Some of the most fun I have as a writer is helping clients share the story of who they are and what they do. Fortunately, I usually work with folks who eschew the traditional bio/about us/what we do format: i.e. Felix graduated summa cum laude from Pretentious University and…snore. No and no, Felix. Here’s a look at some of my recent faves.
Jay Fletcher is a mega-talented designer, and I’ve had the good fortune to work with him on a bunch of fun projects. I love Jay’s aesthetic, sense of humor and pragmatic approach to work and life. He recently redesigned his website and asked me to write his bio. As usual, he added both life and a design narrative to the words, and I’m so grateful to have been part of the process.
Although this didn’t make it into the final design, I feel strongly that this is also an apt description of Jay:
Jay Fletcher designs, digs deep, asks difficult but engaging questions, makes beautiful and compelling designed things, laughs in all the right places, cuts a rug from time to time, multitasks, handles it, remembers the punch line when you forget it, rides his bike to the coffee shop, is friends with writers, pets friendly stray dogs, recommends a beach honeymoon, flosses daily, and calls his Mom on the regular.
Lee Deas Brown is the Principal and Grand Imaginator of Obviouslee Marketing. I liked her immediately upon meeting her, and my adoration for her has been escalating ever since. Lee and her crew asked me to lend a hand as they put together their new website and marketing materials. Because they are so awesome in their own right, I mostly just nodded, laughed and applauded. I remember Lee asking me if I thought the “OM Way” part of the website, wherein they use normally negative words to describe what they do in a funny, positive way was “too much.” I said, “Bring it!” and added a few touches here and there. Here’s a fun one:
Heather Barrie is the Founder/Owner of Gathering Floral + Event Design. I met Heather a few years back when I was working on a project for her dear friend and creative soul mate, Kristin Newman. Heather is one of those people that exudes calm and grace. I feel like I could go completely to pieces in her presence, and she would gently and compassionately help me find my way out of it. Not that I would ever do this, Heather. Promise. I suppose that’s part of what makes her an amazing event and floral designer: calm in the face of chaos.
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Heather and Mary Ruth to learn why and how they came to be in the business of gatherings. Those conversations and Heather’s vision produced a storyline: about us, what you see, what you don’t, Heather Barrie and Mary Ruth Tribble that is uniquely and only them.
Here’s Heather’s bio:
Perhaps it took root in my Mom’s garden or stirring pots in our kitchen – or maybe it was built within me, alongside my Dad as he crafted something out of nothing, me handing him nails, one by one. Perhaps it was during time spent in Europe; rapt by art, architecture,wandering the streets, the plants, flowers and flavors unlike anything I’d ever yet experienced. Maybe still, it came into being here in the Lowcountry amid the lush marshscapes, the changing light, the way one color bleeds into the next. The “it” being the restless soul always open to a new adventure, craving beauty, & creative pursuits.
I came of age in hospitality – from bed and breakfasts with my first floral arrangements on breakfast trays to restaurants, catering, and selling wine until my small floral side gig became the gig. The truth is, every place I’ve ever been and every moment of my past are the inspiration for why I do what I do each day – and I love that tomorrow always brings something exciting and new.
And Mary Ruth’s:
I love how design moves and changes – my work is my avenue for creative expression. I’ve been creating, painting, glue-ing, building, and imagining since school days spent lost in the craft corner. What started out as school projects has evolved into friends’ birthdays, living spaces, accessories, and event, furniture, fabric, and lighting design.
Today, within minutes of entering a space, my mind races, creating ways to make our clients’ vision and expectations reach their full potential. In a day’s work, not only can I transform a space, I have successfully gone from running around in trendy sneakers and an apron, to throwing on a black dress and pretty high heels. If you are looking for me, don’t be surprised to find me on the top rung of a ladder, backing down an alley in a 26-foot truck, directing a ceremony or bustling a wedding gown.
Annie Byrd Hamnett, owner/founder of Byrdhouse Public Relations is a gem. She’s kind, warm and gracious, and if you don’t already know her, seek her out. Annie and I have worked together on several projects, and she’s always receptive and wonderful. While working with the fabulous ladies of Stitch on her new website, Annie asked me to write her bio. I jumped at the chance to share all the things that make Annie both a great professional and person with the world.
Annie Byrd Hamnett grew up among the abundant beauty of North Carolina’s pristine beaches—and its Blue Ridge mountains. Her early days spent helping her grandparents at their Christmas tree farm in Spruce Pine, harvesting potatoes, exploring the woods, and shelling beans on the porch instilled in her an abiding love of nature and open spaces—and a lifelong curiosity about and deep connection to the things that matter, like family, food, and travel.
True to her roots, Annie earned her degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—then hit the road in search of adventure. A stint in San Francisco, a study abroad in Italy, cooking school in France, a honeymoon in Bora Bora, a safari in South Africa, and her home near the beach in Charleston serve as inspiration and confirmation that the things she loved most could also be her life’s work.
Annie’s clients are her friends—people whose work and craft she admires, believes in, and wants to share with the world. Her expertise is evident in the way she mindfully and strategically shares all that she loves about her clients with the right people, in the right places, at the right moment. Her mix of creative, thoughtful communication and business acumen has earned her clients the praise, press, and respect she always wanted for them.
In her down time, Annie loves being with her husband, Matt and their growing family: Matthew (1 ½), a baby girl on the way, and crazy coonhounds, Birdie and Stella.