Posts tagged ‘Charleston’
April 15, 2012
It’s been fast and furious in the life of this writer lately, and I’m grateful to my clients for sharing their projects and energy with me. However, I’ve been a bit remiss with the blogging. To get back into the groove, I offer a few glimpses from my most recent adventures for your enjoyment/amusement.
Team building and bowling in Columbia:
Courtney hosts and is guest of honor at the most elegant birthday dinner party ever.
July 6, 2011
I recently helped launch two South Carolina law firm websites with my talented friends at Blue Ion.
The Clark Law Firm in Sumter, South Carolina was founded by a husband and wife legal duo, John and Sharon Clark. I had the opportunity to do a phone interview with John, and we hadn’t been talking more than 10 minutes when he said, “Some people are awed by complex problems. We just roll up our sleeves and go to work to solve them.” And that, friends, was the inspiration for all the copy I wrote thereafter.
Here’s a bit:
Our approach is hands-on, roll-up-our-sleeves and get to work. Our knowledge and skill as researchers and litigators comes from our broad breadth of experience, from cases small to large. We work alongside industry experts, physicians and engineers to discover the often-overlooked details and build strong case theories. Armed with an arsenal of information, we confidently enter the courtroom ready to argue and advocate on our clients’ behalf – to fight for what’s right.
Over in Hampton, South Carolina, a law firm of quiet determination called Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick has been serving and advocating for the citizens of the Palmetto State for 100 years. Yes, you read that correctly. A century. The very power in that word was my starting point for copy.
Here’s a snippet from the brand mantra that helped launch the creative:
You don’t do something for 100 years unless you love it. Unless it’s in your blood. Unless it’s the reason you wake each morning. In an ever-changing world, that original idea stands firm.
Our success as a law firm over the past century has never been measured by judgment alone, but by our commitment to the pursuit of justice for the people we represent.
We give voice to those who have suffered.
We hold those who are responsible accountable for their actions.
We never stop asking “why.”
Because in “why” there is discovery.
There is truth.
There is resolution.
There is justice.
July 1, 2011
As the summer nestles in for its long stay to give us its fiery, hot-wet-blanket best, I thought this little tweet just summed it all up so nicely. Plus, I laughed aloud and nearly snarfed my coffee upon reading it. Thanks, @B2TheEasyE. And a happy, sultry holiday weekend to you all!
P.S. Nice hashtag.
Kristin Newman Designs crafts unforgettable weddings and celebrations that endure in both head and heart. This iteration of their website maintains that undeniable KND style: clean, beautiful, modern meets classic, feminine. I had the opportunity to spend time with both Kristin and Reagan in the space they share with Heather Barrie and Mary Ruth Trimble of gathering: events + floral design.
Let me just say: the Barrie Newman Building is gorgeous and indeed the source from which a creative energy unlike any other flows. I mean, Kristin has a chandelier above her desk, ok? It’s incredible.
Here’s a taste of the copy I wrote:
At Kristin Newman Designs, your experience begins the moment you first engage us – by email, phone or in-person. So, from the beginning, you’ll be immersed in a fun, warm, chic, celebratory environment where you can be yourself. The relationship we begin in the comfort and pleasure of that environment – over the course of convivial conversations and gatherings, is the reason we do what we do. It’s within those moments that you reveal to us, your essence. It’s that essence which serves as our inspiration for crafting truly original, bespoke events: an expression and experience of what matters most to you.
Now. Can someone please hire KND for a shindig…and include me on the guest list? Thanks.
May 12, 2011
It’s Pride Week, folks. And though it celebrates and carries the LGBTQQI acronym along with it, pride in the name of love is meant for all of us. Let me explain.
Last night, I listened Mandy Carter speak at an Alliance For Full Acceptance meeting. A self-described “out, southern, black, lesbian, social justice activist, ” she’s been working in multi-issue and multi-racial grassroots organizing for 43 years.
This lady is the real deal.
One of the many things she articulated so beautifully last night is that equality is an evolutionary process. How easy it is to forget how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time, how much the face and definition of the community itself has changed.
In the beginning of the gay rights movement, the community acronym was a single letter: “G”— the descriptor for the whole gay community. After much conversation/struggle within the community, the “L” word (that’s lesbian) was added. In the early 1980s, Bisexuality, “B” joined the acronym, and in the early 1990s, the “T” for Transgender joined the band. Two “Qs” were also identified – for Queer and Questioning – in acknowledgement of the youth population. And around 1999, “I” for Intersex was brought into the fold. (Forgive me if my dates are slightly off.)
