Everybody has a story.
Some agencies sell campaigns to clients. Others pitch the depth of their services.
We get hired to tell stories. Because it really is as simple as that.
You have stories that need to be told; we love telling them. Truly, madly, deeply.
Thinkwell Creative is a small-size, full-service marketing and communications company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. Our team is a rogue band of wordsmithing, graphic-designing, marketing and communications ninjas who've chosen to use our powers for good.
No matter what your story is, let Thinkwell tell it. Whether the target audience is your team, other people in your organization, clients, or end users—we cut through to the heart of what you want to say with powerful words and insanely eye-pleasing graphic design. When we show up on the page (any page—web, printed or otherwise), the result is an interesting mix of creativity where practical meets magical.
To get your hands on work created by Thinkwell is to get your hands on work that is dripping with pride. Our smallish size means we are better at anticipating client needs, paying serious attention to detail, and at being totally flexible when changes call for us to shift directions on a dime.
We want to take care of you in a way that ticks off all the right boxes. Each project begins by pulling together a team that will tell your story quickly and on budget. We shoot for the “ whoa!” factor. And we are such friendly folks, it kinda-sorta-maybe-might-be the most fun you’ll ever have doing marketing. Just puttin’ that out there.
WHAT WE LOVE TO DO
Here's just a sampling of our services:
Sometimes it's easier to define what we do by first clearing up a few things folks have asked us to do that we just don't do. Ever.
*This one warrants further explanation. Our phone number is just one digit different than a local gastroenterologist's, so we receive errant patient calls a few times per week. We'd like to help, butt...
Looking for something that's not on our list? Tell us about it, and we'll let you know if it's something we can knock out of the ballpark for you. If not, we'll try to point you to someone who can.
The goal of our team is to be an extension of your team. Like any self-respecting entourage, we make it all about you: your brand, your culture, your personality. As a general rule, we work behind-the-scenes to give a voice to your vision.
But hey, this is our website. And if you've read this far, we suspect you want to learn a little more about us before you give our team a whirl. Here's your chance to get to know us better. Click the name of any Thinkwellian below to find out who we are and why we love what we do.
Mountain View, AR (Folk Music Capital of the World)
Account Services Director and Client Superhero
You know how certain things are just made for each other? Like Hans Solo and Chewie. Peanut butter and jelly. Thelma and Louise. Well, account management was invented for Anne. She’s a perfect match for a career that combines marketing smarts with consumer insights. It makes her giddy to create a great piece of work, while exceeding client expectations.
It’s no mystery where Anne got her totally lovable, down-to-earth nature from: growing up in Mountain View, Arkansas. Her even-keeled dad, a judge, and easy-going mom, a teacher, might’ve also had something to do with it.
After leaving home for Harding University, Anne grew less curious about clogging and more about the world. We’re pretty sure wanderlust is in her DNA. She loves the feel of a plane accelerating and craves the excitement of a new adventure. Climbing active volcanoes, swimming with manta rays—this girl’s done it. During her college years, she nabbed her husband James to join her on the never-ending journey.
With a newly minted degree in mass communications, she jumped right into advertising as a coordinator for a creative hot shop in Memphis, learning what it takes for work to flow smoothly. For eight years, almost all of Anne’s projects were hospitality industry driven. She was driven as well, leading teams that racked up awards for exceptional work and earning the position of account director.
In the middle of all that excitement, she threw having a few babies into the mix and eventually took a break from corporate America to spend a couple years at home. It wasn’t long before she got the itch to get back into the career she loved, but on a more flexible schedule. (She wanted to work but not leave the house with crayons in her computer bag and baby drool in her hair.) Anne found Thinkwell Creative, and we found our client superhero.
Back in high school, Anne (voted Most Athletic) broke school records in track and has never stopped running at that pace. She squeezes a lot in—school plays, school sports, hiking, running, coaching, church activities and more. As a mom to Case and Emery, Anne actively teaches them to not just see the world, but to do whatever little thing they can to make it a better one.
Account Director & Master Chef of Communications
Sometimes finds it funny:
that she used to faint on airplanes when they closed the door
Never finds it funny:
Ashley Harris is the director of communications and wicked wordsmith for Thinkwell Creative. Her diabolical doings include hunting and gathering information and putting it all together in an organized, pretty package. Crafting brand plans, one-pagers and PowerPoint presentations are among the many skills in Ashley's big bag of tricks.
Growing up in Birmingham, AL, Ashley began her career in communications and found her knack for organization early by being the only girl on her street and bossing around all of the boys.
