Rosie Mattio is an influential figure, whether she’s in the home or at the office…or whatever other location her job takes her on any given day.
The founder of public relations consulting firm MATTIO Communications has worked with some of the top companies in and out of cannabis to help shape their brand. Just a few names include Canndescent, Vangst, NYC-based LeafLink, Springbig and Harborside.
She’s also done it all while raising a family of four kids with her husband, Daniel – and no nanny.
In 2005, Mattio moved to Chicago to launch her own firm after leaving New York’s Alison Brod, where she was an account executive. With a background in specialty food and one client, Popcorn Indiana, Mattio began her endeavor.
In time, she would add tech to her covered industries when Daniel opened a tech firm. In 2014, the family moved to Seattle for a job opportunity.
Calling the move “serendipitous”, Mattio would find cannabis to be the next industry she expanded into. She discovered the opportunity after she was tasked with the launch of a cannabis cookbook. It was there Mattio realized that her PR experience could benefit the cannabis space.
“Once I got this idea in my head, I started going to networking events in Seattle and cannabis tech meetups,” Mattio explained. The firm would add Seattle-based cannabis data intelligence company Headset as one of its next clients. The company has grown rather steadily in the years since, picking up several accolades along the way. They include obtaining the first cannabis articles written in Vogue Magazine and Oprah.
Discussing the placements, Mattio said, “We feel like we played a really small part in bringing this plant that has been demonized for so many years to a really mainstream media and helping brand it as something that’s acceptable and can be something that’s fashionable. That’s been really great.”
The growth of MATTIO Communications coupled with a new job opportunity for her husband lead to a move back to her home, New York City. The Bronx-raised, Manhattan-educated Mattio found several benefits to moving back East. She said that despite most of her clients being based in the legalized areas of the western U.S., the media they dealt with were based in New York City.
The support of nearby family members proved just as beneficial. “I was able to really grow my business because I had the support of my family, who is all New York-based, to help me with my kids.” Mattio added, “And now we’re a New York-centered agency.”
In addition to helping grow the family and her business, Rosie also took the return home to reach a long-time fitness goal and complete the 2015 New York Marathon. Growing up with a father who has completed 18 marathons to date, and watching it live each November, she calls the achievement a “highlight of her life”.
The highlights continue at the office today. MATTIO Communications boasts over 35 clients and 15 employees working out of the company’s Midtown Manhattan office, which it recently moved into. In April, the company announced that it had closed its seed investment fund. Investors included PhytoPartners and New York-based venture capitalist Alan Patricoff.
While growing the business, Mattio is also tasked with raising her four daughters, all between the ages of five and 10 years old. The children are aware of the industry mom works in, sort of. Last year, her nine-year-old said her mom works in “that thing you paint on”, (AKA a “canvas”).
One thing all four girls are certain of is that they have a working mom. In their New Jersey neighborhood, that isn’t always the case. Despite heading a PR firm, Mattio’s routine includes time for her kids each day. She said her routine consists of a 4:30 gym session with school drop-offs and pick-ups bookending the work day.
The family’s living dynamic took a bit of a positive twist in the summer of 2019. After years of following her husband’s entrepreneurial aspirations, Daniel decided to stay at home with the girls so Rosie could focus on growing MATTIO Communications.
“It’s been pretty cool that my daughters have grown up in an age where we have these roles where dad can be home with the kids, mom can be out there growing her business, and it being a cannabis business, and that’s totally our normal,” Mattio remarked.
The combined entrepreneurial spirits of the Mattios contrast with the typical backdrop of stay-at-home moms of their community. In doing so, that contrast provides their children with the knowledge that they can have a thriving career of their own.
One of Mattio’s favorite times is when the girls come to the office. “I have this pretty busy and vibrant career, but I have my own business. My daughters come into the office,” she proudly said. The mom and entrepreneur added the girls love coming in and hugging the staff. “I feel grateful that I’m able to show [my daughters] my world.”
In New York, Mattio gets to hear her daughters in the office, as well as the buzz in the cannabis space. As the market progresses, Mattio is excited to see the growing New York media and investment communities.
“[The public] were not talking about cannabis five years ago when I launched this company at all. So that’s been great.” She added, “It’s blossoming out here.”