Texas Top 50 Women To Watch: Lara August of Robot Creative
For Lara August of Robot Creative, entrepreneurship and creativity have been a part of her spirit since childhood. August and her team’s work at Robot Creative has consistently inspired, and delivered quantifiable marketing results over the past two decades in business. A creative visionary committed to helping brands and businesses tell their stories, August attributes much of her leadership acumen to her father (a fellow business owner) who taught her through his example and guidance. With an award-winning firm in design, marketing, communication, community and business, Robot Creative’s collective innovation has been the gear that has kept dozens of brands competitive nationwide.
On her creative background:
I launched my business at the age of 22, immediately after moving from Chicago to San Antonio, where I didn’t have a network or any name recognition. In retrospect, this probably isn’t career advice I would give anyone, but it has definitely shaped who and where I am today. I’ve considered myself an artist and an entrepreneur since childhood, so it’s not surprising that I started my own creative firm. I received a great education from Indiana University, and I had freelance experience from Chicago. I brought both with me to San Antonio, but the creative market here was very small and opportunities were limited. When it was difficult to find a job, I did not hesitate to venture out on my own. Within the first two years in business, I had accumulated some very impressive creative and business awards, amassed steady repeat clientele and built a solid referral network. Twenty years later, we are one of the larger and more established creative firms in San Antonio, and I have never looked back. Along the way I married an entrepreneur, and as an entrepreneur myself, I love working with other entrepreneurs and passionate business leaders to help them achieve their goals.
On what sets Robot Creative apart:
Longevity and reputation. Our expertise has not been developed over a few clients or within a couple of years. We have two decades of experience developing brands and strategic plans, and repeat clients who are on their third and even fourth website with us. This trust is earned by delivering on expectations from budgets to timelines to results. Each of our three departments is run by leaders with more than 20 years of experience in their respective fields: Design- Andrew Watson, Marketing- Lana Harris, and Interactive- which I run. These departments are staffed with brilliant creative team members who have a minimum of seven years of specialized education and work experience to start, and who receive continuing education every year. Some people feel buying creative work is subjective, but our philosophy is that it is goal-driven and results-oriented. We have the track record to back it up.
On community impact:
I am passionate about the arts, technology and entrepreneurship. Over the past 20 years I have supported several arts organizations as a donor, founded an art gallery, created an area gallery guide and served as a board member of the SouthTown Mainstream Alliance. I am currently serving as a Board Member and Marketing Committee Chair for the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. As an arts organization my family and I have been a part of for almost 10 years, and one poised to grow and offer musical education to the entire city, I am honored to serve them during this exciting time. Additionally, my husband and I are investors in early stage technology companies and members of Alamo Angels investment group. I also volunteer as a mentor for the Techstars Impact program in Austin and RealCo in San Antonio. These are two incubator programs where I feel I take away as much knowledge and motivation as I strive to provide the startups in return.
On her personal hero:
While there are so many incredible, creative women who I admire (J.K Rowling, Paula Scher, my mom and grandmother), my personal hero is my dad. He encouraged me and all of my siblings to pursue our individual passions. I have an older brother who is a journalist and I studied graphic design…these are two of the most notoriously underpaid professions, and many parents would have given very different advice. He has also been my greatest business advisor and mentor over the course of so many years. He is a business owner himself, but more importantly, he is a grounded and kind leader. His practical advice and words of wisdom during my start-up years provided an incredible foundation and they still run deep through our core values and so many of our team conversations 20 years later. I still call him to this day when I need advice.
This profile was (Em)Powered by Robot Creative.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.