The multimedia world has changed significantly within the past ten years. In an industry saturated with predominantly white males as gatekeepers, people of color continue to sculpt an avenue that will allow them to creatively express themselves through curating content.
Founder and chief executive officer of Mirror Digital, Sheila Marmon, knows all too well the adversities that people of color face in the multimedia industry, particularly Black women. The South Central, Los Angeles native has structured her life around not only combating these adversaries, but by creating a network based multimedia company which provides resources and opportunities for people of color in the industry.
Marmon’s brainchild, Mirror Digital, assists Fortune 500 companies to connect with the flourishing multicultural media and advertising market. Mirror Digital has executed over 550 digital campaigns for their clients including Netflix, Disney, Macy’s, Ford, General Motors, and Universal Pictures. Mirror holds the title as the largest multicultural interactive media and advertising company, aiding Marmon in receiving The Network Journal “Forty Under 40” Outstanding Achievement Award.
Marmon talked to The Narrative Matters and reflected on her humble beginnings in Los Angeles where she recalls always noticing her city’s potential, but also the neglect that was present.
“South Central was filled with culture, a solid foundation, and great people, but it lacked resources,” she said.
As a youth, Marmon attended school outside of her neighborhood, seeking those resources that would further her skill set and provide opportunities for neighborhoods similar to hers one day. After attending Princeton for political economics and African-American studies, and Harvard for grad school, Marmon set her sights on exploring media as avenues to convey multicultural stories. She realized in the early stages of her career the importance of changing the narrative by becoming her own multicultural gatekeeper. After securing her first leadership role with Warner Media, Marmon says she set her focus on multicultural lifestyle and stories. While there she curated business plans for multicultural companies, assisted with acquisition on Essence Magazine, and even launched Sports Illustrated Latino.
Marmon’s launch of Mirror Digital consisted only of her and her cousin at the beginning. They eventually hired interns and slowly built their brand from the ground up, hiring and networking people of color.
“In the past, my work was primarily focused on the areas of digital innovation OR multicultural markets. I decided to marry these two passions and focus on how innovation in media could help leading brands reach people of color on digital media platforms,” she said. “But as we become more mainstream as we continue to set the template, as we are seen as part of the bigger picture, I fully expect that my work will become more integral, and integrated,” Marmon said to Afro Tech.
Now with having endless access to an extensive chain of resources which she once manifested, Marmon has driven Mirror Digital to the pinnacle of the multicultural media game and focuses on promoting ownership in media for people of color.
“There has been a growing interest in the multicultural consumer realm. I want to see more Black owned Black media companies, so my team is people of color and my partners are people of color.”