By LAURA TAYLOR
An idea sparked in a casual conversation in a coffee shop is becoming a marketing firm centered around social media. Anna Talcott, a senior marketing major at UMW, created Aesthetic Eye Social Media LLC on Jan. 2, 2019.
Aesthetic Eye Social Media is a social media marketing firm based in Fredericksburg, Virginia, that assists small businesses to represent the best possible versions of their brand through digital presence.
While sitting in Starbucks with her friend studying for finals a year ago, a barista asked Talcott and her friend what they were studying. Both students are marketing majors. The barista then asked if they were creative in any way and Talcott mentioned that they had an aesthetic eye and she then realized she had a name for her business.
Entering her freshman year, Talcott had a plan to double major in political science and psychology and then go straight into a government agency after graduation. When freshman year ended and she spent the summer delving into marketing at her summer job, Talcott started to discover a new passion.
Talcott’s sophomore year offered her the opportunity to apply to the College of Business and major in marketing. Once Talcott started taking marketing classes during her junior year, she began seeking marketing internships specifically with a focus on social media. These internships sparked greater interest in social media marketing and Talcott has since had continuous interest to learn more about the field.
“I realized that not only did I enjoy the use of social media but the ‘why’ of it,” said Talcott. “I could talk about the underworld of social media and the strategy behind the scenes of it all day and when you can do that for anything I believe that is your calling.”
Leading up to Talcott’s senior year, she began to further entertain the business idea of pairing her passion for social media marketing with the name Aesthetic Eye.
“This thought scared me as I have always thought that after earning my degree I would go work for a company, not own my own company,” said Talcott. “I did not know the first steps to owning a business and wondered if I was even qualified.”
Talcott was given the opportunity to be a part of the Start-Up UMW entrepreneurial program during the 2018 fall semester. During her time in the program, Talcott dedicated the majority of her time to formulating Aesthetic Eye Social Media on a more serious level while she was surrounded by other students doing similar projects. The program allowed Talcott access to professionals and other students from which she could draw inspiration and knowledge.
At the end of the Start-Up program, individuals pitch business ideas to a group of professionals and other business owners.
“From that night, I met another student who has owned her own business for a little over a year now,” said Talcott. “There are so many elements revolving around to getting your startup going that I am thankful to have her guidance and knowledge through a process that is so foreign to me.”
The process to getting a business started includes gathering legal documents, getting a business license, and obtaining permits for creating a digital presence.
From building the business’s social media presence, maintaining it, and strategizing, Aesthetic Eye would essentially build a plan and strategy with the business and handle the media for them. The goal is to make sure that Aesthetic Eye Social Media is representing business clients in a manner the client wishes to be represented.
“Being that Aesthetic Eye’s services revolve around social media, I see the business always learning, discovering and experimenting with new platforms, strategies and tactics,” said Talcott. “With this, I see Aesthetic Eye in continuous growth, with our obvious learning curves and setbacks it truly gets me excited knowing learning is a part of this job.”
This year, the plan is to establish a foundation and build relationships with local businesses, so a launch party in the future will allow Aesthetic Eye to introduce itself to many local businesses and professionals. Talcott hopes that after she graduates in May 2019 the business will expand internally and externally in the next five to 10 years.