Lara Schmoisman

The Darl

Lara Schmoisman, born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the founder and CEO of The Darl, a full-service marketing and advertising agency based in Los Angeles, CA. A unique combination of Jewish and Latina, the outspoken and tenacious by-nature executive learned early on how to turn her love of the media into a lucrative and highly successful marketing and branding specialist career.

Lara Schmoisman

As a child, Schmoisman often played “magazine” in an effort to entertain herself and escape from the constant bullying she received in public school — she drew pictures, wrote articles, and carefully assembled each issue. Later, as a young teen, she won a contest hosted by a local radio station and ended up with a part-time job. “It was the first and only thing I ever won in my life,” she said. “The prize was a pass to a nightclub, but since I couldn’t go, they asked what I would like instead. I told them I wanted to be their assistant for the day.” The station staff was so impressed with her, they invited her to host a teen radio hour.

That dedication and work ethic led to two college degrees in screenwriting and in production and direction of television and radio. While in school, she took classes in advertising, graphic design, and marketing. One thing led to another, and before long, Schmoisman was freelancing at a major network, working in special events, concerts, and theater, and trying her hand at brand collaborations.

Despite her obvious success, the path to founding her own company was not without its challenges. At one point, jobless and struggling to find work, she felt judged for her heavy frame was not “the ideal Argentinean look.” In need of a change, she headed to the United States for a six-week visit to learn English and never left. She was just 24 years old at the time.

Lara Schmoisman 1

Schmoisman settled in LA and quickly found work as a freelancer covering events for Spanish-speaking outlets. She attended openings and premiers, went on press junkets, and reported on a variety of events. Before long, she was producing segments for national networks and various international outlets. She was granted an 0-1 visa in consideration of her work history and experience, which enabled her to make Los Angeles her home.

The West Coast lifestyle agreed with her. She met her husband, started a family, and began to focus on her health — losing weight with medical oversight. When she took a job in film distribution as a content creator and distributor of DVDs, soon she was art directing and managing graphic and motion designers. In parallel, she fell in love with the digital world and in 1998, she returned to freelancing and quickly earned a reputation as a go-to executive for digital services. In high demand, she collaborated with MSN, Yahoo, and Univision, among others. Later she moved to work with well-established agencies. Before long, however, her work/life balance became a challenge. She realized that she wanted — and needed — to spend more time with her young family, so she decided to take a break. During that time, she accepted an invitation to teach Digital Marketing for the Fashion Industry at Cal Poly Pomona.

Inspired and intrigued with the way the digital world had changed, in 2018 she decided to launch her own agency: The Darl, named after Schmoisman’s catch-phrase “darling,” a name she used liberally for friends and family. She wanted a gender-neutral name with a personal connection that could be easily trademarked.

Today, with over 20 years of experience working across media, film, distribution, and content marketing, Schmoisman utilizes her knowledge and expertise to help emerging brands. Her award-winning digital marketing agency prides itself on doing things differently. Taking a truly personalized approach to every client, The Darl provides multi-channel marketing solutions to tackle every aspect of a brand’s presence: branding, content strategy, social media, advertising, copywriting, and so much more. According to the company’s website, “We weave all of these elements together to develop the marketing solutions our clients need.”

Schmoisman handles all of the strategic plans for her clients and manages a robust team of 35, including project managers and experts in social media, SEO, SMS/email marketing, public relations, editing/writing, and graphic design. She has racked up a number of awards, including 2021 Forbes Next 1000 honoree, 2022/23 LA Times Visionary CEO, 2022 Top 100 Global Woman Entrepreneurs, 2021/2022 LA Times Inspirational Woman nominee, and the LA Times Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Leadership Forum nominee. Schmoisman also was recently named a mentor for Neilson IQ.

“At The Darl, everything is balanced by teamwork, kindness, creativity, and collaboration while staying true to the brand’s unique story,” Schmoisman recently told USA Wire. “I took everything I’ve learned from my past leaders and designed a work culture my team can feel proud of. For me, it’s important that they know I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and
get my hands dirty. We’re a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic team of talented, single-minded, creative, and driven individuals who love to do what we do.” 

The agency’s client list includes Apollo & Artemis beauty products, Touch in Sol, Planktos, Aral Beauty, CO2LIFT, and Perks, The Skin Spot medical-grade skincare, and Dehl, to name
a few.

As if she wasn’t already busy enough, three years ago, Schmoisman returned to her love of radio and launched the podcast Coffee #5. With roughly 500,000 downloads, Coffee #5 offers candid interviews with business leaders detailing their journeys, failures, and successes in a relaxed, conversational manner. Her newest passion project is her own skincare line based on a derivative of Yerba Mate tea, a popular drink in Argentina.

Self-described as outspoken, full of grit, and armed with a sexy accent, Schmoisman believes everyone deserves marketing — no matter their budget. “You can’t take a cookie-cutter approach,” she cautions. “Every business and brand require a unique strategy for success, so it is important to be open, to listen, to learn, and to follow the advice of marketing experts.”

Her best advice? “Stay within your budget and focus on building a strong foundation that will allow for growth.”