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I’m Molly Smithson: Arete Media founder,
writer, comedian, producer, ardent dill pickle fan and…. millennial.

I grew up a digital Dickensian street urchin in the wild west of the world wide web.

I had an email at age five, filled with the pitfalls of Nigerian princes and tacky graphics. I was on MySpace, Facebook, and Youtube (plus AIM, rest in peace) in middle school. Like other millennials, before I even had a job, I had already learned how to discern fake information, discover engaging stories and digitally connect with companies I liked.

In fact, I did my capstone undergraduate research on social media practices and strategy at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Around then, I also began my digital marketing career as a content writer and keyword assistant for real estate lead generation company Element-360

At the same time, I completed the creative writing program. My love for comedy, fiction and film informed what I wrote for work. I discovered companies were no different than a character in a short story or poem: they have unique accomplishments and challenges that people delight in relating and understanding. 

After graduating, I spent a year and a half building Darby Communications’s digital marketing services. It became apparent traditional media agencies had little-to-no knowledge on how to manage social media, so I decided to strike out on my own.

I founded Arete Media in 2017. Since then, we’ve been proud to work with brands like Klum House, Dovetail Workwear, Herbivore Clothing Company and Portland Pet Food Company to build mindful, engaging content that represents the essence of their powerful missions.

In a saturated market, you have to show what drives you to create greater products and the real ways your product will affect consumer’s daily lives for the better.

I’ve realized that in a sea of influencers and slick branding, the greatest companies find success by building community and speaking in their own voice- polished, but unfiltered. Hopeful, but honest- about their successes and their failures. Transparent and accountable.

Just like the printing press and papyrus, the internet and all the things to come out of it are tools. Like those media inventions before, social marketing itself is just a tool to make our voices heard.

So tell us: what do you have to say?