Fort Worth firm puts focus on millennial women

Tara Wilson, photo by Neetish Basnet

Fierce Lab

There’s more to a millennial woman than just career development. That’s the finding of several research and focus groups. And it’s something that a Fort Worth-based marketing firm hopes to tap into.

Tara Wilson of the Tara Wilson Agency found that even millennial women — although at their career’s beginning phases — craved for personal development and life empowerment.

And that led to the creation of Fierce Lab, a first-of-its-kind, innovative conference focused on delivering important resources to millennial women.

The conference will take place on Saturday, April 27 at Hotel Zaza in Dallas.

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The one-day event features 14 speakers in total, including two keynotes: bestselling author Amber Rae and Bumble’s Chief Brand Officer Alexandra Williamson.

Some of the topics on focus at the event are mental health, financial intelligence, risk-taking mentorship, self-confidence and financial health, among others.

Alongside a number of workshops and networking opportunities, a few experiential activities sponsored by brand partners Topo Chico, Bumble Bizz and Her.HQ are also scheduled at the event.

The activities provide first-hand relationship building experiences with the brands, similar to the marketing strategy of brand activation, which Tara Wilson Agency has employed to a successful extent in recent years. The idea of directly engaging with consumers to market a product has landed the agency interest from brands like Nike, ESPN and Samsung.

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Which, as it relates to marketing, maybe the key to the hearts of millennials, said Tara Wilson, founder of Tara Wilson Agency.

“Millennials are hungry for experiences over materialistic items,” Wilson said. “In fact, that’s typically how they like to spend money. Some of their biggest purchases go toward having brand experiences over, say, going out and buying material things.

Fort Worth Business Press sat down with Wilson to learn more about Fierce Lab and her.

What is the idea behind Fierce Lab?

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The reason we founded Fierce Lab is because we saw an opportunity in the Fort Worth and Dallas community to really help millennial women. We found that there is not a conference that focuses on the whole-selves. There are conferences that are great for career development, or entrepreneur conference for someone looking to take their side-hustle and turn it into their full-time work. But, there was not something that focused on woman, holistically.

What can an attendee expect at Fierce Lab?

A lab is a place where you go, traditionally, to experiment. In a lab, it’s okay to try new things, it’s okay to test. And perhaps something might fail, but you tweak it, and you test again and you test again. With Fierce Lab, we’re bringing women together that have tried and done a multitude of things. It gives us a place for women to talk about what has worked for them and what hasn’t.

What are some things that you wish you had known earlier in your career?

That, you didn’t have to have it all figured out. It was okay to completely do a 180 from a career perspective and that I would survive that. That, financial hardship, in the beginning, doesn’t mean that I’m still struggling financially now. That, mentoring doesn’t always come in a formal relationship. You, yourselves, often time, have to pursue people that you want to have that professional relationship.

What is it like being a woman in the modern workforce?

We’re multi-dimensional women. There’s so much more to us than just our careers, or just our hobbies. And that’s the case for anyone, be it a man or a woman. There’s this knowledge, on our part as an agency, that recognizes that women want an opportunity to have conversations around their whole-being. They are multi-faceted.

Millennials report one of the highest rates of depression. How important is taking care of one’s mental health?

It’s really important now, more than ever. For everyone, but especially millennials, to think about their mental health and to focus on it. For so long, there’s been a stigma around getting help when you feel challenged, mentally.

Any suggestions on how to look after yourself?

I talk so often with women about what they’re doing to keep themselves in a good headspace. Whether it be, eliminating people they’re seeing in their social media feed. Or, surrounding themselves with friends who are positive and uplifting, who aren’t necessarily constantly negative. Apart from that, what I know as a woman in my 40s that I didn’t know as a woman in my 20s was that it’s ok to talk to someone about what I’m going through emotionally.

As an entrepreneur, what kind of challenges did you face?

Being an entrepreneur comes with a unique set of challenges that maybe being an employee of another company does not have. You are going to face the challenges. You’re going to face financial challenges. You’re going to face your own challenges about whether you can do it. Maybe insecurities. You’re going to face setbacks about other people not believing that you can do it.

Do you think those entrepreneurial challenges differed for you because you are a woman?

I don’t think those challenges discriminate whether you are a man or a woman. I don’t think it boils down to that. Or, my challenges are any different as a woman than they are as a man. Because hustle is hustle is hustle.