Originally from Stephens City, Virginia, Mallory Ebrahemi relocated to Los Angeles—with the support of her parents, who encouraged her to look outside her small town for her future—to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She graduated with a degree in product development and soon started working with Jack Nadel International, a firm that specializes in promotional marketing. Mallory has worked with JNI for 10 years and was recently promoted to vice president.
Tell us about your job at JNI.
“For the past 10 years, I’ve created wildly innovative, buzzworthy promotional merchandise together with my JNI creative team. We take an agency approach to promotional marketing, which also enables us to elevate our clients’ brands in a tangible way, leaving lasting impressions.”
What is your specialty service?
“I shine most when I am given the opportunity to create something that is a true representation of the client’s brand. For example, I collaborate with Las Vegas nightlife venues on the invitations for their grand openings and special events. These are high-budget, extremely creative pieces sent to many A-list celebrities, so they must stand out. I have created everything from temperature-sensitive glass invites to mini-replicas of the venue to boxes that look like DJs’ heads. I take this same approach when it comes to general swag, questioning how we can elevate the brand through meaningful promotional pieces.”
Tell us about a recent success story.
“Typically, we have our annual sales meeting each April, where our sales team of 200+ people from all over the globe come together to connect, learn and grow. Just like many other things this year, our meeting was canceled and we pivoted quickly to a virtual format. A special part of the meeting is the awards ceremony; we love celebrating our colleagues’ accomplishments. But I wasn’t sure how the awards portion would work on a virtual platform.
One morning, my husband (who also works for JNI, and yes, that is how we met!) told me that some of our higher-ups would be presenting an award to him that he already knew about—and that I should get ready for pictures. Little did I know, they were coming to see me as well! I opened the door to my CEO holding a sign that read: ‘Mallory Ebrahemi, Vice President.’ It was an incredibly special moment because my little boy, Bryson, got to be a part of it, and my husband captured the whole thing on film. I will never forget that experience and the immense amount of gratitude I have for my JNI family.”
What are you grateful for today?
“Being able to work from home and watching my little man grow and learn every day. It truly has been a gift.”
What challenges are specific to your industry?
“A large portion of the work we do is event-specific, so when COVID-19 hit, our industry was deeply impacted. Over the course of a few months, we saw event after event get canceled. My incredible sourcing team has made it possible for us to offer PPE items to our clients, and that has been a game changer for my business during this time.
My primary clients, who focus on getting people in their doors, have been hit the hardest during the shutdown. It’s been challenging watching them suffer; we are in this with them. Together, we are innovating new ways to reconnect their customers with their brands—whether it’s switching to online events, livestream events, in-person venues, and restaurants and stores.”
In what ways do you empower other women to succeed in business?
“I serve as the mentor manager at Jack Nadel, overseeing the newer salespeople. I pair them with a mentor for some time; then they work directly with me for a while until they get their feet wet. When I have young women in the program, it is my duty to empower them to understand that anything is possible in this business. Seeing these ladies soar gives me so much pride.”
Has motherhood made you a better employee?
“The working mom struggle has always been hard on me. Do I stay home more? Or do I take on more at work? I struggled with this for the first two years of Bryson’s life—and then the pandemic hit. While it has presented so many struggles, it also has allowed me the working-mom balance that I always wanted. I gave myself permission to lean into my role as a mama, and that balance is what makes me a better consultant.”
What projects do you support to help those in need?
“My husband and I are deeply involved with the South Bay Children’s Health Center. We love this local organization! They provide mental health care and dental care for children in need and their families. We also focus most of our donations on smaller, grassroots organizations that focus on feeding those in need such as It’s All About the Kids and Awaken Love for Africa.”
What is your #1 piece of advice during this unprecedented time?
“Find the good.”