MEET BERWYN’S ENTREPRENEURS: SARAH CORBIN OF FREE FLY MARKETING
Sarah finds creative marketing solutions for growing businesses.
Name: Sarah Abboreno Corbin
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
Current Residence: Still Oak Park, but I work in and love Berwyn!
I started my career in Higher Education and worked for Illinois State University and Western Illinois, but I am truly a city girl at heart and missed being part of the diversity in the Chicago community. I returned to Chicago and worked for Target Stores training managers and executives, honing my branding skills all during a time when Target was greatly expanding in the Chicagoland area. And that is where I met my husband – both of us are entrepreneurs at heart and decided quickly to open our own bakery on Chicago’s south side.
After five years and a baby, we sold our bakery to an employee and moved back to Oak Park to join my parents right back in the two flat I grew up in. I started consulting with businesses on their marketing, employee relations and merchandising, had another baby and worked for a short time for Wednesday Journal Publications, the OPRF Chamber of Commerce and then took a full-time role for a local Public Relations firm. I have always been a little creatively off the charts and the opportunity to work full-time marketing and helping small business owners succeed was the perfect culmination of a lifetime’s career focusing on community engagement. I started my own firm in 2017 and as they say, the rest is recent history. I’m having the best time with clients creatively helping them maximize their marketing to engage their greater community. It is certainly my talent center and it’s been a blast.
The Business Side: Why do any of us forge our own path? For me, I was driven by my passion to help small businesses really connect with their community. I also wanted the opportunity to once again grow my own business. And truly and most importantly I wanted to be able to lead by example – being kind, generous and of course creatively OFF THE CHARTS.
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DESCRIBE YOURSELF USING 3 WORDS.
Enthusiastic, Engaging, Creative. I work hard to cultivate great ideas for my clients — ideation and brainstorming are part of our team routine. I work with companies, non-profits and solo-preneurs that I fully believe in. It means I am always enthusiastic about helping them be successful and engage their greater community and of course helping them chart that flight path for profit.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I get inspired by that entrepreneurial spirit. Businesses and companies that are pulling up their boot straps to make the world better, to connect people, to be kind to others. I love it. I can’t get enough of it — from attorneys, to authors to innovative food brands — it is the spirit of the business that inspires me.
TELL US SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU.
Ha! I’m a pretty open book.Before my marketing life — I was certified as a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People licensed facilitator and additionally have taught credit based college level leadership courses. I still dabble presenting and teaching about leadership on a national level.
People in Berwyn — they are extremely kind and truly authentic makers and artists. Being in the Berwyn Depot District positions Free Fly right in the center of a community that supports their creative residents and businesses. I love it here.
WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU GET ASKED REPEATEDLY ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?WHAT DO YOU REALLY DO?
Marketing means so many things to different firms and individuals and we all bring something different to the table. We specialize in Creative Content and Communications related marketing: Social Media, Media Outreach, Seasonal & Creative Marketing Campaigns.
WHERE IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING PLACES YOU’VE BEEN?
Olvera Street in Los Angeles — I can’t believe that I waited until well into my adulthood to get to this fantastic nook in the US. People who are there need to be sure they take a minute to view “América Tropical” painted by Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros on the side of the old Italian Hall. In 1932, because of its overt and controversial political statement, the mural was whitewashed (just days after the unveiling), and then it slowly started to seep through the whitewashing and is now being worked on to bring it back. It is really amazing.
DO YOU HAVE A HIDDEN TALENT?
I am a cake hobbiest! And do use cake decor as a creative outlet when I need to break away. I realize I owned a bakery but we didn’t make cake. After we sold, I decided that I was going to commit to making a three tier cake within that year. I did. And I’ve kept it up – I’ve made three wedding cakes and plenty of fun birthday cakes here and there for friends and family.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PERSONAL FEAR?
BRIDGES. No tall bridges, any kind of bridge. I am that person driving way too slowly over all those big bridges…
WHAT WOULD YOUR PERFECT ROOM LOOK LIKE?
A book and art nook room complete with lots of cozy chairs, good lighting, great art, and smells like bergamot and oranges.
WHAT’S YOUR GOOD LUCK CHARM?
I have some pins, bracelets and mementos from relatives I love and miss and I wear those for strength — not really luck — but strength.