How Sweet it is – Inside the Hive at the “Honey Agency”
By Robin Swanson
If you happen upon a buzzing sound when you’re in the neighborhood of 24th and K streets in midtown, be careful, you may just have stumbled upon an active “hive” run by two of Sacramento’s fiercest queen bees, Meghan Phillips and Rebecca Parker. The dynamic duo founded the Honey Agency in 2008, a marketing firm specializing in brand building and creative design for the food, wine and lifestyle industries that recently expanded to represent selected clients all over the globe.
So how do Meghan, the mother of a toddler and pregnant with #2 (due in September), fitness guru and type-A-to-the-core, and Rebecca, a highly creative, beagle-lovin’ rebel, find such harmony in the midst of a chorus of ringing phones, howling dogs and cooing babies? Well, apparently copious caffeine and occasional “business meetings over pedicures” help, but at the end of the day, it’s their hard work and passion for what they do that keeps clients coming back for more of that unique Honey Agency nectar.
After working together in Java City’s corporate marketing department, Meghan and Rebecca decided to stake out on their own in search of the flexibility and freedom that being your own boss provides. Meghan’s marketing expertise and Rebecca’s graphic design background collided with their mutual love of food, coffee and wine to form a niche for the agency. They’ve since expanded the agency to include a pool of talented graphic designers, project managers and social media experts.
A typical day starts with Rebecca, HA’s creative director, reviewing a pile of proofs in her e-mail in-box at 7 a.m., followed by her requisite daily java jolt before she gets to the hive and spends some quality time with her beloved iMac and a computer screen the size of the drive-in movie theater off of 50. Here she plows through her “honey-do” list (cleverness associated with the firm’s name never gets old here… in fact, it’s highly encouraged) and collaborates with the many designers, developers and print vendors that work with the firm for a late-night session to meet a client- or self-imposed deadline.
Meanwhile Meghan wakes up to the unfailing alarm clock of her 2 year-old at around 5 a.m., reviews her e-mails, helps get her child and husband out the door, and strives to put together a Midtown chic-mom look. Prior to having a baby, Meghan taught a 6 a.m. spin class, and maintains an early-morning stamina that eludes most mere mortals. Once at the hive, she assumes her role as marketing director, strategizing on the phone and in meetings with clients while staying on top of the firm’s day-to-day business. And to finish off some weekdays, this pregnant working mom can still be found teaching an evening fitness class. Yep, writing it makes me want to take a nap too…
To keep their sanity, the ladies occasionally escape to a lunch-time yoga class at Zuda. But they also work to create a Zen and fun atmosphere at the hive with music, sweet treats and lots of laughs keeping creativity flowing and the team pressing through tight deadlines.
One thing is clear, these ladies love what they do: a self-confessed recovering weekend warrior, Rebecca says that instead of being a TGIF-er, she’s now in the ONIF (Oh NO, it’s Friday) camp, relishing the time she spends at the Honey Agency. Meghan echoed this sentiment, saying: “when you love something so much the work and life balance does begin to blend a little – which isn’t all that bad.”
True Girls on the Grid, these two can be found frequenting any number of downtown businesses. Tres Hermanas is a staple-food for the queen bees (it’s downstairs from the hive), but they also love the European lunch atmosphere of Cafe Rolle and are always on the lookout for the perfect salad.
In their spare time, (yes, they claim to have it), Rebecca loves to cook and explore new creative outlets (currently learning to sew) and is always trying to get her boyfriend Terry to plan their next vacation, while Meghan and her husband Chris like to work on home-remodeling projects. You might even recognize her from the “Bath Crashers” episode that aired this season the Do It Yourself Network, where Meghan and her husband helped the team install a spectacular bathroom in their home complete with a copper tub and full-body dryers (you’ll have to ask her how these work, but apparently towels are passé…)
Their advice to other overachievers launching their own business? Ironically, it’s something they’ve probably been told on occasion: “breathe and slow down…”