In this Prime Talk Podcast Video Sponsored by GETIDA – Emma Schremer Tamir – The Founder of Marketing by Emma – talk about the creative side of eCommerce and content creation. Emma shares her life story and her incredible tale of eCommerce creativity.
Emma grew up in Columbus Missouri and wanted to get out and explore the world. After developing a career in political science, she quickly realized her passion was steering her in other directions. Off she went to live in Spain and Israel for a few years, got married, and eventually discovered that her creative talent is in growing need along with the explosive growth of eCommerce.
Now Emma is back in Columbus, fueled with a new appreciation for her hometown, and with a hard focus on growing her creative agency by helping eCommerce sellers all over the world.
Find out more about Marketing by Emma.
Find out more about GETIDA.
Find the Full Transcript Below
Yoni Mazur 0:04
Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of fine dog today I’m really happy to have Emma with me and my tremor, Tamir. She is the founder and the main persona behind marketing by Emma, which is a leading agency for e-commerce content, Amazon listing, optimization, and marketing copy. Mo, welcome to the show.
Emma Tamir 0:28
Hi, Yoni, thanks for having me. I’m excited to speak with you today.
Yoni Mazur 0:31
Awesome. So where are you now which part of America?
Emma Tamir 0:36
We are in Columbia, Missouri, which is right in the very middle. If you closed your eyes and tried to point out the middle on a map, you’d probably land pretty close to where we are.
Yoni Mazur 0:47
That’s awesome. You know, we should probably these days open like a big warehouse. If you run in the middle, it’s a good place to be, you know, you can shift pretty quickly.
Emma Tamir 0:59
Yeah, there are a lot of warehouses, data centers, all sorts of things. Real estate is cheap. We’re in good, kind of, you know, equidistant from lots of places.
Emma Tamir 1:12
I don’t know that that’s my passion. But I encourage those who are passionate about it to definitely consider Missouri as a potential great state.
Yoni Mazur 1:21
I think Columbus when he had the vision of you know, what he discovered when he discovered America, you know, a city named after him, Columbia, and right smack in the middle, you know, to dominate the land.
Emma Tamir 1:35
I like that idea.
Emma Tamir 1:36
We’re right, we’re pretty close to where Lewis and Clark actually started their expedition to explore the western part of the United States. So we have some interesting history here, considered the frontier of the West. But a lot of people also consider it as a flyover.
Yoni Mazur 1:56
You gotta think you know, it today is good, the good thing to be right in the middle, I think the middle you’ll see in the next few decades, it’s going to boom up because the East in the West is a little bit crowded. And it’s a lot of fertile land in the middle. Okay, so today, the episode is really gonna focus beyond where you’re living, which is Missouri, this is where you grew up, right? Or you grew up in a different state?
Emma Tamir 2:22
I grew up here.
Emma Tamir 2:24
Yeah, my family moved here when I was four, and I kind of moved in and out for the rest of my life.
Yoni Mazur 2:30
So okay, so this episode is gonna be all about you. We want to discover you see what you’re all about? Where are you from? Where’d you go to school? How did you begin your career? So without further ado, let’s dive right into it and have some fun. Go ahead. Tell us your story.
Emma Tamir 2:46
I grew up in Missouri, and I was really intent on getting out of here as soon as I possibly could. So I actually applied to a bunch of different schools and ended up choosing the University of Wisconsin, sort of at random. And I think what we’ll see here is that it will begin what becomes a pattern, which is I was at University, University of Wisconsin for a year and a half I studied abroad in Ecuador. I was fascinated by the culture there and also really reconnected with my love of writing, and started a blog.
Yoni Mazur 3:19
Hold on. Let’s back it up. You flew over Ecuador pretty quickly. So you went to Ecuador for a whole year? What age was this?
Emma Tamir 3:27
No, I went there for a semester, my sophomore year.
Yoni Mazur 3:31
20 years old?
Emma Tamir 3:33
I was 19 actually.
Yoni Mazur 3:36
That’s the main city?
Emma Tamir 3:37
I was in Quito, I lived with a family. I actually went to a university in the Columbia Valley, which was about an hour by bus to get there.
Yoni Mazur 3:53
That sounds as wild and authentic as it can be. And over there, you kind of discovered copywriting in a way or your passion for creativity.
Emma Tamir 4:00
So I was always a little girl, I was always making storybooks and telling stories. And I was also just very expressive and artistic. But when I lived in Ecuador, this was before smartphones were a big thing where you still had to go to internet cafes. If you wanted to use a really patchy voice, Skype, I don’t even think that video calls existed yet, which means that and when I was living there, I had a lot of time where I was in the home that I was staying in without the internet to waste time on without being able to always interact with my friends,
Yoni Mazor 4:40
No distractions, you can really look inside, introspect and bring the power out.
