Dayna Bolden, BS ’10, has a love for fashion and beauty that has transformed into an entrepreneurial marketing career.
After graduating from the School of Management with a bachelor’s in business administration, Bolden landed a summer internship in retail operations with Under Armour, the activewear brand known for its apparel, shoes and accessories. That fall, the company hired her to work full time in sales operations, where she managed key sales accounts for two years.
From there, Bolden moved to a position in retail operations, where she helped manage communications to all of the company’s retail stores. It was during this time that she started a fashion and beauty blog as a creative outlet.
“Over the past two years, my blogging brand grew immensely,” she says. “After balancing both my full-time job and my passion job for a few years, I knew I was ready to step out on faith and become a full-time entrepreneur.”
So in February, Bolden founded Bolden Creative Media, where she holds two key roles. As a social media influencer, Bolden serves as the public face of brands. She was recently featured in a national campaign for Revlon and has partnered with such companies as Google, Dior and Saks Fifth Avenue.
In her role as creative director, she works with brands behind the scenes, directing photo shoots, creating content and developing social media strategies.
According to a recent Forbes article, mothers control 85 percent of household purchases and have a spending power of $2.4 trillion. Millennial moms spend more than four hours a day online, primarily browsing for parenting advice and getting product recommendations on social media from other moms such as Bolden.
On Instagram, Bolden has built a community of more than 40,000 followers with an average of 900 likes per post. With that success has come a level of fame that she says is exciting, yet unexpected.
“I never in a million years thought I would understand how celebrities feel when they go out in public,” she says. “But when I go to the grocery store or the post office, people are starting to recognize me. It’s really cool to know that my brand has grown to this level.”
Bolden says her experience in the School of Management gave her the foundation and the network she needed turn her passion in to a thriving business.
“From the accounting and finance classes I took to my marketing classes, my time at UB shaped my career and how I run my business today,” she says.
“And the connections you build while in school can go a long way. If you build great relationships with your peers and administrators, it can open doors for your career.”
For current students or new graduates just entering their careers, Bolden says to follow your passion.
“Don’t do something just to do it,” she says. “Really go after the things you love.”
Outside of work, Bolden’s favorite thing to do is spend time with her husband, Ernest, and their daughter, Aria.
Written by Kevin Manne