Geraldine grew up in Union City. The youngest of the family by twelve years, she watched everyone around her work full-time, including graveyard shifts and often multiple jobs. They barely had enough time to see each other, let alone to connect. Geraldine imagined starting her own business at a young age, which she thought would give her ample time for a personal life. Thanks to her mom’s encouragement, her entrepreneurial spirit was also developed at a young age. In elementary school, Geraldine’s mom helped her develop her first business, selling homemade Jolly Pops to her classmates. Every day, she left for school with a fanny pack filled with lollipops & jolly ranchers. When she returned home, the fanny pack was filled with cash.
Lauren grew up in Napa Valley, surrounded by restaurants, spas and vineyards, each with its own brand. Living in a branded place got her thinking about branding and marketing at a young age. Her parents didn’t hurt either. They owned a food distribution company that was part of the original organic revolution. Running the business out of their home, they distributed all over the world, giving Lauren a wide perspective. Spreading goat cheese on tortillas and eating caviar and smoked Lox before Whole Foods was even a thing gave her a global appreciation. Her dad wanted her to take over the business.
After high school, Lauren went to UCSC, graduating with a degree in Latin American and Latino studies. While she learned a ton and was able to live and travel abroad, as well as learn Spanish and Portuguese, she was faced with the inevitable quandary of all humanities majors — what to do with a not-so-much-marketable degree. She stayed busy. She went to beauty school where she wrote her first business plan; she apprenticed with a woman entrepreneur; she co-produced and did the marketing for an all female hip-hop CD — Queendom.
Geraldine was busy as well. After high school, she went directly into the marketing & advertising field. She worked on big campaigns for huge clients — Verizon, T-Mobile, Virgin Records — doing everything from accounts executive to guerrilla marketing. She did well, made some money and decided it was time to pursue her dream of opening her own business. She took the fast track when it came to school and got a degree in business administration. She opened an online vinyl sales company, a film production company, then, in 2008, a marketing consulting firm — MeetGeraldine.
In the midst of their busy lives, Lauren and Geraldine began collaborating. They worked well together. It was a natural and synergistic partnership, and they began developing MeetGeraldine’s signature Brand Report™. Watching people come to MeetGeraldine for a website, Lauren realized that clients didn’t know how to say what they wanted and Geraldine didn’t know how to ask. The creative brief she used wasn’t working. Clients particularly failed to grasp the importance of having a target audience. They understandably wanted their audience to include everyone, but you can’t market to everyone. Together, they developed the Brand Report™.
In 2012, Lauren gave in to the inevitable, and she and Geraldine became partners. Neither one has looked back since. In 2012, MeetGeraldine was three people — Geraldine, Lauren and a graphic designer. Now, MeetGeraldine is a team of 15.