An Interview with Arco’s Dynamic Duo, Andrea Arco and Jillian Hausmann, PART 2!
Lasts month we powered up with Arco + Associates Founder and CEO Andrea Arco and Jillian Hausmann who’s her business partner as well as the Communications Director. Quick recap, Arco + Associates is a premier marketing communications firm in St. Louis!
As we continue with our EYOB Empowerment Workshops, we’re excited to present Part 2 of this double interview with our newest facilitators – both of whom are dynamic business leaders in the St. Louis community.
And Bonus for us – they’re our newest EYOB workshop leaders! They’ll be making a huge impact in our community as they teach, mentor, and empower high school girls to embrace their own beauty while also giving them the opportunity to dive further into how to be a powerful woman in the business world!
We had so much fun interviewing them that we ran over, so here’s Part 2 is below. (You can read Part 1 here.)
This time around we get laser-focused on how this dynamic duo met EYOB Foundation founder Andre Villa and what they hope to bring to the EYOB workshop participants. We even take time for some fun questions like favorite foods, music, dream vacation spots, and more!
How did the two of you meet EYOB Foundation founder Andre Villa?
Andrea: I was at the Midwest Women Business Owners’ Conference. Arco & Associates was a sponsor of the event that we had helped conceptualize with conference producer, Erin Joy, three years prior. I was also a panelist at the event and after my panel discussion, Andre came up to Arco’s table to introduce himself. I was immediately intrigued by him and his passion.
Jillian: I was lucky enough to be invited to Andrea and Andre’s coffee date.
Were you surprised that a male was heading a foundation about embracing your own beauty geared toward teens and adult women?
Andrea: Yes! I automatically assumed he must have daughters and he was doing this as a tribute to them and as a gift for them—to make their world a better place. Then I found out he didn’t have children but was raised by strong women, had positive experiences with female executives, and was committed to this cause.
Jillian: I was surprised, but I wish I wouldn’t have been. I long for the day that it’s status quo for men to support women without ulterior motives—and vice versa. Andre sets a great example and I hope more follow his lead.
What made you decide to be a part of this EYOB workshops?
Andrea: I think it is so important to redefine beauty for young girls—to ensure that beauty means confidence and power for them. And to make sure they feel entitled to owning their own power. I don’t have daughters—I have two sons—so this is my way of giving back to younger girls.
Jillian: The women in my life are the reason I am who I am. I come from generations of empowered women, I’m surround by them in my social circles, and I get to work beside them every day. Each one of them serves as my inspiration to live out loud and be the best version of myself. I want to serve as that same inspiration for others.
What message do you want girls to take away from the EYOB (Embrace Your Own Beauty) workshops?
Andrea: You define your worth. Not the outside world, not your boss, not your boyfriends or girlfriends, and not even your parents. You define what you are worth, what you are capable of and what you deserve in this world.
Jillian: We’re all in this together.
Here at the EYOBFoundation, we’re all about empowering women. We start by teaching young women how to embrace their own beauty. What advice do you have as they journey through this process?
Andrea: Fight the urge to compare yourself against others. From people on TV, in magazines, or your friends in the cafeteria. Comparison breeds self-doubt and often encourages judgment of others (and yourself).
Jillian: When you admire something about another woman, tell her. The more you lift up others, the higher you will rise.
We understand no one is 100% confident all the time, how do you handle self-doubt and uncertainty during high school and then during your professional career?
Andrea: Find your tribe. Be there for your tribe and don’t be afraid to have them be there for you. Whether I was having second thoughts about a dress for a junior high dance or facing an important business decision, have a group you can go to who will tell you the truth and has your best interests at heart.
Jillian: Talk about it unabashedly. You’ll find that many others are dealing with the same uncertainties and suddenly they will seem much less insurmountable. That applies throughout every stage of life.
Why do you think it’s important for young women to have self-love?
Andrea: It is important for all people to have self-love because that is the source of confidence, achievement, competition, empowerment, etc.
Jillian: I’m a firm believer that love always wins. When you love yourself, nothing and no one can bring you down.
