Raquel Diaz is our promotional marketing pro. This sparkling, singing gift from El Salvador doesn’t do anything by halves. She is the reason our clients are always able to find the most beautiful, unique branded merchandise in the market.
In El Salvador, Raquel began applying for scholarships that would bring her to Texas, as many members of her family live in the DFW area, or in Houston. Ultimately, she selected Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she studied business management and arts administration.
After graduating with her degree, she dove into the world of promotional marketing. Quickly, she began to fall in love with the process of giving a brand shape by selecting the perfect promotional items for any clientele. She also learned that “no” is not a part of her vocabulary. While keeping her cool, even under the tightest of deadlines, she can pull through and deliver something memorable.
Mixed Media Creations was lucky enough to welcome Raquel in 2017 when her sister found our listing, letting Raquel know of the opportunity. She joined the team because the spirit of MMC matched her own, and she quickly made her presence known as the go-to for any tricky requests. Her first project actually included a gorgeous, but very complicated, imprinted glass water bottle. She immediately elevated MMC’s capabilities and gave us a new outlook on what is possible with custom promotional pieces.
Raquel lives in the Design District in downtown Dallas with her sister, Michelle (and Michelle’s cat, Luna). In her spare time, she loves dancing (both for fitness and fun), cooking, working out, and spending time with her friends and family. Her passions include coffee, books, and movies. She loves to salsa, trying new recipes, and travel. In the future, Raquel hopes to open her own non-profit that would help rehabilitate burn victims in El Salvador through the arts.
Why are you interested in fitness and nutrition?
About three years ago, I decided to fully focus on making myself feel better both mentally and physically. That led me down the path of nutrition and I became really interested in the science behind nutrition and fitness.
I started being really passionate about it after I started seeing results. I enjoy it because I know a lot about it, and I can not only help myself, but other people. Seeing results is addictive (in a positive way).
What would you say is your biggest strength that you bring to MMC?
Probably my knowledge of where the trends for promotion products are heading. Specifically, the technology and how it integrates with promotional items.
Also, that I’m so friendly and offer great customer service. 🙂
What are you currently reading?
I have three books on pause right now. The September Society, which I’m currently really enjoying. I’m halfway through it, so TBD on what I think about it.
The other one is The Secret Letters. There are three sisters – one passed away. Before she died, she left letters hidden for her other two sisters to find and read.
And then the third one – the one I started in October – is A Discovery of Witches. My friend is currently on me to finish that one, but it will probably be next October.
What are you watching on Netflix?
New Girl – I love New Girl. And I’m re-watching Stranger Things. The other show is Friends.
I specifically turn on Friends before I go to sleep because I’m just laughing.
Would you say that you’re more of a drama person, or a comedy person?
I think a mix. I’m really well balanced. My favorite drama is The OA. It’s more sci-fi, more dramatic, but a sci-fi. It stands for “original angel,” and they have a life or death experience, they enter another realm where they gain a new ability. Someone is hunting them down.
What inspires you?
Creative people. I feel that it’s something I lack a lot of the time. I can be creative for other people, but lack for myself. For someone to take something simple like a word and be able to create something beautiful and physical from it is amazing.
Fitness people also inspire me – they make me want to push and be better, and learn more about nutrition and fitness. I want to get to their level and keep moving.
What are you passionate about for the design industry?
The ecommerce world. I’m excited to see how that can be integrated into marketing and design in general. Anything that has to do with design can be transformed, and can create a one-stop-shop for the design world.
The ability to include variable data – you can easily access it and make quick updates and it automatically creates a proof. The brand was already established and created, and can just be added to your cart.
What is your favorite promo piece that you have done since you’ve been at Mixed Media?
Ooh! EMME Chicago (apartment community). We created a full set of well-rounded promo items including a tote bag, a koozie, a gigantic mug, and a water bottle that was fully wrapped with the skyline of Chicago in their brand colors. It was just really cool to see it come to life.
If a company is struggling with how to connect their promo items with their customer, what do you suggest?
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, or whoever the customer would be. Think about what you would want to get, and keep. Not just something you would get as a freebie, but something you would hold on to. What would you use down the road?
Bags are cliché, but women and men will both keep them. It’s a very top-of-mind thing.
I would always suggest putting your customer at the top of your thought process.
What are some favorite promo items that you’ve received?
Pop-sockets (for those of you who don’t know, they’re a piece you put on the back of your phone to hold it or make a stand), it’s fully customizable, and has a retail-feel to it. That’s a big desire in promo, because you don’t want something cheap looking.
Leather has been a really big material people are using a lot in the promo world. Again, it has another retail-feel to it. It feels very high-end and clean. You can make anything out of it from cup sleeves and leather-bound journals, to bracelets and coasters. This is probably one of my favorites.
And then any tech stuff. People will always need an extra charger. People will always like a power bank.
What brand would you like to do promo for?
I think Fossil. They already have that leather feel, and they do fun things. It would be a great brand to expand on.
Last meal – what are you eating?
Cookie butter pancakes (with lots of cookie butter). Then ceviche from El Salvador. Then all the avocado and hot sauce. Then I would finish it with even more desserts – I have a real sweet tooth. And Hawaiian pizza.
Now I’m hungry.
Who are two people, living or dead, you would invite to have dinner with you?
Alive or dead – I always wanted to meet Robin Williams. He seemed like a funny guy who would be a fun person to eat with. And probably Ellen DeGeneres.
What do you think the world will be like in 2020.
Hopefully more peaceful. That’s only two years from now. Definitely more peace, a lot less conflict in the world in general.
As far as the design world, we’re going to be using more design platforms.
Anything you’d like to leave our readers with?
Life is too short. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t let the little things ruin your mood because it’s not worth it.
Do you want to bring your brand to life? Contact Raquel and open a world of promo possibilities.