Moving Mountains (and Summiting Them!) with Lauren Molenda of Riveter Design

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By Jill Fecher

This month, I sat down with Lauren Molenda, co-owner and brand strategist at Riveter Design. 

Her career has been across several different WNY agencies and gave her experience with a ton of our local talent! In 2017, she joined forces with Jordan Hegyi to reincorporate her freelance marketing and design agency. Lauren also recently traveled to Tanzania to hike Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a six month business leadership program. 

In this episode, we discuss her journey to where she is now in her career, the ways agencies have changed over time, and the impact her hike has had on the agency.

What is a Microagency?

Riveter Design has coined the term “microagency” because it is set up in such a unique way. Instead of trying to grow by hiring full time employees, the agency serves as a hub for freelancers and part time contract employees. 

There is a lot of talent in our area but as everyone’s lives change over time, there are instances where people need to work less than a regular full time agency employee. Let’s be honest, the traditional agency life can be a lot of hours and sometimes life gets in the way when you have children or other needs to prioritize. 

Riveter has had the unique opportunity to find and utilize talented freelancers on projects that clients may not have been able to find on their own. It helps out the creative resources as well, from having to find their own business. 

It’s a win-win for their clients and talent, and a business model that has continued to grow and thrive throughout the pandemic.

Peak Leadership

Lauren has gone through other leadership and peer mentorship programs in the past and was looking for her next opportunity. She stumbled upon a program, Mountains and Marathons, for leadership development which included six months of leadership training as well as self improvement. 

Throughout these six months, the participants were also trained to prepare for hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. Along the way, she found out about the Girls Education Collaborative, a Buffalo-based non-profit that builds schools for girls in Tanzania. They coincidentally had a school not far from the mountain. 

Lauren teamed up with them to raise money for the school by setting up sponsor packages for each part of the hike. Once she was back home, she had an interview with a potential employee who told her she would love to work for a business who supports their people to do the sort of thing Lauren had just done. She never thought her hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and raising this money would impact the agency like it has. 

There’s So Much More…

Through this episode, Lauren gives great insights from her agency knowledge and experiences, and it is clear the impact she has made on the local community through her Kilimanjaro journey. Listen to the full episode to hear it all.

Want more from Lauren?

Girls Education Collaborative

Mountains and Marathons



Check out the latest episode of The Agency Scoop to learn more!

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About The Agency Scoop

Each episode, we tackle a specific topic with another friend from Cypress North or pull in leaders from other companies. We’ll chat about what’s helping our agency grow, how we work with clients, things that bring us joy, and even the challenges we face. Please subscribe on your favorite podcast player to follow along!




Author's Headshot
By Jill Fecher


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