We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Riel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I first started my business, I was a college senior with substantial experience in journalism and storytelling, but not much in traditional marketing. I discovered marketing and fell in love with the mixture of creativity, data analysis and psychology – for understanding consumer behavior. I knew I needed “real marketing” experience outside of a few projects I had worked on for my father’s real estate firm over the years, so I started my company to take on project work, specific to the marketing field to build my experience. I’ve been inspired by entrepreneurs my whole life. The influence of my late father, was a critical support for me to know I eventually wanted to focus on my own business full-time.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
If there is one thing I’ve learned time and time again as a business owner of nearly 10 years, it is that business continues to evolve. I started RielDeal Marketing as a side hustle. I leveraged my initial contract projects to land full-time work, and navigated managing a full-time workload with evenings and weekend hours for my contract projects for about 9 years. It wasn’t always easy, and there was some sacrifice, but it was worth it. RielDeal Marketing has evolved to become a boutique branding and digital marketing firm that works with businesses to develop a Brand Plan™ that boosts the bottom line. Our team takes a strategic look at all aspects of a business’ marketing and sales processes, flagging opportunities for optimization and automation along the customer journey to enhance results. I’ve found throughout my career that sales and marketing needs to align and work together to achieve maximum success, so our process relies on utilizing sales and marketing data – we’re not just your typical marketing agency. Key to our approach is a custom plan that we develop following an audit of internal sales and marketing processes. RielDeal Marketing really thrives on serving as a partner and a strategic consultant to businesses in the health/wellness and technology sectors, with the goal of crafting a comprehensive strategy that helps business get more leads…and provide nurturing opportunities that convert those leads to customers.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As someone who has lived in Arizona for about 15 years now, I’ve found a few favorite spots – but we’re lucky to have more and more options popping up all the time. One of my favorite aspects of traveling is seeking out local restaurants, shops and other businesses to support. In my opinion that really gives the traveller the gist of the local vibe. Since I was born & raised in Ohio, I often have visitors from the midwest during winter. With highs in the 70’s and a plethora of patios and attractions to enjoy, there’s rarely a dull moment. Some of our go-to restaurants include Olive & Ivy, Chelsea’s Kitchen and if we’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, can’t go wrong with, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, Ocean 44 or Steak 44. We love taking day trips to Sedona, or the nearby Arizona wineries such as Page Springs Cellars or Javelina Leap for a quiet retreat. Back in the valley, my favorite event of the year is the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Not only for the fun, vibrant environment and the good weather, but also for the great golf (yes, I’m a fan!) and supporting the Thunderbirds and their incredible charitable contributions to the Phoenix Community. Plus, my fiancé and I met at the Phoenix Open, so it is an event that holds a special place in my heart. And if we’re looking for a casual everyday option for breakfast or lunch, some of the favorite spots are Luci’s At The Grove, Original Chop Shop, Farm & Craft, The Vig McCormick Ranch and Sakana Sushi. If we’re not eating, drinking or exploring, the itinerary would take us to some of the Valley’s spots for fun including Talking Stick Resort & Casino for some blackjack, an art exhibit or local play, or TopGolf for fun for everyone.
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?
I am so fortunate to have many supporters and mentors on this journey….so get ready for a healthy shoutout! It started with a solid foundation from my parents. From watching my father grown his business success throughout my childhood to my mother’s endless love and encouragement, I’ve always been allowed to dream big and had an example of what it takes to achieve. I am so grateful for the supporters and mentors I’ve encountered throughout my career, including fellow business owners and connections I’ve cultivated in the marketing industry in Phoenix. Two of those supporters are Mike Arce and Alexis Krisay: Two small business leaders who have been a source of inspiration and guidance over the years. Fellow creative colleagues such as Katrina Fox, Shannon Willoby, Nikki Fanshaw and Brianna Ritivoy, who I have worked with at various points throughout my career. I am so grateful they continue to cheer me on in present day. I’ve also cultivated strong relationships with fellow members of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority including my sister and friend, Kiara Craig, who has cheered me on and been by my side since I moved to Arizona 15 years ago, with a front row seat watching me grow and evolve. Kelley Moore is another special friend and sister who has been an uplifting light during challenging times. Over the last year, I’ve been beyond thrilled to join with the KNOW Book and Tribe, connecting with exceptional female business owners in Phoenix and across North America to support each other, link arms and achieve together. KNOW founder and visionary, Sarah Benken is and continues to be a shining example of support to me and the KNOW community. She’s developed an exceptional culture and group of women who encourage, lead and support each other. I’d name all these fabulous women, but I’d run of out space!
Photos titled “RDM” images at coffee shop, with balloons, etc. Photo credit: Nikki Fanshaw, madebynf Photo in pink outfit, Photo credit: Sarah Hoag Photography