We had the good fortune of connecting with Marika Adamopoulos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marika, why did you pursue a creative career?
Honestly, I feel as though a creative career pursued me. Growing up, I saw myself being a lawyer, or journalist, and at one point, I even wanted to be an archeologist. I loved to investigate, debate, and analyze. However, somewhat paradoxically, I was always creative. I painted, played instruments, and was involved in theater. I, of course, was drawn to photography as well. I felt torn between these two parts of me for a long time, believing that one would have to dominate the other in order to have a successful career. Obviously, now, I know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only do I get to be creative in my role, but as a business owner, an entrepreneur, I get to express my analytical, rational brain every single day. Why this specific career though? Honestly, I feel truly called to what I do. Like I said, I feel as though this creative career pursued me, as though it was meant to be. So each and every day, I wake up, grateful for this life, and work hard to run my business to the best of my ability, on all fronts.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Marika Creative is a branding agency, specializing in photography and creative direction, boldly and strategically supporting global businesses to increase their revenue and develop intimate connections with their customers. What sets us, me, apart from other photographers and other creative agencies is that we approach creativity intuitively, strategically, and effectively to deliver nothing but the best of the best every single time. For me, it’s about more than beautiful content, it’s about moving past a sale and into the client’s why. It’s about expressing my love language of adding value to people’s lives and businesses. It’s about hustling hard every single day to set standards. We can’t make our clients a cut above the rest if we aren’t a cut above the rest, right? Beyond that though, I am not just a photographer. I am a creative director, a partner to the companies I work with to help them conceptualize their projects, work through their editorial calendars, and develop the content that is actually going to equal increased revenue and higher engagement. My process for how I work with my clients ensures a seamless experience, with every single thing that they need on the creative front handled for them. I am so proud of our process. I am so proud of the work we do. I am so grateful because I work with such amazing brands and to see how they grow as a result of what we do together… it’s just amazing. Being an entrepreneur has always come naturally to me, but I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth road. There is a lot I didn’t know in the beginning, like how to handle the client relationship and or do contracts and invoices, that left me taken advantage of many a time, or letting a client down on certain expectations. There have been so many sleepless nights, worrying about where the next client would come from or how in the world I’d actually make this business work. I’ve experienced real depression, real failure, and real loss, and I’m sure I will continue to as the years go on, but all of it has made me a better business owner and a better woman, which makes it all worth it. This year, in particular, has been incredibly challenging for the business, but we have found new ways to grow, new ways to add value, and even started a new business to support other creative professionals (Creativity Built). The biggest thing I would want to leave anyone reading this with is that I am where I am today because I have persevered. I’ve chosen my priorities. I have discovered what it takes to make others feel seen and valued and to pour into them. Marika Creative isn’t about beautiful content, it’s about relationships, and building strong ones with our clients so they can build strong ones with their people too.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So I am based in Costa Mesa, so if a friend was coming to visit me in Orange County, our first stop would be doughnuts at Sidecar Doughnuts (they are seriously the best)! Of course, we would have to hit all of the cute coffee shops as well, such as Coffee Dose, Hearst Coffee, and Hopper & Burr. One of my favorite spots is Lido Marina Village; it’s close the water and has the cutest shops and restaurants, like Malibu Farm, so we would definitely plan a stop there. Other must visit restaurants include Gracias Madre, Farmhouse at Roger’s Garden, and Cucina Enoteca. If you’re my friend and you are hanging out with me, it’s essentially guaranteed that you will drink and dine well 🙂 Orange County has some lovely beaches, the sweetest farmer’s markets, and there is always something new and fun to do and explore!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I love this, and couldn’t agree more; we never get anywhere alone! I want to dedicate this shoutout to my dad, Alex Adamopoulos. My dad is an immigrant, an entrepreneur, and an amazing man. He built his dream life, a life of freedom, generosity, and innovation, all from nothing, while investing into his family and setting an example in faith, life, and work for me. I am an entrepreneur today because my dad inspired me to be. I wouldn’t be here without his mentorship, support, and love. I also have to shoutout my mom, Cheryl! She is the one who drove me to my art classes, who went with me when I bought my first camera, and who always encouraged me to pursue what I actually cared about. When other people told me I couldn’t make a career in an artistic field, my mom told me I could. When I started making it in my career and had tough clients, my mom would process through it all with me and helped me with my customer relationships so much. And all that is just a small look at how she supports me, encourages me, and balances me. Lastly, I want to shoutout my brother, Alex. Alex was my first model and my first assistant. He is really creative himself, and he has inspired me over the years in honing my skills and innovating in new ways. He gives me new ideas, space to work through my thoughts, and has even helped me find new clients. My brother is my best friend and someone I know I can always count on. So incase you couldn’t tell, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my family!
The photo of me was shot by Erin Marton.