We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Dimperio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My entire career has been built on taking risks. Leaping off a cliff never knowing what would happen next. Luckily, each time I have landed on my feet. To people that don’t know me, I might seem like a spontaneous free spirit but a lot of thought goes into every big move I make.
The first entrepreneurial endeavor I went into was back in 2007. I was an insanely ambitious 24-year-old with a laundry list of hopes and dreams. Number one on the list was to move from Chicago to New York City to pursue a fashion career. I was gearing up to go in the Fall so I up-and-quit a lucrative yet creatively unfulfilling Merchandising job with no real plan. I just knew I didn’t ever want to be in retail ever again.
Well, that summer in my free time (I had a lot of it) I started photographing people’s style at music festivals and parties. I documented the good, the bad, and the ugly of the mid-aughties hipster subculture on my blog, The MidWasteland. Photography wasn’t my background, I just liked it and was kind of good at it. If I didn’t take that risk of showing my work to the world I wouldn’t have started one of the first street style blogs on the web and been written up in The New York Times. That risk also made me a lot of really good friends, gave me travel opportunities, and so much more.
After 6 years of blogging, I took my next risk, moving to NYC with no job and no apartment. I whittled my life down to one duffle bag. For about 3 months I slept on a friend’s air mattress in Brooklyn Heights. When you take a risk like this there is no Plan B. It’s Plan A or nothing. I hustled my ass off. Networked. Went on interviews. Sat in the same coffee shop in Tribeca every.single.day. Within 6 weeks, something popped. I was hired to lead communications for a fashion mobile app. 6 weeks later I found my dream apartment in the West Village.
All of this would not have been possible if I didn’t take my first leap. Asking people to take their pictures at parties before social media existed made me seem like an alien but guess what? I didn’t stop.
It’s the same as I currently transition to a wellness-based mission in my business. When the words nutrigenomics and adaptogens come out of my mouth, people think I’m speaking a different language. It still doesn’t deter me from my mission to help high-achieving women find work/life balance through the power of self-care. For some that’s a risk, to me that’s just perseverance of passion.
You always hear about how all the magic happens outside of your comfort zone. It’s true. Being comfortable is very easy. It feels really good to know what tomorrow will bring but there is no excitement like dreaming up what the possibilities might be. And, if you fail, the only one that gets hurt is your ego.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
A few months before the pandemic hit, I made a mental shift to get out of “the grind.”
From the outside, I looked like I had it made, running my marketing agency with a portfolio of spirits brands and a roster of luxury lifestyle startups. People weren’t seeing that I was burnt out and stressed which had stopped my drive and creativity from flowing.
I took a sabbatical and started traveling to get my inspiration back. Then quarantine hit. I, like many others, deeply re-evaluated my job and purpose as I sat inside my apartment.
I quickly realized that Marketing is my Zone of Excellence – an area you are tremendously skilled in, usually built over many years of practice. Where I wanted to be was my Zone of Genius – the sweet spot between what you’re great at and what fulfills you at work.
To get there, I thought about all the moments when I was “in the zone” and wellness was in all of them.
I started re-prioritizing what I was doing and entered into Integrative Institute of Nutrition’s accelerated program to become a certified Wellness Coach – ASAP. Because when you know, you know and, you can’t waste another minute being unhappy.
That led me to turn my marketing agency upside down. Instead of focusing on brands, we focus on the consumers we serve, entrepreneurial millennial women. Everything we do is to empower that demographic.
Now we are a hybrid – brand consultancy, influencer network, and media group – which differentiates us in a big way.
Back in 2013, we started as a social media agency. Influencers (vs. bloggers) were on the rise but not 100% there yet. I started my career as one of the first street style fashion bloggers in the world so I understand the weight they carry.
Since that time influencers have become vital to marketing. But we now know that it’s not about how many followers you have. Micro-influencers have the most engagement, and those are the only ones we will work with. Real people with an authentic voice. Our #squad.
Going back to my blogging roots, I felt that I needed to build an online community with entrepreneurial millennial women in mind and I saw the value in audio. I stil believe blogs have power but podcasting is the next wave and I got on board, creating The to be honest, tho… Podcast. In less than a year, it came to life as a blog, event series, education, and there is a product is in the works.
The key is not being scared to evolve with the world. I heard the word pivot a lot over the last year but what I’m doing feels much more like an evolution and maybe even a little bit of a revolution.
I am always excited to lead the charge, even if I look insane doing it. It’s half the fun.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Food + Drink Boia De – EVERY-THING. MUST.GO.
Mandolin – You can’t go wrong here. It’s the Ali Nazik (ground lamb over smoked eggplant yogurt) for me though.
Thatch – Best vegan food in Miami. My mouth waters when I think of the fried chicken … and it’s not even chicken, it’s actually mushrooms.
True Loaf -Purchase literally every baked good on the menu. There is a line every weekend for a REASON!
Lagniappe – Not a secret at all, this is the best place to sit on the patio with friends, socialize, and share a few bottles of wine.
Gitano Miami / Casa Faena – Go for dinner and stay for the scene-y vibes on the rooftop.
Creative Movement Method at Modo Yoga – Sweat, dance, cry, expand. This work out is so freeing. If you are ready for an experience, put this on your list. That’s if you can get a spot in the class.
Sana Skin Spa
Surf Club Four Seasons – For when you’re feeling fancy and want a martini on the terrace as you overlook the ocean. Also, great cholate cookies and perfect spot for chic IG photos in the green bar.
The Standard – Wonderful place to spend a day by the pool. End the day with a sunset happy hour here. Once the sun goes down, curl up near the fire pit in the common area.
Sacred Space Farmer’s Market – Stock up for the week on the organic veggie selection and packaged foods from Plant. I love the burger patties and nacho ‘cheese”.
The Bass / Collins Park – Free museum on sundays. Has some interesting art inside and out.
Design District – Do it for the ‘gram and get some shopping in, too.
Maurice Gibb Memorial Park at Sunset Harbor – Unassuming if you don’t know the area. You will be in awe of the sky as the sun sets. So many places for dinner nearby – Barceloneta, Lucali, …
South Point Beach – Stunning panoramic views of the South Beach shoreline.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
A big shoutout to my unwavering dedication personal growth and spirituality. From a young age, I’ve taken a deep dive into all-things ‘new age” from astrology to human design. I found a sanctuary within the practice of Katonah Yoga, a method of yoga based on sacred geometry and traditional Chinese medicine, along with the community.
Though I may not have found my way into all of this if my parents and grandparents weren’t into “alternative medicine” and “self-help” as it was called back then. Vitamins, juicing, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and more were all staples of my early years.