Empowering Entrepreneurs and Elevating Brands: Unveiling the Journey of Hayden Merryn Van Hulzen and HVH Media & Marketing


With over a decade in marketing across national and global scales in competitive industries like automotive, sports, and cosmetics, HVH Media & Marketing was founded.

Specializing in campaigns with major influencers, transforming startups into seven-figure businesses in six months, creating a cosmetics brand for Amazon beauty, and achieving over a billion campaign content views, our Hayden’s passion extends to her business, motherhood, and empowering women to invest in their dreams.


  1. Your journey from a decade in marketing to establishing HVH Media & Marketing is impressive. Could you share the pivotal moments that led to the inception of your own marketing agency?

I read a study recently that suggested that most successful entrepreneurs have some element of trauma in their life that sparked positive change and provided some form of character building blocks that lead to the inception of their success.  I personally feel that I fall into this category.  I’ve elaborated in previous articles on some of the chaos and trauma in my formative years that lead up to the point where I took a risk and bet on myself. I am always grateful for some of the most painful moments in my life, because they truly were stepping stones towards my journey to success.

  1. Working across diverse industries such as automotive, sports, and cosmetics requires unique strategies. How has your broad experience influenced the content and direction of HVH Media & Marketing?

I think the most important thing that I learned about the diverse industries that I worked in, was that my marketing expertise wasn’t linear, and that I actually enjoyed the challenge of taking on so many different industries and finding an avenue for marketing success.  I’ve since parlayed that into being able to build a diverse agency that doesn’t thwart its own scalability by being overly niche or siloed.  We really have worked with clients from religious television networks to sex toys.  If we believe in your brand, we can help you win.

  1. Collaborating with world-renowned influencers is no small feat. Can you provide insight into how you build and maintain relationships with influencers to create impactful campaigns?

Relationships are often convoluted by what people think they should be doing that they forget the most important part about relationships is that they have to happen organically and come from a place of authenticity that can evolve into trust.  I think in business, people get so stuck on this idea of a “work persona” or “business appropriate” that they forget that people want to do business with people they are friends with.  To create friendships, you can’t be stuck creating safe surface level relationships, you need to be a person who puts themselves out there in a real way and invests in the real lives of the people you’re trying to create relationships with.

When I was working at some of the most elite levels of influencer relationships, I always remembered that these people on a daily basis are met with such a ridiculous amount of fandom, that the “fan” approach doesn’t work at fostering a real connection.  Sure, it’s flattering, but people don’t feel equal to their “fans” and equality is a key element in a relationship.  A person needs to feel like you are on the same level in order to consider continuing a meaningful relationship.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this, is to create relationships before “asks”.  So much of the business world revolves around creating a relationship WHEN we need something, instead of BEFORE we need it.  If you begin a relationship WHEN you need something, it is hard for it to be anything more than transactional.  If you create a relationship BEFORE you need something, it’s much easier to have a business related “ask” down the line, because prior to that, you’ve built a genuine foundation first.

The best campaigns and promotions come from people who actually care about whether or not you succeed or fail.  The only way to create this in an authentic way is to build real bonds.

  1.  Your portfolio includes transforming start-ups into million-dollar businesses in a short span. What key marketing principles have been instrumental in achieving such rapid growth?

The marketing strategies implemented to evolve start-ups into million-dollar businesses evolves around doing something that competitors are unwilling to do. It is also about being strategic with your marketing spend.   Knowing where to place these dollars is why you need an agency.

Some of the most important marketing principles that I have learned are:

  • Done is better than perfect.
  • The power of genuine peer or influential testimony can really make or break a brand.
  • Don’t skimp on customer service.
  • Marketing is magical but it isn’t not magic, trust the process.
  • Do something your competitors aren’t willing to do.
  1. Developing a cosmetics brand for Amazon beauty is a notable accomplishment. How do you approach the branding and marketing of products in the highly competitive cosmetics industry?

