Launched in 2012 as the first Black and female-owned digital media company to fill a gaping hole for Black and other underserved creators whose diverse voices weren’t being heard by founder and CEO Sheila Marmon, Mirror Digital has grown immensely since, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, to become a respected industry pioneer.
Mirror Digital was named one of Inc. Magazine’s “Best Workplaces” for 2022. In addition, Marmon was recognized as one of the “Top Women in Media and Ad Tech” by AdMonsters and Ad Exchange earlier in 2022.
Marmon discussed growing up in South Central Los Angeles and how it inspired her to become an entrepreneur.
How did growing up in South Central Los Angeles impact you and inspire you to become an entrepreneur?
There are all kinds of hustlers there. You have folks with a lot of energy, creativity, and ingenuity, but not a lot of resources. And I felt like creating job opportunities would be a central part of helping our community get where it had the potential to be. Wanting to help my community, and help others, paired with my very strong family support system with my grandparents, my mother, my siblings, cousins, I really felt like I could do anything I put my mind to. That’s what gave me the strength and the confidence to to go out on my own and launch the company.
What inspired you to launch Mirror Digital?
How do we make sure we can control our media outlets and what we want to say to our communities? And that was really my goal with Mirror Digital. To think about how we help drive revenue and empower these diverse creators? Lots of people talk about this type of thing now. But we were the only people talking about it back in 2012. We’re really the OGs in this space.
Growing up in the ‘hood, what did you learn from street cats that took into the corporate world?
Loyalty. The term “your word is bond.” You always want to be true to your word in business and deliver on what you say you are going to do. That’s been of paramount importance to me and a key part of my success. Because when I say I’m going to do something, I find a way to get it done and make sure I deliver for my clients.
How to get more done with less. I wear that as a badge of honor because we have got the company off the ground with very limited resources and grown it to a scalable position with very limited resources. It shouldn’t have to be that way. We should have access to the same resources that our counterparts have. It shouldn’t have to be that hustle mentality scale and grown a business the way that it has often had to be in the past.