Born in Bulgaria, educated in England and Los Angeles, Ralitsa Carter has made Colorado Springs her home.
The digital director at Blakely + Co., Carter is responsible for developing marketing plans for Blakely’s clients, as well as working on internal digital solutions for the company.
She recently spent time with the Business Journal discussing her job at Blakely, her reasons for moving across the ocean and her love of Colorado Springs.
How did you get to the United States from Bulgaria?
It was a very deliberate decision. I received my undergraduate degree in graphic design and animation in England and went back to Bulgaria, where I worked for a design studio. I opened my own studio, and that’s when I realized that art school doesn’t really prepare you for management or business decisions. I decided to get a master’s degree. I had a choice between a school in Milan or coming across the ocean to Los Angeles. It was the right timing. I decided that I’d take the new job, new school, new country.
How did you end up in Colorado Springs?
After I received an MBA, I got a job working for a small firm in Los Angeles. I met my husband then, and after two years, we moved to Idaho. I worked for a much larger company there; I was on the road all the time. That was quite the change in scenery — to go from a city of millions to one with just 30,000. His job brought us to Colorado Springs and it’s been a great move for us. We love it here. It’s exactly the right-size city.
What do you do at Blakely?
I am the digital director, so I manage and develop the digital products. I come up with digital marketing for clients and for Blakely internally. We’re a full marketing agency, so we can develop websites, build a digital reality, help with social media, search engine optimization, displays and analytics — all the things that matter in a digital world. It’s a challenging job. There are a lot of buzzwords in digital marketing and clients can seize on to those buzzwords. But without the marketing background, it’s hard to know what to do with all the digital options. I have them step back, we talk about what they want, about their market, what the five-year plan is, and then help them find the right digital products to match all that.
What do you like about the city?
I love that we can be on a hiking trail in 15 minutes. I think the city has so many opportunities for work, but really it’s the whole package. It’s a vibrant city. I’ve been here 18 months, and it is definitely an upgrade. There’s also a very defined sense of community here. People are very involved with the city government. I’ve never lived any place where people were so engaged with what the city is doing. I think it’s a great place to live; all the signs are pointing to growth and economic development.
Do you have advice for other young professionals who just moved here?
Listen to your heart. Don’t give in to fear. In order to find the right job, you have to explore all the possibilities. Be sure you research trends, research companies from A to Z to make sure it’s the right fit. And then, just dive in. I’m all for experimenting, trying out new things. And if you are interested in a field, see what you think through internships before you determine which company you want to work for.
What was the last book you read?
I’ve read a lot of marketing books lately. The last two were “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger and “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” by Gary Vaynerchuk.