Name: Cynthia Krantz
Title: President
Company: Mezzo Creative LLC
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Did you choose print or did print choose you?

A bit of both. I always loved ink on paper (as a middle schooler I had 36 pen pals to whom I wrote faithfully!) and always knew I wanted to be in media. When I first interviewed at JWT New York I had no idea what print traffic was – and that’s where I was really baptized into the industry. I fell in love with the lifecycle of an ad, the ins-and-outs of print, color, technique… so much time in the lightroom! Now, I own Mezzo, which does print, digital and social, but I always am grateful for my first love and roots in print.

How do you establish credibility with customers, colleagues and bosses?

I started young in the industry, so it’s been a journey of growing up and maturing to be taken seriously – some of it is as my fabric has become richer, so have my contributions. I’m not as carefree as I was when I started at 21, but I think my perspective is deeper. I’ve never been afraid to ask questions or reach out if I don’t know something – which sometimes lends to credibility. No one believes you know everything. At the end of the day, it’s about getting the work done. If you show you’re capable, resourceful, and are able to get it done, people learn to lean on you.

What advice can you offer regarding negotiating salary raises/ addressing fair pay issues?

Don’t sell yourself short, and it’s always a negotiation! But also remember, pay comes in different forms. Want more flexibility? Want to work a 4-day work week? Want to work from home? You may not see it in dollars, but the value of those things can add up.

What advice did you receive early in your career that you wished you had followed?

Stop apologizing. I used to apologize left and right and own mistakes that weren’t mine. Most of the time, people don’t want your apology, they want it fixed. So go fix the problem, and be a solutions woman.