In 2009, Cíntia Miranda opened Pulse Marketing Agency. She operated the business on her own at first, meeting clients in a tiny office in the basement of a schoolhouse. Pulse is now celebrating seven years in business and employs ten local professionals in a beautiful space right here in Bangor. But Cíntia’s journey began long before she opened her business in 2009.
Cíntia Miranda arrived in the United States when she was only 16 years old. She knew only three words in English.
Her journey to become a respected Maine business professional has been a long one. Her story started in Brazil, where she was born.
“There were days when we didn’t have enough food on the table,” Cíntia said. As a child with health issues stemming from epilepsy, she lost three years of school. At the age of 11, she began working to help support her family.
As an immigrant, she had to work even harder to carve out a life for herself here in the U.S.
“I grew up in a situation where you have to be strong. You can’t be afraid to go to battle every day. Life is hard when you’re not home, when you don’t speak the language, and you’re not welcome everywhere,” Cíntia said.
But she never let that stop her. Instead, she let it toughen her up, and prepare her for what was ahead.
“I used to work 40 hours, go to school at night, and on the weekends I would clean three mansions. The money from cleaning was to pay my tuition. The money from my work week was to support myself and help my parents,” Cíntia said.
After finishing her undergraduate degree at the age of 29, she had already worked her way up from administrative assistant to director of marketing at Cambridge College. She went on to work for a company serving powerhouses IBM and SAP, but hoped to change paths. When her husband was offered a job in Maine, she decided to take a chance.
“We evaluated our options, we came here and visited the town – I had never been here before,” Cíntia said. As parents of a five-year-old, the Bangor school system was most attractive to them, so Cíntia resigned from her position and made the move, but what awaited her in Maine tested her once more.
“In 2008 and 2009 there weren’t any jobs available,” Cíntia said. There were jobs available as cashiers at Walmart or Target, and I applied, but they wouldn’t hire me because I was overqualified.”
Cíntia had $7,000 sitting in savings, and with it, she made an important business move that supports her today.
“I decided to give it a shot and open my own little gig,” she said.
She registered Pulse Marketing Agency as an LLC in 2009 and found a small office in the basement of a school house, which she affectionately called the “bat cave.” She slowly started building her business from the ground up, enlisting help from local professionals to offer marketing strategy and graphic design services.
She started gaining traction, but in 2011, business was so slow she almost considered giving up. It was the support of her family that pulled her through. Her husband, Sean and daughter, Isabel urged her on.
Even now, it’s her family that keeps her going – especially her daughter.
“We’ve walked this path together – Isabel and I – holding hands,” Cíntia said.
Seven years later, Pulse now employs 10 local professionals after almost doubling in size in 2015. Despite its growth and success, Cíntia’s outlook remains the same.
“My thought process along the way has always been to really provide our clients with value and provide an honest relationship. I don’t want to promise them anything we can’t deliver,” Cíntia said. But the resources Pulse Marketing Agency is able to deliver now far exceed her offerings in the beginning.
“Marketing is very sophisticated now. It’s very different from when I started. If I had stopped learning, I would be out of a job,” Cíntia said.
With changing technologies, Cíntia learned to adapt, strategically hiring employees with skills and knowledge of online marketing so that Pulse could stay ahead of the curve and provide their clients with the latest online marketing opportunities.
As an entrepreneur Cíntia handles the challenges of growing a small business the same way she handled her adaptation here in the US as a young immigrant: “Some days are a lot more difficult than others. The only way to win the day is to get up, put on your armor, and go to battle. I know I will fall, but I also know how to get up and keep going.”
Cíntia’s plans for Pulse is to stay on the cutting edge of online marketing, expand their public relations offerings, stay focused on client success, and invest in her employees’ professional development. She consistently gives back to local small businesses in the form of free seminars and online resources and remains committed to that service as well as supporting local non-profits.
To celebrate Pulse’s 7th anniversary, the agency is raffling a free website created by Pulse’s in-house graphic designers. The raffle’s entry fee is five nonperishable food items, which will benefit 11 local shelters, food pantries, and non-profit organizations. Cíntia hopes to receive 3,000 food item donations to disperse amongst these organizations.