Declarations by Ashley:
When not playing with neighborhood friends, Ashley spent time at home making Lite Brite masterpieces in her bedroom and writing creative fiction in the closet. Her only regret from youth is that she was never elected to the Safety Patrol at school. Ashley laments, “It would have been fun to have that much control.”
At Auburn University, Ashley earned a degree in marketing and forever cemented her love of college football. Her husband, Brad, is a University of Alabama fan, but she decided to marry him anyway. On game day, they manage to keep things “very civil.”
Out of college, Ashley began a career in the banking world, where she did administrative work, training, support for new branch openings and, finally, marketing. Ashley's communication and organizational skills were evident, and upon moving to Memphis for a job change for Brad, she took on a role in culture and communications at Hilton Worldwide. A few years later, it was time for Brad's job to move the family again, this time to Pittsburgh, PA. Marissa offered Ashley a job working remotely for Thinkwell, and Thinkwell gained an office in Pennsylvania!
Brad and Ashley have two sons, Jack and Sam, and spend most of their weekends in the fall watching SEC football. They also enjoy exploring their new geographic area, carefully, as it offers the second highest deer/automobile collision rate in the country. Family hobbies include traveling, cooking, reading, playing board games and singing Journey songs at a high volume. What does the future hold for this southern family up North? Ashley says, “We are going to learn how to do snow sports and not die.”
Account Manager & Communications Jedi
Friends count on her to:
Tell it like it is with brutal honesty
You know that person who always has too many tabs open in her head, but floats through the day getting it all done effortlessly, all while rocking the coolest outfit? That’s our Bethany. This team-centric, service-minded problem solver is all about putting her diverse experience to work for you. Let Bethany’s knowledge and know-how become your edge.
Bethany couldn’t have scripted her life better, if she tried. Her growing up years sound like hilarious scenes out of Steel Magnolias. Bethany wore smocked dresses, but refused to be ladylike and chose to sell roasted peanuts with her dad at festivals over going to etiquette class. Instead of Strawberry Shortcake dolls, she collected black eyes wrestling with her beloved brothers and competing in organized sports. This woman couldn’t become any more fierce, but if she does, that’s fine with us.
At Thinkwell, Bethany’s our double threat—with a Bachelors from Bama and a Masters from UofM. She’s a get-it-done guru, who is just flat out awesome at collaborating with our team and clients to deliver outstanding solutions to complex challenges.
Before Thinkwell, Bethany spent almost a decade working in an athletic department at a local all girls’ school. She wore many hats during her time there coordinating over 70 athletic teams, coaching varsity cross country and track, and creating and teaching physical education curriculums.
Bethany’s Super Mom powers are a lot like her work ethic: unstoppable. She and the love of her life, Donnie, are bringing up three adorable kiddos with a color-outside-the-lines approach to life. It’s a no-perfection zone where you have fun, get messy. Art hard. Play hard. Did we mention get messy? When she’s not rooting for the Crimson Tide, you will find Bethany reading, Mario Carting with her kids or hosting family movie night. She also puts her energy and a whole lot of love and passion into being a Teacher/Mentor for teens at her church.
Senior Strategist & Head Honcho of Ideas
attention to detail, consistency
inattention to detail, inconsistency
Christy is the business writer and communications commander for the Thinkwell team. While Moses gave the world ten commandments, Christy's approach to communication gets it done in three: 1. Listen to others. 2. Take responsibility for understanding their message. 3. Communicate it clearly. She puts her philosophy into practice when creating the communications that make the business world go 'round, like employee handbooks, policies and procedures documents and strategic plans.
Christy spent her youth exploring nature in central Arkansas with her twin brother, Jason, and her younger brother, Jared. So not only is Christy outdoorsy and knows how to hang with the boys, she's also an avid sports fan. Woo Pig Sooie. (And recently married. Sorry, fellas.) While briefly living in St. Louis with her family, Christy fell in love with baseball and became a crazy Cardinals fan. She owns roughly 3,500 baseball cards and will watch any sporting event that's televised. (Once again, off the market, fellas.)
Christy didn't just watch sports from the sidelines but played competitive softball throughout her school days. Athletic, academic and musically talented, this “whole package” also found time to hold a part-time job at KFC during high school that came with the perk of bringing home free fried chicken every night. (Fellas, give it a rest. She's taken, and that free chicken was a long time ago. Move on!)
