I graduated from college with a BA in History, thinking I would earn my Master’s or PhD and teach college. But, as it often does, fate intervened. Around the same time, I started free-lance copywriting and found that not only was I good at it, I liked it. A lot. A few months later, I was hired by a creative director, who was willing to take a chance on a kid with no experience, and I started writing for the company that made the Franklin Day Planner.
It was my first opportunity to work with truly creative people—people who wrote children’s books, wrote music, and painted beautifully in their spare time—and I was immediately hooked by the environment. I started reading advertising and design publications, studying ads I wished I had come up with. And I was writing catalogs and mailers that brought in millions of dollars in sales. I had such a great time doing it, I put the idea of going back to school on the back burner.
Then I had the opportunity to join EvansGroup, a regional advertising agency (subsequently purchased by the French conglomerate Publicis) and began crafting advertising for PETsMART, UnitedHealthCare, First Security Bank, Wells Fargo, Hoovers.com, and Cedars-Sinai, among others. Again, I was having a blast writing and shooting television spots, and creating radio spots, mailers and ads. I discovered an affinity for strategy and response-oriented marketing and had the privilege of working with incredibly talented people who know what it takes to make the cash register ring for clients.
After four years at Publicis, I joined a small packaged goods company. I was attracted by the opportunity to work on a complete rebrand of more than 200 products—helping to reinvent the company’s catalogs, packaging, and brand stories—changes that grew sales by more than $200 million over five years.
Finally, I jumped at the opportunity to join Logoworks, an entrepreneurial start-up, to manage the creatives and build an account management team to provide additional design services for customers. After three years and some amazing growth, HP purchased Logoworks to support their business design and print initiatives. I have since taken on operational and support roles there (I currently work at HP).
Through it all, I’ve written copy for websites, sales brochures, catalogs, mailers, scripts, and ads. I’ve supervised the design of thousands of logos, websites, brochures, and more. And I’ve spoken at several conferences and universities on topics like “Branding” and “Developing a Story and Identity for Your Business”.
Oh, and I finally went back and earned that Master’s degree—but not in history, in business. I’m still thinking about the PhD.