Emma Tamir 4:45
Exactly. And so I just felt compelled to document my experiences. And it also made it a lot easier to not have to write these really long emails to every single person instead, they could read the blog and then we could kind of talk about other things instead of having to keep them.
Yoni Mazur 5:03
So you started a blog back then meaning in Ecuador, in Ecuador? Where you launched it?
Emma Tamir 5:08
That’s where I launched it. And it was really, it was really just for that, I think it was on blogger, this blogger still exists anymore. I don’t know.
Yoni Mazur 5:17
I never heard of it. So…
Emma Tamir 5:21
And I started to get some feedback that my writing was really good and that maybe I should consider a career in writing. And it just so happens that the University of Missouri, which is located here in Columbia, is one of the top journalism schools in the country, and so I started getting a lot of encouragement from people saying, you should consider going to school there. And I was like, no way, I don’t want to move back to Missouri. And then I was encouraged to just visit it and I visited and then I was encouraged to just apply, and I just applied, and then I got accepted. And before I knew it, I was enrolled at the University of Missouri and living back in Colombia and wondering what happened.
Yoni Mazur 6:00
Destiny didn’t happen, literally. So I think it’s great. I think you even though you tried to break out, you know, you found your talent, you found it, and it matched like a glove to where you grew up. But that’s a, in a sense, it’s kind of spiritual, almost, you know.
Emma Tamir 6:15
It is and it ended up being a really important time to be back home. My mom dealt with some health issues during that time. And I really couldn’t have imagined going through all of that being far away. But Funny enough, I didn’t even end up graduating with a degree in journalism, I felt really constricted by a lot of the rules of journalism and didn’t really like writing that way. So I ended up actually graduating with a degree in political science, in Spanish.
Yoni Mazur 6:44
In Spanish, Spanish. So how’s your Spanish?
Emma Tamir 6:47
Right now, it’s pretty rusty. And also because I’ve tried to learn Hebrew since then, as well. And so the two languages oftentimes get scrambled in my mind.
Yoni Mazur 6:57
Oh, it’s interesting. You say that when I was I, you know, full disclosure, I also traveled South America for about six months, I did a trail from Colombia, all the way down to Argentina and pastoral countries. And I remember that you know, during that, during those six months, when I was trying to pick up Spanish, it was confusing my Arabic. You know, I have a background in Arabic. And I was always mixing the word though but said something Spanish and like this Arabic word pops out. So there’s a thing to that when you’re trying to add more layers of languages, it must scramble a little bit. So I’m glad to hear it’s not just me.
Emma Tamir 7:31
No, I think they actually say that if it’s not your native tongue, if it’s you know, or like that level, then all of the language vocabulary is stored, sort of in the same place in your brain. So it’s actually really common to have that really frustrating cross-wiring.
Yoni Mazur 7:47
So it’s kind of a warehouse. Basically, it’s the same warehouse and, some units might be on top of each other. If we had to relate it to the e-commerce world. It’s one warehouse, and maybe it’s some of the stuff is really stored and stored close to the same bin. They got the wrong word since.
Emma Tamir 8:04
So yeah, I graduated and I was actually all set to actually start a job as a lobbyist. We are our state capital and are about 30 minutes away. And I love
Yoni Mazur 8:14
Lobbying for what?
Emma Tamir 8:17
lobbying for a whole variety of different nonprofits and whatnot, I was not particularly interested in politics. You know, sometimes, opportunities fall into your lap, and you feel like, maybe I’ll just see where this takes me. But then I got sick, and I realized I had no interest in even exploring the career of lobbying at all. So I canceled that and remembered seeing a flyer on campus about teaching English in Spain. So I searched high and low for more information about that and ended up finding the details, applying, and shortly thereafter, flew over to Central Spain.
Yoni Mazur 8:58
I got to ask this, this begs a question. Hold on Columbus, you know, excuse my ignorance he was Spanish? Yes. Because you see the pattern here from Columbus and Columbia, Missouri all the way to Columbus. It helped you discover you know, the land of the person that you know, you live in the town that was named after him. Wow, that’s something pretty cool is happening. Oh, you’re in Spain, Madrid or Barcelona, which?
Emma Tamir 9:28
No, nowhere that cool. I was in a small town about an hour and a half south of Madrid. Which was a no give a shout-out. What’s it called? Oh, Casa de San Juan. Yeah. I think it means the fortress of San Juan.
Yoni Mazur 9:43
The House of Kwanzaa sense.
Emma Tamir 9:49
Yes. And it used to be a big railroad junction. But since then, it had sort of lost some of its…
Yoni Mazur 10:01
Emma Tamir 10:03
Yeah. And so it was pretty small and pretty lonely. But fortunately, because it had been a railroad hub, I was also really well connected to the rest of Spain, which meant that on the weekends, I could go explore the country, which is beautiful and vast and has a lot to offer.
