An Interview :: Madi Finley of Notley


A fantastic perk of having a badass partner in The Refinery is having access to a team of badass people. At Notley, one of those people is Madi Finley and she is a total rockstar. Madi heads up social media and digital marketing for Notley and several of the initiatives that they support. The Refinery would not be possible without the team behind the scenes, which is why I'm excited to highlight each one of the Notley go-getters here on our blog, starting with (drumroll please)...Madi Finley!

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What was your first job ever?

I was a sales associate at Juicy Couture the summer before heading off to college. Yes, I do have a juicy sweatsuit in almost every color.

What did you study in school?

I studied Fashion Merchandising at LIM College in New York City. I wanted to be an in-house stylist for a fashion magazine. Living in New York provided me the opportunity to intern for many fashion magazines, stylists and couture brands.

What brought you to Austin, Texas? What is your favorite thing about the city?

I grew up outside of Dallas, so I had spent time in Austin as a kid. Then, I went to ACL 2 years ago and stayed with my sister who is a student at the University of Texas, that’s when I realized this city is so dope! I was ready to move out of NYC and Austin was the perfect cross section of city living, nature, music, art and awesome food.

Tell us a bit about what your current role at Notley and how you help with social media for The Refinery.

I work for Notley as the digital media coordinator and social media management is a big part of my role. The Refinery has had the unique ability to cultivate a community of strong and creative entrepreneurs through social media and events. I love thinking through how we can continue to engage those who attend our events a merge our digital and real world communities!

Photo by Madi Finley | June's All Day for The Refinery

Photo by Madi Finley | June's All Day for The Refinery

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the variety that my job offers and that I get to touch each part of the process. The Notley team is small and tenacious, and everyday is different.

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get into social media management?

Start by experimenting. I feel confident that everyone reading this has a social media presence. Start experimenting on your personal accounts and find what works. Not everyone has to be a fashion blogger. In fact, the more authentic the better! If you want to work as in social media, you won’t be hired off of your follower count. Develop an idea of how the consumer brain works. What visual elements are interesting to you? What makes you click on a Facebook ad? Questions like that will get you thinking more creatively and lead to more engagement.

Photo by Madi Finley | The Refinery summer shoot at June's All Day on South Congress.

Photo by Madi Finley | The Refinery summer shoot at June's All Day on South Congress.

Describe your average morning routine. What keeps you motivated to hop out of bed and slay? joke.

For someone who prefers to be creative, I love to see the success of a social campaign in numbers. If we posted a blog or video the night before, I spend the morning tracking metrics and use that data to inform future campaigns and posts.

What is your favorite taco in the city? Favorite cocktail?

I will start with cocktails because that’s an easy one. I love The Queen Bee and Shiva’s Gold from Whisler’s. Also, anything with cucumber, cayenne or mezcal. I do breakfast tacos at least 3 times a week, mostly from Chilitos on the East side, but I also love the chicken taco from Lazarus.

What is the one thing in your closet that you just cannot live without?  

There was an incredible thrift store across from one of my old apartments in New York. I walked in one day and found a vintage silk robe with a 70s fan pattern on it. I imagine in a past life that it belonged to socialite from the Upper East Side who spent her nights at Studio 54. I just like to wear it as duster coat and might turn it into a dress one day.

Describe your ideal work environment - What are the elements that really get your creative juices flowing??

I like having variety. Being surrounded by other creative thinkers is crucial, but I need space to sit down and knock out work by myself, too. I am also a big collector of coffee table books and magazines. I haven't thrown away a single magazine since 2011, and when I need a creative boost I will look at an old issue of V Magazine or flip through one of my books about handmade furniture from Brooklyn.

Million dollar question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I will either be living in Austin, or Hawaii and will definitely have a little puppy by my side! I would still love to be working in the social media world because it is so unpredictable. In 5 years Instagram will probably be irrelevant and there will be a whole new crop of social platforms.