We had the good fortune of connecting with Cassandra Weinman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cassandra, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I think – like most creatives – my career sort of chose me! Whether it was crafting a story in crayon or redesigning my Barbie clothes, I felt an intrinsic pull toward the arts from a very young age that has fueled a life-long passion to create. I have always loved words, their ability to paint pictures, evoke feelings, make an impression, but it wasn’t until college where I planned to study medicine that I found my true calling as a writer; I think I may actually have the only two parents in the world to encourage a career as a creative over becoming a doctor. I have learned over the years that when it comes to my work, the projects I chose have to appeal to more than just my bank account – they have to ignite my interests and make me dig deeper into my skillset. My work as a digital marketer ultimately allows me to find those out-of-the-box outlets to not only connect with the required task but also find a tangible way to connect with people online and in real time.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Officially (or as designated on LinkedIn) I am a Digital Marketing Manager with a specialty in social media content and strategy – which is a job that technically didn’t even exist when I graduated college! I was adamant that my career would lead me into print media, writing lifestyle pieces for a fashion editorial which would ultimately make me editor of Vogue before I hit 30; needless to say, that plan didn’t quite work out the way I envisioned. After moving to Los Angeles, I spent my first year out of school as a professional intern where I perfected the art of shipping, shlepping and Starbucks-ing (aka taking dozens of coffee orders per week.) Was it frustrating? Absolutely. Did it make me who I am today? Absolutely. Without that humbling period, I never would have opened my mind to other professional possibilities. When I ultimately landed my first real job as a Social Media Manager in the marketing department of a major fashion company, I actually had to google what IS social media, but I’ve never looked back – unless it’s to get the right angle for an Instagram picture. Because the digital world is often in such flux, this ability to adapt and follow a path that is often still unwinding is what pushes me daily to move outside my professional comfort zone. That being said, I’ve really learned the importance – time and time again – of leaning into the skid. Your journey might not always take you where you thought you’d go, but that doesn’t mean the destination won’t be beautiful just the same.
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.
After spending nearly a decade in Los Angeles, I have such an appreciation for the ‘old west’ spirit of Arizona. From the Sugar Bowl in Old Town, to the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, my besties are getting a FULL taste of my desert heritage. I would take them down the Black Canyon Highway for some pie at Rock Springs Cafe, maybe stop at a ghost town or two, then head up the 260 for wine tasting in Jerome. Most people don’t believe that Arizona has much outside of tumbleweeds and cactus, so while we’re up north, a little pitstop in Sedona by way of the 89A will leave a lasting impact. As far as food, there’s definitely an emphasis on south of the border cuisine so I’d be sure to share my secret taco spot – sorry, it’s a secret! Phoenix has grown and changed so much, I am so excited to be back and able to discover – and rediscover – the most fun, exciting and interesting places my city has to offer.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Without a doubt I would not be where I am today without the support of my parents, who recognized the creative in me long before I recognized it in myself. When I changed my major from pre-medicine to journalism in college, they weren’t just understanding, they were joyful! I was constantly (and am still constantly) encouraged to push outside my comfort zone and do better – for myself, for others, for the world. It is especially important for me to also recognize the support of my dad, who spent 30+ years in a corporate role that could not look more different than my own, and who still saves the special fashion section of the Wall Street Journal for me when I come to visit. He may not always understand exactly what I do, but he knows exactly why I have to do it. When it comes to the love of a parent, what more could you ask for?