Splashlight exec Lida Moore talks diversity and creativity in the workplace
Especially during the digital era, the creative DNA of a brand is not just important but essential. That includes the creative process, diversity within the company, and adapting to the current marketplace. Lida Moore, diversity advocate and Splashlight executive, knows this all too well.
Even before COVID, 91% of Americans were expected to become online shoppers by 2023 and the pandemic only accelerated the shift to online retail at an unprecedented pace. Just in the second quarter of 2020, online sales amounted to more than 200 billion dollars.
The pandemic has only proven what we already knew: e-commerce is THE thing. And companies would simply not survive this digital era without it.
How to thrive? Workplace diversity
It might seem like an old, repetitive, statement, but facts would render it true: diversity is the key to creative success.
This is something that Lida Moore, executive director of photography and head of the creative department at Splashlight, explained during our interview.
Splashlight & visual content creation
Started in the 2002s, as was only a small studio for editorials and advertisements in New York City. But quickly, the owners saw fashion and retailed business evolving and changed their focus toward e-commerce. Even before social media was a thing, Splashlight was ready for the change.
Now, they are the leaders on visual content creation for photography and videography in the space. Their clients include Target, Bloomingdales, David Yurman, and Victoria’s Secret to name a few. For years, they have built a reputation for bringing their high-quality standards of high-fashion photography and video into the world of e-commerce.
In other words, Splashlight has turned online shopping into a visual experience.
Behind the creative power is Lida Moore. Lida started working at Splashlight seven years ago. After having worked for Conde Nast for some time, she noticed that the magazine world was struggling to keep up with the creativity being innovated during the digital times.
Knowing it was time for a change, she moved to Splashlight and began working in e-commerce. One of the first things she did there was expanded Splashlights casting; this way, making sure that there was more representation of different ethnicities, body types, and abilities. Workplace diversity was essential.
“Creative people are particularly sensitive and when you are dealing with visuals. It’s important to create a space where there is a comfort level that everyone can feel they can make their voice heard or they know their creative case is relevant.”– Lida Moore
Now, she oversees the entire creative department at Splashlight, making sure that communication and execution is fluid and effective between the production and the operations team.
Making real content means learning from one another
Compared to editorial, where there are only 6 shots a day, Splashlight produces 50 or more. How to elevate each shot to make the e-commerce content just as good? That’s the challenge and Lida’s favorite part of her work.
She has her team treat each e-com shot just like they would for an editorial. Each of the 50+ shots a day gets the same consideration, attention, and effort. Thus, it is fundamental to have every single individual on the team, interested, engaged, and highly productive.
Keep the creative leaders coming.Lida Moore
She explained the importance of collaboration and putting people who’ve never worked together before on the same project. This way she can take advantage of their strengths in different areas while constantly improving and expanding their communication skills.
Lida Moore, diversity enthusiast, explained that by having diverse backgrounds, creatives can display solid, yet unique, interpretations for the projects. It is important to create a space for them to feel heard, understood, and valued. And for them to listen and learn from one another.
“People get excited when they get to talk about their ideas and that is exactly what gets creative content created: learning from each other. That is why listening is part of our core values”– Lida Moore
For that reason, Many Hats, is the perfect place for creative collaborations. Black creative collaborations, to be specific.
Another lesson that Lida learned during her experience in editorial as well as at her time at Splashlight, is that more often than not she found herself working with the same people.
As good as their ideas and visions were, it became difficult to continue to challenge them. To push their creative boundaries, ideas, and perspectives was something she had to learn how to do.
“I worked with Joy Fennel (makeup artist) for many years. She is heading the All Black Everything Summit. For as long as I can remember, we have talked about getting more artists of color on set. We both come from the editorial world and realized that it was something that didn’t exist at all.”– Lida Moore
Thus, Joy introduced Lida and Kat Simonova, founder of Many Hats. She immediately sent Lida a roster of photographers and creatives she would have not come across using the standard agencies that she knew.
More importantly, the platform created a space for creative people to meet directly, taking away the middle man.
It provides opportunities for direct conversations between talent and creatives; opening the possibilities to learn about certain abilities or experiences that agents might not be aware of. Once again, Lida Moore’s diversity understanding allowed her vision to prosper.
All of the sudden the range of diversity is unlimited and creativity is elevated daily. And within only one month, Splashlight has already hired three creatives they would’ve never been introduced to otherwise. It was apparent that in order to optimize the brand’s capabilities, workplace diversity needed to be a central focus.
When it comes to creativity and creatives, there are no bounds.