Marshall graduate Olivia Hutchison created her own marketing and branding business this year despite the hindrance of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Hutchison started working with small businesses owned by her parents. In March, it started to grow into something more for Hutchison and her sister, Brianna Goad.
The sisters saw a need for businesses struggling during the pandemic.
“I realized just how many small business owners, including my parents, were struggling to keep their doors open,” Hutchison said. “I had extra free time and used that to play around with graphic design platforms and started sending small business owners little social media graphics to try and do a small part in helping them in a time they were suffering.”
Hutchison and Goad researched more about marketing companies and web design. They decided to take what they had learned and run with it, Fetch: Branding and Marketing was created.
They have worked with several businesses from not only West Virginia but other states, as well.
Hutchison expresses her gratitude for the opportunity to work with a variety of clients. She hopes to expand by assisting nonprofits, in addition to small businesses.
“We really try to use our business to help not only support small business owners but to help nonprofit organizations benefit from having a place to connect with their volunteers as well,” Hutchison said. “We were able to make a site for an organization near to our hearts, The AD Lewis Community Center and build a website for them that was donated by 5-Star Car Wash, but I personally would love to be able to build more websites for free for non-profits in the future. Those are the projects that truly give our work a further purpose- to a segment that can’t afford much help.”
Hutchison graduated from Marshall University in December 2019 with a marketing degree with minor in entrepreneurship.
Hutchinson says she has been a Herd fan long before her time at Marshall.
“I feel like I have been involved with Marshall as long as I can remember,” Hutchinson said. “Our dad was a running back on the Marshall football team in the early 80s, so since I was born, I kind of always bled green.”
Hutchison works about 10-12 hours a day making discovery calls with potential clients, working on websites for current clients, designing and looking at their monthly marketing content, and meetings with Goad and Piper White, the marketing consultant for Fetch.
“I’m young and healthy, thank goodness, so I don’t turn away work,” Hutchison said. “That’s made for some very long days, and something I am working on figuring out, but I wanted to graduate early to originally put in my time with a larger corporation. Now, I get to put in those long hours and days into something I have built and get to benefit from long term.”
Hutchison moved to Johnson City, TN to attend East Tennessee State University to get her MBA.
In between her hours at Fetch, Hutchinson works as a graduate assistant in ETSU’s Marketing/Management department.
Hutchison said that they most difficult part of building and running her own business is time allocation.
“I’m still learning how to ‘stop working’ and have some normal work hours. There was an entire month that I was getting up at 5am and going to sleep at midnight trying to stay on top of all my clients and offering them the best experience and most value,” Hutchison said. “It’s hard to ‘clock out’ when you’re self-employed and working from home. No one is going to do it for me and it’s my business’s reputation on the line if I let my work slip through the cracks.”
Hutchison and Goad grew up together, so when Hutchison moved to Tennessee, Fetch was what brought them back together.
“We talk now more than we ever did before. “We collaborate on every project but take leads on specific clients,” Hutchison said. “We always say we play designer and consumer so one of us builds the site, is the point of contact, and truly invests our time in the client’s business model while the other looks at the site or graphic design from the consumers perspective to make sure it flows well, looks attractive, and is user friendly.”
The pair have been involved in business their entire lives and are proud to continue.
“I always imagined myself working in business,” Hutchison said. “In actually owning my own business I feel like we are carrying the foundation that our parents worked so hard to build for us and hopefully we will be able to build a foundation for our families one day.”
Hutchinson says she is motivated by her passion for helping small businesses rebuild amidst the pandemic and help them continue to grow.
“Small business owners live and breathe their business twenty-four seven. They have built it from the ground up and support their families,” said Hutchison, “To be able to help those businesses gain a better and more professional online presence and better marketing content and tactics is extremely rewarding. It is a lot of pressure because I don’t take that lightly, but that’s what drives me to constantly learn, and stay on top of my game in our business.”
Abby Hanlon can be reached at [email protected]