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Omaha Magazine

For the Girls: Esther Mejia Employs Women, Helps All

Nov 23, 2020 04:43PM ● By Kim Reiner
Esther Mejia of E Creative

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Esther Mejia grew up in a family emphasizing service to the community. Through natural career shifts over the years, Mejia is now in a place where her work, both professionally and in the community, makes an impact on causes important to her.

E Creative, Mejia’s advertising agency, started in 2011 with the stated purpose to promote inclusivity and community impact. With her team of four—plus a roster of freelancers—E Creative creates work for organizations and businesses that share their values. “If they choose to work with us, they already know who we are,” Mejia said.

Mejia’s path to leading an advertising agency in Omaha began in Minden, a small town in central Nebraska known for being home to Pioneer Village. Her father, who was a minister, and her mother impressed upon Mejia and her siblings that it was important to work in the community in meaningful ways. She went on to study fine arts before shifting her focus to marketing. Mejia started in the corporate world before moving to freelance and ad agency work for others. It was then that Mejia realized that as long as she worked for someone else, she wasn’t always going to work on the most meaningful projects.

“I think that’s where I had an epiphany that my work needed to align with my values,” Mejia said. “I felt like it was our responsibility to lend our talent to things we believed in.”

She took a leap of faith and struck out on her own, starting E Creative. Her company focuses on supporting issues important to Mejia and her staff.

“They are a small firm so you really get to know them and how they think, and vice versa,” said Roberta Wilhelm, executive director of Girls Inc. of Omaha, one of E Creative’s clients. “They are also all women, so they work well with our ‘strong, smart, and bold’ mission.”

Mejia said a meaningful project of hers was helping the Immigrant Legal Center rebrand. Mary Umberger, board chair of Immigrant Legal Center, described the connection the Mejia had with the organization as they worked through color changes, a new logo, and a capital campaign.

“She really connected with everybody at ILC,” said Umberger, who noted that Mejia’s background helped her see that the work that they did was important.

Mejia says ILC’s work to help people from 55 countries learn to navigate their new lives in Nebraska and southwest Iowa is significant. “Imagine navigating this country if you don’t have the right tools for communication,” she said. As the daughter of immigrants, she continued, “I have a close tie to that personally.”

Umberger was impressed with Mejia’s vitality and creativity.

“Esther combines some wild creativity with the ability to finish a job,” Umberger said. “I think that that might be a rare combination.”

Authenticity is important to the E Creative team, and it’s visible through the organizations they work with and their own voice on social media. The agency effectively blends branding strategies with posts about equal rights, voting rights, and the LGBTQ community.

“From the lens of being someone of color and being in the LGBTQ community, to me it’s important that we advocate and bring a voice to the table for people like us,” Mejia said.

She gives of her time through volunteerism, serving on boards for Immigrant Legal Center and Girls Inc. Omaha, and lending her expertise to help organizations such as Latino Center of the Midlands and chairing the Equality Fund.

Mejia not only served as a board chair for Girls Inc., she mentored a teen.

“She really got involved,” Wilhelm said. “It wasn’t just a commitment on paper. She gave her time, her talents, her energy, and her karma.”

It fits Mejia’s M.O. “If I can help, that fulfills me,” she said.

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This article was published in the December 2020/January 2021 issue of B2B.