Dria Murphy is the epitome of an entrepreneur. A self-starter, hustler, and self-made wonder woman, Dria brings a level of ultimate professionalism and experience to everything her PR and branding company, Alise Collective, gets its hands on. Though only at the beginning of her career, Dria’s list of accomplishments is long and lauded. She’s coordinating cultural initiatives for Google, partnered some of the biggest hospitality brands with chic wellness programs, and brings the coolest crowds to every event. Seriously, this gal is one to watch.
When we arrived at the cozy Fairfax in the West Village, we knew we were in for a treat. Dria’s personality is captivating. An eternal matcha and coffee lover, fitness fanatic, and all-around health guru, Dria has a finger on all things wellness, business, and networking. Readers, you’re in for a treat.
Hey Dria! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I founded a PR and branding company called Alise Collective, taken from my middle name Alise. Over the last three years, I have built a roster of lifestyle and wellness clients, focusing on curating experiences here in New York. On a more professional note, I have lived in the West Village for my entire New York life and love the neighborhood vibes here. Fairfax is a favorite spot for matcha and work.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in San Francisco. I loved growing up in the diverse culture of the city and I’m a California girl at heart. However, I’ve built my adult home in New York and couldn’t be happier. I love the energy here; it’s motivating. I’m really close to my family, who lives on the West Coast, but fortunately, they get to visit often.
When did you know that you wanted to work in your field? And move to New York?
I was always interested in fashion from a young age, but I didn’t know how to translate it into a career. I’ve always loved meeting new people and forming connections, so public relations is a great fit for my personality. The summer before I graduated college I knew I wanted to move to NYC. I had secured 2 internships and told my parents I was moving! I was testing if I could live here full-time after graduation. Within less than two weeks of becoming a West Village resident, I knew I wanted it to be my home.
You’ve developed a high-end clientele in three years. How did you make that happen?
It really happened organically. In the past, I had the opportunity to work with some great brands, and they naturally segued into my client roster. I’m really lucky to be able to curate brands that I love for Alise Collective and only take on products, people, brands, and places that I truly believe in.
How did you grow your network in NYC?
I grew my network through work opportunities, going out, friends of friends and more. When someone on the West Coasts moves to the East Coast, people want to connect you with their friends. I always said yes to every introduction, because you never know where it will lead. Also, I stay in touch with past colleagues. I don’t look at networking as a job, but more a part of my everyday life. Part of the reason I love New York is that everyone is ready to collaborate, meet new friends, and grow their network.
As a traditional PR and branding agency founder, what’s your opinion on the latest influencer marketing trend?
Influencer marketing is another great tool to reach specific audiences. Influencers create amazing content organically for brands, and it’s an awesome, additional resource. I don’t think it’s going anywhere, but it must be accompanied by all the other necessities of running a brand.
Where are your favorite travel destinations?
I love traveling back to California, be it San Francisco or LA or Napa. I have lots of family and friends there and I feel lucky that I get to visit such a sunny, beautiful place frequently. This past summer I visited Ibiza for the first time; it was incredible. It was a last-minute trip that ended up being one of my favorite experiences. Ibiza has a gorgeous atmosphere, great hospitality, and fabulous food. The majority of the summer, I spend my time in Montauk. It has become my summer home away from home, as I’ve built parts of my business there. The community out east is so supportive and welcoming, I look forward to the summer months all year.
Who are your ideal clients for Alise Collective?
I really love working with people and brands that share similar values and work ethic to me. I think the theme of strong, female founders is important to the DNA of Alise Collective. Going forward, we’re excited to work with like-minded brands within the lifestyle and wellness space on partnerships and events.
Name the biggest career challenge you’ve ever had to face and how you conquered it.
The biggest career challenge was working in the start-up space and having to experience, as many do, a disappointment as the business didn’t succeed. To overcome it, I gathered incredible mentors around me and dug deep to establish what I really wanted to do. I jumped into consulting two days later, hustled, and started being ultimately resourceful so that I could start my dream business.
What would you most like to accomplish in your lifetime?
I would like to be able to continue to work with people and brands that I love and continue to create success for them. I also love inspiring others, building a team, and mentoring. There are so many things I wish I knew when I started in this industry, so it’s rewarding to pass down the knowledge, reward hard work, and mentor a team. I understand the hustle and appreciate it in someone else. That motivates me.
The NuWa is all about bridging cultures and bringing people with different backgrounds together. Are any of your clients building a global community?
The Bari Studio is set to launch a live stream workout platform to broadcast their cult-following fitness classes to an international audience. It is so exciting to be able to reach people all over the globe. Personally, I get direct messages on a weekly basis with people asking Bari to open in their city, and this program will allow them to experience the Bari vibe, no matter their location. Well Told Health, my latest client, is based in Toronto, Canada and that is where most of their following is. It is exciting to build their exposure in the US and internationally.
What are some things you’d like to pass down?
Mostly, I’d say that building your own network is so important. The industry is so small and being kind is paramount. The friends you make are forever, and you never know where their success will lead them. For example, my boss when I was an intern ended up being my boss three years later. Developing your own relationships, not because of work, but because you’re building the life you want is the number one thing I’d like to impart. I strive to be genuine and authentic and want to pass that down. It’s so important to cultivate your own relationships.
What do you do for fun?
For fun, I love to try new restaurants and catch up with friends. I also really enjoy working out. The Bari Studio’s sculpt and bounce classes are my favorites. I also love yoga at Y7. Also, traveling is so important to me.
What excites you right now in life and in business?
Right now, I’m really excited for Summer 2018. I’m in the middle of planning countless partnerships and events for Alise Collective. It is one of my favorite times to be creative and establish new collaborations.
And finally, what do you love most about your job?
I love connecting brands through partnerships and watching it transform into a success.