What is your name, age, and location?
Emily Jacometti, 28 years old, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
What is your profession?
Commercial Director & Co-founder at Flavour.
Flavour uses gamifaction techniques to positions brands and products in a playful way. We add a little interactivity, fun and a whole lot of Flavour to any campaign.
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
I attended the University of Groningen and have a Bachelors degree in Communication.
What was your first job?
Apart from a great variety of fun or horrible jobs I had as a student, THIS is my first job.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
During my university years I met one of the co-founders, while backpacking trough China we got inspired to start our own business. The people who supported me trough making this decision, and giving up everything, were my parents. They told me that they had the utmost confidence in my abilities to discover the world by myself and build a successful business.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
You never think that the project that cost you most of your sleep and helped you age twice as fast is the project your turn out to be most proud of. In this case it’s a project we did for a Dutch music band. We helped them reach a bigger audience using gaming and increased conversion of music sales. We completed this project in our own time on our own dime. Even if everyone told us it wouldn’t work, we made it work. And we got rewarded with loads of prizes, but my proudest moment doesn’t have anything to do with this, people who praise you after you take a risk are good weather friends. I am most proud of the team, my partners who were determined to finish the project and the team who invested all their spare time. We all sacrificed weekends, nights and our collective social life, but we proved it works in the end opening up the market for other initiatives.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
It is amazing how many phone calls we receive from the press who would like to feature a woman in the game industry who is an owner of a game company. In the Netherlands we probably have about two. Especially in the beginning it gave Flavour a good visibility among our competition. Our company colour is even pink. Girls are catching up in one of the last male dominated markets. But it doesn’t really matter; eventually we still get judged on quality. So it may have given us a small head start, but I’m not sure it’s an advantage.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?
When I give a presentation, the MC will most likely give the microphone to the intern carrying the laptop instead of me. Customers confuse me regularly with a secretary and at a social function someone important once gave me his empty glass (so much for striking up a conversation). Still I don’t see it as a disadvantage, if you have a strong will and some guts you can turn the situation into a positive experience. Gender bias is just sooooo 1999!
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
I love the women in our family, they are strong-willed determined modern women. We were raised to be smart, independent and self-sufficient. All thanks to my mother. I realize it is quite cliché to be proud of your parents, but my mother has inspired me through the years. First by not giving up on me when I was rebelling and later by guiding and advising me. When I look at my younger sister I now understand the sacrifices my mother made for us and how proud she is of her daughters. It makes me want to do the best I can everyday, just to make my parents proud.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
Just do it. Stop worrying so much, stop waiting for that one golden idea which will make you rich easy and quickly, get your head out of the clouds and start. Take something you love and go after it. And yes it will take all of your energy, time and effort and might still fail. But you will learn more than you ever imagined possible, even if you fall flat on your face. I was 24 when we started; we knew nothing, lived on bread and peanut butter for 2 years and worked extreme hours for zero financial reward. But I get to do something new and exciting everyday, nobody tells us what to do (to the point where we painted our office bright pink) and we get to work with friends every day. As long as you dream about an idea it remains just that; a fantasy. As soon as you realize an idea the real adventure starts, so stop dreaming and just do it.
Follow Emily on Twitter
Special thanks to Rhiannon & Girl Geek Dinner NL!
– Interview by Elena Rossini