Okay, now for some fun stuff! What’s your favorite food? And why?
Andrea: I like a good piece of chicken on the grill and a Greek salad. I try to eat colorfully so this certainly fulfills that requirement, but it is just plain good. Plus, when you involve a grill, you are usually involving a get-together, so that makes this meal a social one.
Jillian: Ice cream. No explanation required 😉
Who is your favorite music artist? And why?
Andrea: I’m a big fan of 90’s rap artists. I think that was the golden age of hip-hop. The lyrics in rap music are poetry and often have a broader message.
Jillian: My answer to this question changes daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I have very eclectic taste. Today, my favorite is Lin-Manuel Miranda because I still can’t get enough of the Hamilton soundtrack.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Andrea: Bora Bora and I would stay in a hut over crystal clear water and unplug for 2 weeks.
Jillian: Back to South America. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a summer in college and didn’t have nearly enough time to explore the beautiful region.
That was fun! Now let’s talk about your high school days. Paint us a picture. What was high school like for you?
Andrea: High school was what high school is to many for me: a roller coaster not unlike entrepreneurship. You feel things deeply as a teenager so a fight with a boyfriend or friend seems insurmountable. It was filled with studies, student council, sports, friends, family time, and more. I will say that in my adult life, I have so much more appreciation for my hometown of Charleston, WV and the environment in which I grew up than I did at the time.
Jillian: I’m from a very small town in rural Illinois. So, for me, high school was literally in the middle of cornfields. I certainly made the most of everything it had to offer—sports, friends, extra curriculars—but I couldn’t wait to get out. Looking back, however, I wouldn’t want it any other way. My small-town values and perspective now serve me well in this life.
What do you wish you knew back then?
Andrea: I wish I had the perspective I have now. I wish I could tell that girl to enjoy every moment because life goes extremely fast. I’d give her a hug and say “you’re gonna be just fine—you are gonna love how everything turns out.”
Jillian: I wish I would have received the “everyone is too busy thinking about themselves to think about you” advice sooner.
Any advice for these young women interested in starting their own business/entering the career field you are currently in?
Andrea: Get an internship that allows you to experience all facets of marketing communications. This is a rapidly-evolving field and you need to be exposed to the pace and specialties to decide if it is really for you.
Jillian: I second that. Start in a smaller agency setting where you have the opportunity to wear lots of different hats and really see how the agency world works.
Andrea and Jillian, we’re so excited that you’re going to be speaking at a future EYOB Workshop. What do you hope to share with the young women taking the class?
Andrea: Be unafraid. Be unafraid of the contribution you want to make, the impact you want to have. In this fearlessness, comes empowerment.
Jillian: The company you keep determines who you become. Surround yourself with people—women and men—whom you admire and who admire you back.
Thanks for a great interview! See you at the EYOB Workshops!
Andrea Arco is a successful entrepreneur who honed her marketing skills at two Boston-based law firms as well as agencies along the East Coast and at the University of Virginia’s Engineering School. As if that wasn’t enough, she’s also written a children’s book called Wally McBap Needs a Nap, which was named “Book of the Year” by Creative Child Magazine in 2014.
Jillian Hausman is a magna cum laude alum from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. She’s brought her communications expertise into both corporate and agency settings for a national company in Nashville, TN as well as agencies on the West Coast. Jillian applies her skills outside of the office, serving as Publicity Chair on the Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital Young Professional Board. Did we mention that she has two dogs and loves binging on podcasts? You’ll have to ask her more about that!
Arco + Associates media sites – click on icon to learn more.
Photographs by Stephanie Zettl – click on icon to learn more about Zettl Photography.
CALLING ALL TEEN GIRLS!
The EYOB Foundation has proudly partnered with Microsoft—and a host of dynamic women leaders in the St. Louis community—to present an innovative and interactive workshop series designed to empower you to embrace your own beauty while giving you the opportunity to dive further into the world of technology. Each of the workshops will be held at the Microsoft Store located in the Galleria Mall. You can sign up here!