Christy attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, where she majored in psychology and minored in music. When she was not studying or attending musical performances, Christy worked at sports camps and volunteered for a variety of urban outreach programs, kicking off her future work with non-profits.
After graduation, Christy went from spending her summer employment driving speed boats on a lake all day to working as an account manager for a graphic design firm. This role didn't float her boat, and she soon started working at a church where she coordinated urban outreach for three years. Then it was off to Dallas for seminary and more church/non-profit work and a valuable term in legal marketing.
After leading a group from Dallas to Memphis for an outreach project, Christy fell back in love with the city. She moved to Memphis and did some marketing and PR work with a couple of non-profits and worked her way into the role of Director of Operations at Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR). In addition to marketing and communications, Christy helped recruit and on-board young teachers to work in urban schools in the Memphis area.
Then, Christy decided to simultaneously:
Within a matter of months, Christy married Curt, moved to a rural town, and joined the jolly team at Thinkwell Creative. (Thinkwellians rejoiced!)
Christy and Curt like to be outside and to eat, and sometimes eat outside. They also like to track down delicious food from exciting restaurants. If Christy had an afternoon to herself, she'd go for a drive, then find a coffee shop and listen to music, then a friend would show up for a chat, then that friend would leave and Christy would read a good book. Or nap. But definitely not nap at the coffee shop. (Appreciative of: attention to detail.)
Other fun facts about Christy: Loves Kazakhstan. Hates rollercoasters. Wants to be an FBI agent but does not qualify because she now exceeds the age-limit rule – she checked. (Appreciative of: attention to detail.)
Fort Smith, AR
Graphics Guru and Director of Design
His orderly side appreciates:
proper usage of turn signals, people not moving his stuff, generally kind behavior
His untamed side thrives on:
traveling overseas often, wild sci-fi novel plots, out-of-the-blue calls from friends just to see how he's doing
Jason McFarland is the graphics guru and director of design at Thinkwell Creative. In mid-2010, Marissa was in need of some quick design work and called up her old college friend to ask, “Can you please beautify this for me?” Since then she has continued to ask this of Jason, and the pile on his virtual desktop has grown to include creating PowerPoint templates, web banners, brochures, online and print newsletters and more. As far as reporting on what Jason can't do? We'll let you know when it happens!
Jason was born five minutes after his twin sister, Christy (a.k.a., the one who was expected). Along with his parents, twin and younger brother, Jason traveled around quite a bit. He also spent some time doing art stuff. Okay, a lot of time doing art stuff. Like, this-is-what-you're-supposed-to-do-with-your-life kind of time.
So, one answer to the following quiz should be pretty easy. The other, maybe not so much.
From Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, Jason received two of the following five degrees:
(For correct answers, contact Thinkwell Creative, or you might be able to find them in a good book.)
After spending much of his creative life producing beautiful artwork with pencil and paper, Jason encountered a post-grad employer who said, “I can teach this guy graphic design.” It was a virtual renaissance for Jason who put aside his easel and settled himself in front of a computer screen to create a different kind of art.
Bagpipes and drums play as camera pans a serene, rural scene. Voiceover begins...“A young man decides to take a break and leave it all behind – Arkansas, reliable employment, ice in his water – and travel to Europe. From the stout Guinness of Ireland to the stout aroma of hostel guests in the Netherlands, Israel and Czech Republic, find out what fills him with reservations and what really rings his bell in this season of Checking In On Jason.”
[Back to regularly scheduled life.]
After returning to Memphis and graphic design, Jason soon brought his talents (and newly found knowledge of the hospitality industry) to Thinkwell Creative. Currently he lives in a suburb of London, where he splits his time between Thinkwell projects and working as a missionary.
When Jason is not doing design work for Thinkwell Creative, he is often lending a graphic design hand or his leadership skills to churches and mission groups. When he’s not working or volunteering, Jason prefers to be in a café or pub in Europe, engaged in deep conversation or engrossed in a sci-fi novel. If you see him in such a situation, feel free to pinch him because, in his mind, he's already dreaming!
Accounting Director & Money Honey
A few notable details:
She’s a good listener, mother of four kiddos and fervent Grizz fan. You can often find her outside taming her garden, or inside where she’ll look for any distraction or excuse not to cook dinner.
Kristen grew up in a family that always found ways to make life un-boring. She was the oldest of six kids and recalls a house unabashedly run amok with laughter, fun times, a wee bit of chaos and loud debates over whose turn it was to ride in the front seat. Or take out the trash. Or who put an empty carton of milk back inside the fridge, for crying out loud! You get the drift. As our numbers girl, she’s mostly behind the scenes at Thinkwell, but hopefully you’ll have the chance to meet her and her unforgettable self.
