Starting your own company is not for the faint of heart. The experience and dedication it takes to be successful in a venture that eats most alive are unquantifiable. Meet Hill Country alumna Amelia (Whitlock) McCracken ’06. She’s beating the odds and seeing success with a unique business model and company she built from the ground up.
Before starting multiple businesses, Amelia was a Knight – playing in powderpuff football games, demonstrating her artistic abilities in art class, competing in track and field, and building rockets in rocket club. “All of our teachers and coaches had such a significant impact on all of us, and we truly bonded – Mrs. Brunson, Mr. Baptiste, Mr. Horvath, etc.,” says Amelia, recounting fond memories of her time at Hill Country.
After graduating from Hill Country in 2006, Amelia headed up the road to Texas A&M University, where she majored in University Studies and minored in creative studies and art history. Working as a curator and communications specialist in the Texas A&M museum system and interning as a photographer at Disney World gave Amelia experiences she would soon lean on heavily. Right before receiving her degree from Texas A&M, Amelia started her first business. “I started a wedding business doing custom cakes, photography, and invitations,” says Amelia. “I ran my wedding business for about four years, but I really missed having weekends. I decided to get an eight to five job so that my schedule would match with my husband and friends.”
After also becoming the graphic designer for Messina Hof Winery, life threw Amelia and her husband, Josh, quite the surprise. “After three years, my life flipped again when we got a surprise call from our adoption agency while I was at work,” says Amelia. “They literally told us to come to the hospital and meet our newborn son.”
Soon after, Amelia left her job to stay home and care for their son, Kalvin. However, in 2018, the desire to start another business became too great to ignore, and Amelia started Ment Marketing and Creative Services. “It combines my passions [in] marketing and mentorship,” says Amelia. “I hire local, creative college students to help them build their portfolios and gain real-world experience before they graduate. My students love it because they get a paying, super-flexible job that actually helps them in their future careers.” Ment offers its clients everything from graphic and web design to videography and branding services.
As if being a mom, wife, and business owner wasn’t enough, Amelia founded Women Entrepreneurs Bryan/College Station (WE BCS) along with her friend, Marie Anne Holland. WE BCS helps women in the Bryan/College Station area overcome challenges relating to starting and growing their businesses through education and community building.
Amelia has been recognized by the Texas A&M alumni network as a 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight for Aggies leading by example in business and service.