Yoni Mazur 10:21
As soon as possible, it is probably beautiful. I hear good things, and they didn’t get a chance.
Emma Tamir 10:26
Yeah, it’s a it’s a very different way of life.
Yoni Mazur 10:29
Emma Tamir 10:31
The Mediterranean, they definitely know how to appreciate family and food. And, yes, and the siesta.
Emma Tamir 10:39
I remember Actually, in high school, I was teaching that they were getting ready to go into their final exams. And one of the teachers was stressed because she lived an hour away. And she didn’t know where she was going to be able to take her siesta. And so, fortunately, another teacher offered her home, because, you know, it would just be an atrocity if she couldn’t get her hour siesta before having to go back to work.
Yoni Mazur 11:05
Unbelievable. Tell it to any American basically, assist means that you have to take a guess an hour to break in the middle of the day. Hopefully, you get a little bit of a shout I, for them, it’s embedded in their culture. I mean, for me, there’s no such thing. There’s no way there’s a middle of the day, that’s my pig, that’s when I know, I run on my top. And I like it. By the way, I can’t even imagine just shutting my eyes. But hopefully, once I grew up a little bit, maybe, you know, get a chance to take it easy a bit more. So you’re in Spanish teaching English, it’s pretty nice. It’s pretty off the beaten path, said list, and Okay, and what came next? And how’d you turn into e-commerce?
Emma Tamir 11:46
I’m telling you this story is really random and winding I actually. So in addition to teaching English, I was also teaching private lessons and got back into blogging. Because again, I found myself without very much access to a regular internet connection. And so I had a lot of additional time to myself.
Yoni Mazur 12:07
What year was this? You know, back in Spain?
Emma Tamir 12:12
This was 2010 2011 2012.
Yoni Mazur 12:18
Got it? Okay, that’s not that long ago, they had no, they had the high-speed internet.
Emma Tamir 12:22
But you know, I think this was still in the time of iPhone four, maybe. And it’s just things where things were different than we forget how evolution Yeah, things were not that long ago. And that was also my first experience really, with a little bit of entrepreneurship, because I was finding students that wanted my assistance, working with private lessons. And so that’s what I really used in order to be able to travel not just around Spain, but also do some travels to nearby countries as well. But I didn’t really, I gained a new appreciation for teaching. But I also realized that teaching was definitely not something that I was interested in doing. So I wanted to explore something that I’d done prior, which was I had spent a summer working on a farm. And that farm was run by some very talented chefs that had worked in Michelin star restaurants, but really wanted to change how the food system was working. And so I wanted to go back to working with them. And by this point, they had their first restaurant.
Yoni Mazor 13:40
This farmer in the States, right, and states, this isn’t actually an Illinois
Yoni Mazur 13:47
So you move to Illinois?
Emma Tamir 13:49
Illinois. Yeah. And there is really where my marketing journey became a little bit more serious. Because they quickly realized that my skills at writing and marketing are something that they could get a lot of benefit from. And that’s when I started to see my writing not just as something that could be used for personal expression, but it could also be a career in and of itself. I also didn’t last there very long. I got a little bit stir crazy being in Illinois, and after being there for a little less than a year I went to Israel which I thought would just be a short trip, and turned into living there for three years.
Yoni Mazur 14:36
Reason Israel. Oh, we’re gonna have to touch that for a minute. Okay, so you’re in Illinois for almost a year on a dairy farm, doing marketing, your first dabbling into, you know, commercial marketing right. And then you switch to Israel. What was the trigger there?
Emma Tamir 14:54
I wanted to go somewhere new. It’s as you see, I like that kind of stimulation.
Yoni Mazur 14:58
Yeah. For the new for unit to explore, I don’t wanna say the unknown. It’s not like you know, you’re going over to Mars, but I guess the culture, languages, the mindsets of other destinations.
Emma Tamir 15:14
Yes, I find it fascinating. And I think that’s actually really one of the things that I like most about marketing and where it’s such a good fit for my skills, and just what I had started honing, even before I realized that that’s what I was doing. Because marketing really requires this ability to think about the person that you’re trying to communicate with and to understand them on a deeper level. And so when you’re in a new place, your eyes are just wide open, and you’re very receptive to absorbing all of this information. And it not only makes you question yourself, and why you do things in certain ways, but it also makes you question why these other people do things in this entirely different way.
Yoni Mazur 16:01
I got to point something out here was because what you said is super interesting. It’s basically every time you expose yourself to new, new places, it just stimulates you all the sensors all around it keeps stimulating you. And then that’s stimulated, basically, you have to challenge yourself, and it bursts out with creativity in order to deal with it. Right for you, at least every time. So that’s pretty, awesome. Analysis, I know that you have on yourself, which I think is pretty cool.