Numbers have always been Kristen’s specialism. Her lifelong love of math began when she sat on the front row of Mrs. Carruther’s class at Germantown High. In no time flat, she zoomed from teacher’s pet to class treasurer to business major at Rhodes College to CPA. We won’t say it’s hip to be a numbers nerd, because who says hip these days? But we can all agree that Kristen is awesome.
We love having our very own mathemagician. Before coming to Thinkwell, she held a number of financial positions, beginning at Ernst & Young in Atlanta and eventually landing in the ad agency world in NYC. She managed to avoid a totally humdrum accounting career by working the books at some high profile and fun places, including Y&R and WPP. Because WPP’s headquarters are in London, Kristen even got to hop across the pond a few times. She also traveled quite a bit with Ernst & Young and found it fascinating how all her clients ran their businesses so differently. She soaked it up like a sponge.
When she is not crunching numbers, Kristen can be found with a cup of coffee in her hand, squirreled away in a sweet little spot reading on a quiet Saturday morning. That’s a little lie—with three boys and one girl, she merely fantasizes of having Saturdays free to herself, has completely lost touch with what the word “ quiet” means and very rarely gets to crack open a book. Although good books and good sports talk radio both make her drool. She is married to another CPA, and they have lived in all kinds of cool cities (Atlanta, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Stamford and, of course, digable Memphis) building a beautiful life together. So you could say they go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong. Wah-hooo, yeah!
Founder, President & Chief Solutionist
Things that bug her:
Y'all misspelled, incorrect usage of the word nauseous, rAndOm caPitaliZaTion
Things that excite her:
chocolate, pedicures and proper pronunciation of her name (Marissa rhymes with Lisa, not Melissa)
Marissa Loper is the founder, president and chief word nerd of Thinkwell Creative. For Marissa, crafting superb communications requires a careful recipe: thoughtful strategy, succinct writing and strong design. She has spent more than a decade perfecting this art form. (Please don't do the math there. Marissa loves celebrating her 29th birthday. Every year.)
Voted Best Sleeper and Lil'Miss Congeniality of the hospital's newborn nursery, Marissa began over-achieving at a young age. She dabbled in softball and volleyball (and opera, naturally) as a youth but truly hit her stride in the classroom. Marissa was valedictorian of her class and went on to double major in Business Administration and French at Rhodes College. It's a wonder that she found the time to wrangle that hunky football player (Brook Loper) from her accounting class!
Marissa's first job after college was with a wealth management company, where she was a portfolio analyst and French translator.
This job involved:
Unfortunately, it also involved obsessively stalking the stock market, which just didn't feed Marissa's need to be creative and to personally connect with her clients. So, she joined an advertising agency as an account executive, then transitioned into the life of a copywriter.
This job involved:
In 2001, Marissa left the agency and founded Thinkwell Creative. She believes good communication is the basis for all successful relationships and businesses deserve access to expert, creative assistance in this department. Marissa also believes in finding good help and has handpicked a team that's just as talented and crazy as she is.
Marissa lives in the ‘burbs of Memphis with her husband and three children. When the Lopers are not eating pizza on family movie nights or coming up with kooky traditions, you can find them flitting across the country with the aggressive goal of visiting all fifty states before their oldest child graduates high school. Did we discuss that Marissa is a bit of an over-achiever?
In her non-existent spare time, Marissa enjoys photography, art, long showers, mindless TV shows, movies, traveling and yucking it up with friends. Marissa is an active member of Highpoint Church, where she loves serving in youth ministry.
Rochester Hills, MI
Webinar Manager and Report Wrangler
Definition of Coney Island to people from the South:
an amusement park in Brooklyn
Definition of Coney Island to Meghan:
a hot dog with chili or a late-night diner
Meghan Blaszkowski is the webinar manager and report wrangler at Thinkwell Creative. Imagine doing all of the prep for a traditional face-to-face presentation and then throwing in a whole bunch of technology to put it on the web. That's where Meghan comes in. She begins with setting up online registration and will have you to final reporting and analysis before you can even attempt to spell Blaszkowski!
Meghan grew up in the picturesque town of Rochester Hills, MI, where she and her siblings enjoyed playing sports, spending time at the lake and being wholesome. Her family (the McKelveys) was so clean cut that they earned the nickname the McCleavers. Meghan described herself as shy, reserved and just trying to blend in while attending Rochester Adams High School. That would not be a fitting description for all graduates of RAHS.
