Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price and Katharine Ortiz, Founder of A Little Bird Told Me share common interests in food, art, and Hartford.
Ortiz’ content-based marketing company provides services for Hartford-area restaurants such as Hartford Baking Company and the Treva restaurant group; Tainted Inc., which is a reSET 2016 accelerator participant; and non-profits including CONNetic Dance.
NAN PRICE: What did you want to be when you grew up?
KATHERINE ORTIZ: I really wanted to be a poet or a classical pianist. I was a dreamy kid who spent most of her time in the woods with a notebook and a pen or a good novel, when I wasn’t practicing piano of course. I was also homeschooled. All of these things may be related.
NAN: What motivated you to start a social media company?
KAT: I launched my company because of a very simple reason—people kept on approaching me to do social media for them. Working at CTNow, I was blessed to make strong connections in the restaurant industry and many of the people I now work with are people I’ve known for years. It’s a tight-knit industry community where everyone is passionate about what they do and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
NAN: How did you develop the business concept?
KAT: My business concept developed organically by listening to my clients. Learning their needs for content and marketing informed the services I offered them. I specialize in content—social media, blogging, PR, events, etc. I think that allowing the clients to tell their own story leads to the best, most authentic marketing results.
NAN: You are committed to working with non-profits. Why is that?
KAT: Hartford has a vibrant community of activists and artists. I think it’s incredibly important to give back and support the arts. So many of my friends spend their time creating amazing things in the realms of art, fashion, and dance.
Hartford Fashion Week is a great example of what can happen when someone has a vision and others are ready to step up and support that vision and make it a reality. And of course, there are great non-profit events, such as the Mayor’s Charity Ball and Share Our Strength, which help those who need it most in our community.
I just love to give back and feed off of so many people’s creative energy. And many of my restaurant clients get great exposure when they align themselves with these events—it’s a win/win.
NAN: What are your company’s future goals?
KAT: My company will continue to do what it does now—supporting amazing local restaurants and fashion retailers and offering a boutique and customized approach for their marketing needs.
I am currently growing my team, but the vision is going to stay the same. I look forward to learning from my mistakes and improving my product line, but overall, I want to keep long-term relationships with my clients and offer them the same services next year, or five years from now, that they currently receive.
Of course, we will stay on top of the ever-changing media landscape to make sure our clients are always relaying their message on the platform that’s currently trending—Instagram today—who knows what tomorrow? That’s what makes it exciting!
NAN: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever given or received?
KAT: A good friend of mine told me that the hardest part of owning your own business is that there is no one telling you if you’re doing a good job, and it can be a very lonely feeling, being an entrepreneur. It seems like such a small thing, but the self-doubt can be hard. Believing in yourself is difficult, but so important. I’m still working on that and I suppose I always will be—and that’s normal!
NAN: What is the best thing about the Greater Hartford region?
KAT: I love art. I love food. That’s why I do what I do. Connecticut people aren’t afraid to support local businesses, which allows for a thriving restaurant scene. From Real Art Ways to the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford is an artsy little city—and that’s what I love about it.