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Moira Studio’s Clemencia Herrera combines marketing and design skills

Martin Desmarais
Moira Studio’s Clemencia Herrera combines marketing and design skills
A bilingual promotion created for National Geographic by Moira Studio. (Photo: Courtesy of Moira Studio)

Clemencia Herrera, founder and creative director of Moira Studio, a creative marketing firm based in Cambridge, has put her multicultural background and experience to work to gain a foothold for her startup business.

Author: Courtesy of Moira StudioRight, Moira Studio founder and creative director Clemencia Herrera.

The 36-year-old Colombia native, who has lived and worked in Miami, Amsterdam and Madrid and speaks several languages, including Spanish and Dutch, can provide her clients with what is increasingly necessary in today’s multicultural world — insight on how to connect with consumers across cultures and languages.

While her marketing firm does much of the same type of work offered by other advertising and marketing agencies — ad and web design, content marketing, branding strategy, digital marketing, TV ad production — Moira’s ace in the hole is the ability to pump out this work in Spanish if desired.

Started by Herrera in January 2014, the firm crafted a bilingual promotional campaign for the National Geographic channel featuring well-known TV personality Cesar Millan; worked with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh in his campaign to hire more Latinos for his administration; continues to do marketing, design and branding work for local organizations such as the Greater Boston Latino Network and the Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion community development corporation; and has worked with politicians throughout the country on Spanish-language campaign ads.

Just six months after starting Moira Studio, Herrera was able to hire another employee and added content manager Ivanha Paz, who is Venezuelan but grew up in the U.S.

Herrera said she has gotten phone calls from potential clients seeking Moira out specifically because of the Latino connection.

“It gives us a bit of an edge,” she added.

That aside, Herrera says she loves her work because she gets a charge out of leading the creative process. And she really loves helping small businesses and startups find a strategy to use traditional, digital or social media to promote their brand.

“The branding process is kind of like taking your business to the psychologist,” said Herrera. “You actually go and realize who you are and what your obstacles are and then you start moving through the obstacles and seeing how you can come out.”

Herrera guides clients through the process of determining who they will target with branding and what the message will be.

“They can come to me with all this information and we can process it and actually create it into a strategy,” she said.

To this end, Herrera can draw on varied experience across the ad and marketing spectrum.

Her early professional years were spent in her transplanted hometown of Miami, where she moved to from Columbia with her parents when she was 12 in the early ’90s. From 1999 to 2000, she studied graphic design and computer animation at a school that became part of the Miami International University of Art & Design. She worked for Univision in Miami doing graphics for news, promotions and branding. She also traveled to on set locations outside of the U.S. in Spanish speaking countries, including Mexico.

In 2006, after several years of trying to find work in Europe, she moved to the Netherlands to work at a TV station there, a job for which she had to learn Dutch.

After four years in Amsterdam, she moved to Spain in 2010 with her husband Carlos, who is Spanish.

Author: Courtesy of Moira StudioBooklets for a Latino issues project created by Moira Studios.

She got a job at an ad agency, Tactics, in Madrid and began to expand into digital media. Her early exposure to digital and content marketing sparked her to leave work all together in 2012 and return to school to get a master’s in creative advertising from Zink, an advertising school in Madrid. After finishing up this degree, she got a job in the digital marketing department at R*, an ad agency also in Madrid. While there she worked her way up to become a creative director.

Eventually she returned to the United States, moving to Boston in 2014 when her husband was able to get a transfer in his job working with Santander bank.

Irons in the fire

Throughout her time abroad, Herrera continued to do some freelance work for former clients back in the U.S. She also stayed connected to the political world, doing work for campaigns through a political ad agency. This gave her plenty of connections to work as a freelancer once settled into Boston. But it wasn’t long before she started to craft plans for her own business.

“I just went for it when I moved here,” she said.

Herrera says of her prior experience is now bundled into her work with Moira.

“Setting up a company was a much more complete way of serving the client’s needs,” she said. “I can create a more complete experience.”

Currently, Moira has about 15 clients that work with the firm on a rotating basis for projects and three clients on fees for consistent work.

In the next five years, Herrera envisions Moira becoming a small agency, but she says the next step would be to hire a designer and a salesperson.

“I would love to create a team of really creative people and we can all push each other to come up with really great material for the clients. That would be amazing for me,” she said. “To me the most important thing is to come up with a really, really great product.”