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Industry Insider Profile: Erika Mercado

For creative producer Erika Mercado, being a “connector” of people and ideas is what work—and life—are all about. A onetime consultant who has mounted large-scale programs for international brands including NASCAR, the NFL, and FIFA, she is now, as events director, focused on extending the reach of The Knot Group, a Toronto-based public relations and events firm, to an international market. Drawing inspiration from her near-constant jet-setting travels, Mercado knows the importance of forging strong relationships and the power of a good attitude. —Jennifer Henderson

Name: Erika Mercado

Occupation: A multicultural, bilingual creative producer curating strategies for New York and Mexico clients such as ESPN, Perrier, Sally Hansen, Nike, Google, and Oliver Peoples. “Getting to meet so many interesting people and traveling is the best part of my job.”

Her work ethic: “Be on time, work hard, and smile!”

Her starting line: “Going to college in New York City at Fashion Institute of Technology laid the groundwork for my entire career. I threw myself into any and every opportunity that came my way, and from that I learned that it’s all about connections and having a good attitude. Creative production was something I learned from life experience.”

Risky business: “I am a risk taker. I am inspired by challenges. I took a huge risk becoming a freelancer versus working at a full-time job. But then I got the opportunity to work with ESPN down in my hometown, Mexico City. It was my first big client when I started out on my own—a huge turning point.”

Her road to success: Having a “positive attitude, a willingness to help others, and the ability to connect with people.”

Her personal style: “It varies from minimal to fun and feminine; it just really depends on my mood. For meetings, I always wear a dress with a nice heel and a great bag. For day to day, it’s jeans and a pair of Superga sneakers (comfort is key) with a nice shirt or sweater.”

Her definition of beauty: “Kindness and humility.”

Her must-haves: “I believe in quality over quantity, so good basics are a must: black jeans, black pumps, fitted blazers, dresses, and sunglasses. Taking care of my skin is something that is very important to me, so I require SkinCeuticals SPF, facials, Evian spray mist, Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment, and a nighttime oil. I always need a valid passport so I can travel the world. Soups of any type, even on hot days. Classes at 305 Fitness and Pilates. A night of dancing and being silly with friends. And a good mattress: Better sleep always equals a better you the next day.”

Her happy place: “Anywhere with my husband.”

Best practices: “Try everything once. And my father used to say, ‘Always learn from your mistakes.’”