I’d say that was an evolution.
Wait. There’s more.
Mandy shared that she is working for the fair treatment of North Carolina Latinos laboring in harsh conditions in pickle factories. When she reached out to a fellow activist to join her in support, she was met with skepticism – “Pickle workers are not my fight.”
“Wait,” Mandy said to us. “Doesn’t equality mean everyone?” Gay couples seeking to marry. Latinos who deserve safe and fair working conditions. Poor elderly who need medical care.
In essence, Mandy said if you forget that equality means everyone, that if you say, “THEY aren’t US.” Or, “Well, now I’ve got my rights, and I’m done working.”
Well. Honey. You’re missing the point.
Thanks, Mandy. We needed that.
Then, there’s my friend Gil Shuler, who honored AFFA with an amazing t-shirt design to kick off Pride. Gil and I bantered over email about what form the shirt should take and what the messaging should be. And, as usual, Gil made something simple, beautiful and powerful. A true coming together. Thanks, Gil.
And even as a frightening immigration bill looms, the Presbyterian Church is now allowing gays and lesbians to be ordained. There are victories. There are losses. There are compromises. And there are people like Mandy and Gil, who fight the good fight, each in their own way. For everyone.
My talented Blue Ion pals asked me to play with them on branding, a website and promotion for a new burger boutique and ping pong lounge coming to Upper King Street this June.
Coming up with descriptors, headline and copy ideas for HōM was a blast, not just because the talented pair of Petes who are running the joint are young, fun and passionate about what they’re doing, but also because I got to play with the idea of what home is. It also conjured up memories of my own uber-competitive, basement ping pong battles with my best friend Michael. (He was Jimmy Connors; I was Chrissy Evert.) And, I got to detail the nearly erotic love that people have for both burgers and ping pong. Score!
In the never-ending quest to reveal what’s special about brands and people, I happily announce the launch of Maverick Southern Kitchens, which includes High Cotton Charleston, High Cotton Greenville, Slightly North of Broad, Old Village Post House and Charleston Cooks! Last summer, friends at Blue Ion invited me to join in on interviews with their team and tours of the properties as a way to define what it means to be Maverick and how to share their energy with the world.
There were lots of incredible discoveries about this project and process. Like sitting in a room with Executive Chef Frank Lee, listening to him describe his own family dinners and his mission to “bring back the civility of the dinner table.” Or President/Founder Dick Elliot’s attention to detail and love of the word as we crafted the story of each property.
So many people put so much work into these sites and the accompanying materials: the entire Blue Ion team, especially Nicola, Katie, Robert, Woody, Brian and Craig, photographer Brennan Wesley, Mr. E., Elizabeth VanDerwerker, Chef Lee, Patrick Emerson and the whole Maverick team who took time to share their stories and passion for what they do with us.
The best thing we can do for brands and people is to give them the tools and opportunity to share their love of what and why they do what they do. To that end, we shifted Maverick’s focus from momentary interruptions to ongoing conversations and sharing. Not just because it’s inherent in them, but because there’s nothing more compelling than the stories of the food, purveyors, guests and staff who make magic happen daily.
Who is Maverick Southern Kitchens?
We’re a passionate band of chefs, food lovers, wine enthusiasts, farmers, fishermen, hosts and servers dedicated to sharing distinctive, unforgettable culinary experiences that celebrate Southern hospitality.
With an abundance of fresh, local ingredients, an abiding respect for our culinary heritage and a generous helping of hospitality, we can’t help but share it. The truth is, we believe we’re all at our best when we’re breaking bread together, passing plates, sharing recipes and raising glasses. And there’s always room for more at the table.
Taste the rest of the delicious story here.
February 16, 2011
While purchasing signed copies of Billy Collins’s poetry,
Picnic, Lightning, The Trouble With Poetry (and other poems),
I notice a photograph on the counter of the poet laureate, the young woman ringing me up
and the bookshop owner.
The photograph shows the woman and the owner attempting to hold ecstasy at arm’s length,
alongside the poet’s bemused grin.
Upon further inquiry, it’s discovered that Billy Collins is a friend of actor,
A fact that occupies my mind for the better part of this sun-soaked afternoon.
