Robyn Santiago, CEO of Illumination PR, President of Villaggio Italiano in Hartsdale and Dobbs Ferry, NY, and a partner in Christina Milian’s line of fruit-infused Moscatos: Viva Diva Wines. Robyn juggles all three titles seamlessly, and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Illumination PR is a public relations boutique located in New York, and is propelled by a dedicated team of employees working endlessly to fulfill the needs and surpass the expectations of its clients. Robyn spearheads Illumination with over 9 years in the public relations field. Previously working in event planning and business development, combined with her extensive knowledge of the public relations industry, Robyn and her team are able to provide clients with work that is strategic, creative and measurable.
Leading her team to incredible heights, they have elevated clients in their prospective industries and have been able to get them placed in a wide variety of high-profile media outlets. From the New York Post, Fox News, The New York Times and Forbes, to E!, MTV, Bravo, People, US Weekly and more, Illumination’s clients are consistently garnering valuable press placements and mentions.
While starting Illumination PR, Robyn worked at Villaggio Italiano in Hartsdale. Once Illumination PR was able to sustain itself, Robyn left the Westchester-favorite restaurant to devote all of her time to her new PR business. In 2015, Robyn and her husband bought Villaggio Italiano, and through Robyn’s extensive knowledge in the PR field and learning the ins and outs of the restaurant industry, they have seen tremendous growth since taking over ownership. They’ve added Jazz Nights on Tuesdays, delivery seven days a week, live music the last Thursday of every month, delicious happy hours and so much more. Their loyal customers have now referred frequenting the restaurant as “…it’s like coming home.”
Building an incredibly successful PR business has not come easy for Robyn. Her first event was with a charity for breast cancer in White Plains, NY at Ernesto’s Ristorante – she planned the event, gathered press to cover, and hired the photographer. The event was a huge success, but it was still at the beginning of her career. The photographer charged her $300, and for six weeks, she paid him $50 per week because of her financial situation at the time. After this event, she realized it wasn’t the event planning that she loved – it was seeing the success of businesses through the eyes of the media. Eventually, she worked with a client who connected her to one of the cast members of RHONJ, and her PR career took off from there.
Through Illumination PR, Robyn met singer, actress and entrepreneur, Christina Milian, while working with a wine brand at a celebrity gifting suite that she still works with to this day. At the suite, Christina fell in love the brand, and gave Robyn her number to discuss the possibility of taking over ownership of the company. Now, both Christina and Robyn are partners in the brand, Viva Diva Wines, with Christina’s mother Carmen.
Most recently in February, Robyn and her husband opened up their second restaurant, Villaggio of Dobbs Ferry.
Robyn has found that taking risks, working diligently to ensure the highest level of press for each and every client, and remaining humble have helped grow each of her businesses to incredible heights. Juggling four successful businesses can be challenging at times, but her determination, positivity and work ethic, as well as her entire team of employees have contributed to the success of her businesses.