At the time that I was helping to develop a cosmetics brand for Amazon beauty, Amazon wasn’t able to get a profitable piece of the luxury cosmetic space and so they were trying to create their own.

The most exciting part of this project was trying to come up with a brand that was interesting to the Amazon customer avatar, stay within budget parameters, come up with avenues to enrich our margins, and decide what would be necessary to advertise and market it.  Understanding the mind of your consumer and where to find them, what will resonate with them, and how to get them to buy is an intense but exhilarating process.

Anytime that you’re working in a new area, you have to get creative and take some risks.  You also NEED digital advertising and marketing budget.  When you’re competing in a highly competitive space like cosmetics, it DOES require dollars.  It is impossible to even make a splash in the ocean of cosmetics, but you can with great marketing, revolutionary strategy, and the right kind of calculated risks.

  1. You’ve collectively garnered over a billion campaign content views. What strategies do you employ to ensure your campaigns resonate deeply with your target audience?
  • Know your product, know what it solves, know who it solves it for, and make sure it’s safe and effective.
  • Know your buyer, what makes them tick, and where they are looking for you.
  • Work with influential people who genuinely want to promote and align with your brand.
  • Be open to taking a risk and doing something different.
  • Work quickly but have patience.
  1. Empowering women is a clear passion of yours. How does this ethos translate into the content and messages you curate through HVH Media & Marketing?

Empowering women is a huge passion of mine.  I am currently an all female agency. There are plenty of industries where women have to fight for their place in it and I wanted to create a space where women were prioritized, appreciated, and elevated.  Great women help other women be great too.  I practice what I preach.

  1. Being a successful businesswoman and a mother is a commendable balance. Can you share your insights on managing these roles and any advice for other women aspiring to do the same?

This is a great question and I am still trying to figure it out.  Anyone who says it’s easy to do both, is likely not as good of a businesswoman or parent as they try and say they are. Being a businesswoman and the kind of mother I want to be, are both more than full-time jobs and there are only 24 hours in a day.

Some things I have learned:

  • You have to create time.  Sometimes this means getting up earlier or staying up a bit later.  I have noticed I can get more done when the rest of the world sleeps.  This will set you apart.
  • Create boundaries and be firm about them.
  • Be incredibly organized.
  • Don’t say “yes” when you mean “no”.  Say it without guilt and remember that you don’t need to justify your “no”
  • Time is your most valuable commodity; you don’t get it back. Cherish it above all.
  • Your business won’t hold your hand when you’re sick, your family will, but it will pay the medical bills; appreciate them in that order.
  • Great parents always feel like they are doing a bad job, because just caring about whether or not you’re doing a good job, usually means you are.
  • Give yourself some grace.  It will make the process smoother.
  • Life is short, happiness counts. Do what makes you happy.
  1. HVH Media & Marketing likely faces the challenges of staying relevant in the fast-paced digital world. How do you stay ahead of trends and consistently provide valuable content to your readers?

You stay relevant in an evolving market by staying educated on the elements that are ever-changing.  All great experts are humble enough to remain students of their craft.  There is always more to learn.

  1.  Your journey is an inspiration to many. What vision do you hold for the future of HVH Media & Marketing, and how do you plan to continue inspiring and empowering through your platform?

I plan to continue to grow HVH Media & Marketing and evolve it into other business ventures that are intended to help others.  I would like to continue to foster an environment for women to have an avenue to really love what they do and have fun doing it.  I also want to allow it to be a stepping stone and form of mentorship for other women who are looking for a place to stop on the road of their own journey to entrepreneurship.  I never want to be like some of the employers that I had previously that I felt capitalized and took advantage of my capabilities.  I want to make sure that I never let the people that work with me feel small or beneath me, I want them to feel like we co-create and grow collectively.

I want to be able to have the means to say “yes” to life in a big way and give my children the tools to do the same. I want to be able to say “yes’ to their hopes and dreams and provide them with whatever tools they need to get that done.  That is my goal.


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