I wonder how one came upon the other
An actor at a poetry reading?
A poet at a movie premiere?
Although it’s lovely to believe that Poet Laureate and Academy Award winner
carry equal amounts of star-quality, respect.
Although perhaps it’s more plausible they met at a jazz club
Or even a dinner party, on the occasion when someone somewhat famous
invites their cadre of artsy friends
Because poets, painters, actors and artists make savory social soup.
Secretly, I hope they met over booze.
Swiftly sizing up the humor and humanity of the other
Silently solidifying an unspoken bond over lowball glasses of 12-year-old scotch.
I imagine Billy as instrumental in Bill’s decision to accept the Lost In Translation role.
And I picture the Upstate New York diner where Bill suggests that
The Victoria’s Secret catalog might make for an especially vibrant poem,
as Billy’s eyes widen, glisten, his over buttered wheat toast momentarily motionless in midair
his mind whirring, words falling into seasonal lines of luxurious lingerie.
I wonder if the friendship dates back to the summer I watched Stripes once a day.
It’s conceivable that Billy Collins actually penned the “chicks dig me” scene.
Though I’m aware my perception of Bill’s personality is an amalgam of his on-screen performances and several casual sightings around town.
Once at a liquor store.
While I’m thinking of it, was the use of Roxy Music’s “More Than This” in the karaoke scene from Lost in Translation Billy’s suggestion?
Or was that all Sofia Coppola?
Which brings me back to the bookshop and the young woman and me, asking if she’d seen
the precocious three-year-old lad
who recited “Litany” from memory on YouTube.
As it happens, Billy didn’t just meet the boy,
he spent an afternoon reading him his favorite books,
Neither Picnic, Lightning nor The Trouble With Poetry (and other poems),
but mostly well-illustrated animal stories
rife with warmth and words that lull a boy toward slumber.
January 25, 2011
In keeping my new year’s resolution of more delicious beverage projects, allow me to introduce Maverick Vodka.
Yep, a vodka of their very own.
Those Maverick Southern Kitchens folks believe in taking the time to do things right. So, together with with Charleston-based Terressentia, they’re developing a selection of handcrafted, competitively priced spirits.
It seems only right that the delicious things Maverick puts on your plate should have a smooth, crisp, happy companion in your glass.
Blue Ion pals Katie, Nicola, Robert, Woody and I had a blast bringing the Maverick man to life, making him the officially un-official spokesman of their tasty new vodka.
P.S. February is vodka month and in celebration, all Maverick locations will be serving up new vodka cocktails for just $4 all month long. I suggest you start your training now.
December 7, 2010
It’s such a buzz to work with people whose work you admire. I met designer Angie Hranowsky about three years ago and instantly fell in love with her work. She created an incredible brochure for a historic Charleston waterfront event venue that I was helping promote.
Fast forward three years, and I’m having drinks with friends at Enoteca, an intimate, handsomely decorated wine bar just down the street from Trattoria Lucca (owned by the same folks). We were all so intrigued by the interior design that we asked Christy, the manager, who had done the work. None other than Angie, who’s now bringing her keen design eye to interiors in truly amazing style.
The next day I sent her an email to congratulate and compliment her on Enoteca and catch up. Before I knew it, she graciously asked me to rewrite her bio for new website. Here’s a taste:
In 2005, Angie launched her interior design firm, reinterpreting her print design sensibility and color acumen for dynamic, three-dimensional spaces – and quickly vaulted onto the national interior design scene. Driven by a passion to engage and nurture each client, Angie crafts beautifully balanced, inviting spaces that are both personal and timeless.
Find the rest here. Congratulations, Angie. You continue to amaze.
Should your interiors need help, do give this talented lady a buzz.
In other fun designer news, my pal, UX designer and front-end developer, James Bergen, recently launched his solo gig. I met James a few years back, and he never fails to make me smile. He’s also crazy talented and warm. You can’t really beat that.
James asked me to help out with his bio as well. Here’s a snippet:
Fueled by a seemingly endless stream of iced coffee, James pairs his design skills with solid technology to create beautiful, high performing interactive experiences for clients large and small. Equally at home in the print universe, he digs deep into his clients’ brains and hearts to craft identities and print materials that tell a story and inspire action.
Peruse the rest of his bio and the rest of his super fab site here. Thank you, sweet baby James!