January 21, 2008 – The day Moxie, now GRIT, opened its doors for the first time. Thirteen years later, we celebrate the company and the leader who without much thought, decided to start a company all those years ago.
When our President, Julie Lando-Cross, started GRIT, a full-service marketing, communications, digital, design and advertising agency in 2008, she did not have a vision in mind. Sounds crazy, right? But, because her decision to start a company practically happened overnight, Julie just knew she wanted to deliver a better experience and more innovative ideas to marketing and public relations than what was currently being offered in the market – especially in York.
Fast forward to today, and Julie has surpassed her goal by providing countless clients with new brands, websites, marketing campaigns and public relations strategies, which have helped their businesses stand out in the marketplace!
To celebrate 13 years of GRIT, we are putting Julie in the spotlight to hear about the lessons she has learned as a leader, what the future holds for GRIT and other fun facts.
Today we are celebrating GRIT’s 13-year anniversary. What thoughts and emotions come to mind when you think about that?
Julie: A mixture of thoughts and emotions come to mind, but mostly when I think about it, I laugh. I still cannot believe I lead a business and people trust me to do so. I think it is because I do not take myself that seriously and I am a bit of a goofball, so it is hard to believe I have a team that views me as their leader.
But I am mostly grateful for the clients, team members (past and present), vendors, friends and my family who helped get us to this point because they have all played a role.
2020 was unlike any other year in GRIT’s history. What lessons (both personal and business related) did you learn during the past year?
Julie: From a personal perspective, in 2020 I learned to slow down and appreciate the time with family and in nature. I am very impatient, competitive and need to be moving things forward. The pandemic made me look at all aspects of my life and who I am and changed priorities for me.
From a business perspective, in 2020 I learned that I am a fighter (I knew this, but the reminder was nice). I am going to go out on my own terms, not from some pandemic as long as I can help it.
I also learned that looking at the big picture and understanding I am responsible to make sure GRIT survives and thrives (and sometimes that means making tough decisions) is my top priority. My team is unbelievable and just good people at heart. They made any tough decision I had to make so much easier and they will never know how much that was appreciated. I am so very grateful we are all still together after this crazy year.
What goals do you have for GRIT in 2021?
Julie: The GRIT team ended 2019 and began 2020 focused on a new strategic plan/direction for the company. However, COVID somewhat put that on hold and changed some of those plans. In 2021, I would like to refocus on our strategic plan, so stay tuned!
What do you feel is GRIT’s biggest strength right now?
Julie: The team’s grit is our biggest strength. They are full of resilience, drive, and passion for what they do. Our name is GRIT for a reason – it is because of them.
What is one thing you wish you would have done differently over the past 13 years?
Julie: So many things – although if I did do something differently, I would not be where and who I am today. If I had to pick the number one thing I would have done differently, I wish I would have been a better leader and understood what that meant to the people who worked for me those first few years. While I am grateful some of them are still here (shockingly – LOL), there are a few I could have done better with if I knew to approach them with the attitude of “they are not you” and therefore, need to be led differently.
Who are your role models or mentors?
Julie: My old boss, Kip, was a role model and mentor to me. I probably had the most fun with her and learned a ton when I worked for her in Florida. I still miss her and think of her lessons often.
My best friend, Christina, is a huge role model for me. She has taught me so much about myself that has come in handy with business.
My husband, Dave. When it comes to business, he may approach it from a different perspective than me (he is much more pragmatic and less impulsive than I am), but I have learned a tremendous amount watching him.
And I cannot forget my coach, Irina. She models the behavior I strive to enact in business and life. Plus, she holds my feet to the fire, and I cannot get anything past her.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Julie: My kids and who they are becoming as they grow up and enter adulthood. They are just amazing, and I am so very proud of them!
If you could ask your cats three questions, what would they be?
Julie: That is funny! I do not think of myself as a cat person, although I guess since GRIT is currently home to three city cats, I am. Honestly, I would just like to know if they think I am as crazy as my family (and co-workers) think I am.
What movie title best describes your life?
Julie: Do the Right Thing (although for 2020 it should be Groundhog Day).
If you could marry a fictional character, who would it be and why?
Julie: Elijah from Vampire Diaries/The Originals (yes, I binge-watched with my daughter in 2020). Hands down – always looks amazing in a suit and drives great cars!
If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
Julie: My son, Parker. I would love to know what he is really thinking and feeling.
Where do you see yourself and GRIT in the next 13 years?
Julie: Great question! I just hope everyone is still having as much fun, producing great work for clients, and enjoying each other’s company. That is what really matters to me.
If you are interested in learning more about GRIT, our services and team, reach out to us today to start a conversation!