weekly demonstrations and make-your-own events so that everyone can participate. It’s adult and kid friendly.

While visiting we would schedule 1 day to drive about 20 minutes north to one of our favorite local wineries, Boordy Vineyard for wine tasting and live music from local musicians.

The final leg of their visit would include having a group join us outdoors for a taste of our baltimore crabs. A Crab feast is a very social activity and involves some cold beer and messy hands and hours of great conversation.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In starting our company, we have attributed a lot of our success to the local women’s creative community and their willingness to help us when we were in the early stages of starting our business. We have had many mentors along the way, and the majority of them were/are women in similar fields. The group that we joined and learned so much from its members was called B’More Creatives (B’More for Baltimore). The group is no longer in existence, but we were so grateful to the support that it provided us, that we started a new group in 2018, called Monument Women’s Creative Alliance. Our group has the mission of supporting women creatives by cultivating a community that enables connection, inspiration and education.

We also attribute a lot of our success to a friend and mentor, Jim Naylor. We started working with Jim in 2014 to help him create websites for his clients. Over the years he became a mentor and friend to us and is still always there for us when we run into those inevitable business bumps in the road and need his advice.

Website: https://drioduo.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drioduo/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/drio-llc/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/hazelgeary/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelmcfadden/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/drio_rachel https://twitter.com/drio_hazel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrioLLC

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