Emma Tamir 16:29
Yeah, so I was just kind of craving that stimulation again, and went to Israel, just as a trip I hadn’t been yet in my life and felt like somewhere that I wanted to go.
Yoni Mazur 16:41
This is what, 2013 ish?
Emma Tamir 16:46
Yeah. 2013, 2014.
Emma Tamir 16:48
That sounds about right. 2013 2014. And you’re probably accurate, actually. And
Yoni Mazur 16:58
It’s not a tax return, it’s okay.
Emma Tamir 17:00
I was just going there for the summer and found that I just fell in love with Tel Aviv. And I never really lived somewhere because I loved the place. I’d always live there because the job was there or the school was there, or there was something else taking me there. And so this really felt like the first opportunity that I had to just live somewhere that I thought was so amazing. And I began studying Hebrew, which is also a really great way to learn more about your own language. Because a lot of times when we learn our native tongue, we’re not necessarily aware of how all of those different rules and things are functioning together. But when you’re forced to learn another language, it makes you reflect a lot on your own language as well. And so that I’ve always found that to be a really helpful and interesting process, not just in learning another language, but in strengthening my English skills.
Yoni Mazur 17:58
I agree, because I think you know, every language has kind of its own logic, right? And by tapping into that, and understanding that, that that’s a very powerful thing that humans can, can utilize later, and especially for marketing, because, you know, what’s the logic of this product? Why would logically somebody, you know, buy this, right? You got to tap into the logic or the minds of the framework, and in a creative way, reach out to that logic and entice it and generate interest. So they make the purchase, ultimately, yeah,
Emma Tamir 18:27
Yes, exactly. So I lived in Israel, I eventually got a job with a startup that was an online video software that people could use to make their own animated videos. I worked there shortly after I was about to start up. What was it called? PowToon
Yoni Mazur 18:47
Oh, yeah, I didn’t know this film business, right.
Emma Tamir 18:49
Oh, yeah. They’re pretty big. Yeah, they are. They’re pretty awesome. Yeah, So near that time, I also met who is now my husband, Eris, and also my business partner. And when I met him, he really quickly started to push me to push myself with my career and my writing and felt like there were a lot of opportunities, if I would be confident enough to go take it. And he didn’t even require confidence from me. He was happy to actually put me out there. And I just kept saying, No, no, no. And eventually, over time, he wore me down a little bit, but it took a while. So we ended up deciding that we wanted to move back to the states and see what life here would be like, we thought…
Yoni Mazur 19:45
Did you guys get married in Israel?
Emma Tamir 19:48
We got married here in the States.
Yoni Mazur 19:50
So you were three years in Israel. I guess you met your husband, which stage is the first year second year third year?
Emma Tamir 19:56
In the third year,
Yoni Mazur 19:58
Third-year and you guys are You know, I have a good connection and you’re able to, I guess, you know, discover new limits, right and with your talent, and then you guys relocate to Columbia?
Emma Tamir 20:10
Yeah, we, we thought we would just be a temporary landing pad.
Emma Tamir 20:15
But it’s four years later, and we’re still here.
Yoni Mazur 20:19
The temporary, you know, the permanent temporary story. So this is I guess, 2016, you land back in your homestead hometown, right? Yeah, four years, you guys are grounding nice, and you got married. That’s another step.
Emma Tamir 20:34
And we certainly thereafter, we began our various entrepreneurial endeavors. So in our early days, we were just trying to figure out what we wanted to do. So we ran an Airbnb for a while, we, I did a little bit of private chef…
Yoni Mazur 20:52
You were cooking, you mean?
Emma Tamir 20:55
I was cooking.
Yoni Mazur 20:59
Sounds like a good thing to have a good meal.
Emma Tamir 21:03
And then Eric has also started to ask more about helping me find marketing.
Yoni Mazur 21:13
Emma Tamir 21:14
Yeah. And this is when he kind of became not just asking but started just doing. So he started finding me jobs, whether I was eager to take them or not. And that’s really how marketing by Emma started, he saw this potential, and this need, and whether I was on board or not, he was going to make it happen. So he started to not only recognize the need here locally but then also quickly realized the need more specifically in the e-commerce and Amazon space for really high quality, English marketing writing. And we thought that it would really be something small that would allow us to travel and work and sort of be rootless. And it quickly showed itself to be something very different, which I’m grateful for. And so what’s, you know, in the past, I was always looking for this newness and this stimulation through living in new places. And what I found so interesting is now I have a lot of those same experiences, but rather than going somewhere different, it’s through the lens of having a business which is endlessly challenging, and lots of new frontiers to explore and certainly never boring.