Tell Me About Yourself
My name is Mariel Bolger and I am a third generation Bolger working in print. I follow in the footsteps of two amazing women; the great Genevieve Bolger and Carmen Gutierrez-Bolger (my grandma and mom), who blazed trails of innovation in the industry throughout their careers. I have been involved in print for four years, and am now working as an Account Executive of National Sales helping luxury, retail and arts organizations realize their creative and print needs.
How did you get involved in print?
Like I said, ink is in my blood! My grandparents started Bolger and my dad (dik Bolger) and uncles Charley and Jack Bolger grew up at the plant and my mom was part of the management team. My cousins and I followed. I have been wandering around pressrooms and binderies since I was little and I have always been in love with the people and the industry at large. I take great pride in our trade and in my family’s legacy, and it’s something that I am working hard to contribute to. There is no other industry that has such an eclectic mix of people and talents—from mechanical talent to artistic and creative talent– the dichotomy is so impressive and teaches you never to judge a book by its cover! Everyone has an inner artist in there. That’s one of the things that I love about print. It transcends the trade world and becomes an art. I love to watch the long time print masters at work. There is such rich knowledge here, and it is up to the next generation to soak it up!
What advice would you share for young women considering or starting a career in print?
I would say to make the entire company (and industry) your mentor. This is not an easy industry to enter (training takes years), but the people that have joined it before you have a lot to teach and you need to tap into that. Figure out what people do and ask questions. Be curious. Most importantly, be bold. There are not a lot of women in the printing industry, but the ones that are in the industry have made a huge impact and they stand out. Be one of those women! Oh, and always support the other women around you—we need to raise each other up.
How have mentors helped your personal and career development?
In every way imaginable. I am proud to name TWO female print mentors that I work with—Jane McCauley of Bolger, and Elizabeth Clark of BPI Media Group. Elizabeth and I met through the Girls Who Print (GWP) mentoring program years ago, and she is a fierce and knowledgeable woman whom I am lucky to know and learn from. Jane—what to say about Jane? Jane is the reason why I am in the printing industry. She chose me as an intern at 18 and took me under her wing. She believed in me and I have been working with her off and on ever since. The knowledge, time, and patience that she has given me have been invaluable and, as cliché as it sounds, I wouldn’t be where I am today (not even close) without her and her support. Jane is one of those people who knows the industry like the back of her hand—color, format, paper. She is a true pro and it is an honor to get to work with her so closely. Beyond that, my dad (dik Bolger), cousin (Bryan Bolger), mom (Carmen Gutierrez-Bolger) and the entire company have really helped me every step of the way and they continue to do so (it’s a big learning curve!).
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In print, helping the next generation of printers grow and continuing to learn every day from the wonderful people that make this industry so rich. 😊