Like many entrepreneurs, Martu Freeman-Parker had to find a niche for her clothing consulting business before it really took off. After a few years of tinkering with her mission, she developed fashion industry bootcamps where her designer clients learned how to navigate overseas manufacturing and product development. “I had literally figured out my business model,” says the founder of MEF Productions in Miami, Florida. Then, while she was at Paris Fashion Week in early 2020, the pandemic hit, upending the way her business connects with customers.
“It all went from a one-on-one [in-person meetings] doing online workshops and bootcamps,” says Freeman-Parker. While the fashionista was able to pivot her business model to a virtual format fairly quickly, she was struggling to gain traction with her website and social media accounts. “I needed advice on how to better use social media for marketing,” she says.
Freeman-Parker’s quest for answers led her to Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, a free online portal where entrepreneurs can find personalized learning, expert coaching and grant opportunities to help them thrive in a digital environment. It was exactly what she needed. “Compared to courses I’ve taken elsewhere, learning from Verizon actually allowed me to implement these techniques myself,” Freeman-Parker says.