Rochester Adams High School highlights through history:
1970 – Opened its doors
1974 – Swimming pool complex built
1976 – Madonna graduated. Yes, the Madonna.
2005 – Artificial turf installed on football field
After high school, Meghan went to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and claims, while chuckling mysteriously, to have had “a good time” there. That good time included earning a degree in accounting and being a member of the oxymoronically titled “business fraternity.” It also included meeting her husband, John, and a story that involves a dorm front desk clerk, a pizza delivery guy and some serendipitous timing. (Ask Meghan for details.)
After graduation, Meghan spent the next 10 years running the gamut of positions at a small bank in Michigan. The most interesting, perhaps, was serving as the test case to see if banking cons could be a threat to potentially gullible people. (Remember the McCleavers?) Then one day, her aviation-engineering husband got a call about a job at FedEx in Memphis. Meghan laughed and swore she'd never move to the South. She also probably thought she would never call a pop a Coke.
After a stint spent wrangling two kids and running the PTA circuit, Meghan did some freelance financial and HR work. Her organizational skills and attention to detail were just the sort of thing for which Thinkwell was looking. Now, underneath “southerner” and “PTA goddess,” Meghan can add “Thinkwellian” to her list of things she never imagined she would be.
These days, Meghan and John can be found watching their daughter, Colleen, play softball and volleyball or visiting their son, Jack, at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. They also enjoy traveling as a family, which includes trying interesting food and finding out how other people live. Usually after vacation, they need a vacation.
In her spare time, Meghan reads everything. She particularly relishes fictional history and whatever young adult series her daughter is reading (just for the bonding, and not because she secretly loves them).
Director of Special Projects and Detailista
Not a fan of:
That song, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
When she’s not putting chip to cheese dip as Thinkwell’s official queso expert, Melanie is usually chewing on something way more important. Her background in the hospitality industry means she knows the importance of getting details right. You better believe she does whatever it takes to do the right thing to increase client success. Having been on both sides of the table—client side and now service provider side—you’re going to love the diverse experience she brings to each project.
Both of Melanie’s parents were in education. Both. Of. Them. Her dad was superintendent. That’s like gobs and gobs of insane pressure to be the perfect student, and boy did Melanie deliver. Making straight As while also giving everything she had to cheerleading, drama, art, and the basketball team—Mel made her parents proud. The applause continued when she snagged her BA in Marketing from Texas A&M University.
Melanie brings unmatched experience to the Thinkwell team, having previously worked as Director of Sales for Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Hampton Inn & Suites, as well as several years in the position of Regional Revenue Manager for Homewood Suites.
She’s from Texas, so chips and dip often suffice as a meal. But, oh honey chil’, her mama also taught her how to make a mean brisket. Texas by birth, but Midsoutherner by choice, she and her husband are now raising their sweet little family in Germantown and she has “accepted” the fact that BBQ is pork around here, not beef. Melanie is nuts about (take a deep breath) the beach, hiking, kid’s soccer, kid’s basketball, decorating, fashion, organizing, volunteering at church, and planning events. (Insert exclamation), she’s one awesome chick.
Puerto Rico (although she has never lived there)
Graphic Designer and Manager of Making It Pretty
Likes she shares with college students:
Naps, romantic comedies, eating pizza at 4:30pm
Likes she shares with octogenarians:
Naps, romantic comedies, eating pizza at 4:30pm
Melissa Webster is a graphic designer and the manager of making it pretty at Thinkwell Creative. After spending hours upon hours in her design school studio learning to perfect traditional artistic mediums, she chucked it all for the instant gratification that comes with graphic design. Communicating something visually really stirs her tea. In a nutshell, Melissa wants to make things pretty, and she wants to do it fast!
A refreshing combination of deeply thoughtful and silly, Melissa can be a bit shy around those that don't know her well. When asked to describe herself for this bio, she said, “I don't talk a whole lot unless I need to.” There you have it.
Born in Tacoma, WA, Melissa then moved to Germany, then Texas, then Germany (again), then North Carolina, then Alaska, then Texas (again), then Georgia and now Tennessee.
Q: Melissa moved so much because her dad was in:
While playing geographic hop scotch, Melissa attended three very different high schools.
High school: #1
Potential announcement from principal: “There's a bear outside. So don't go outside.”
High school: #2
Potential announcement from principal: “Football, football, football, football. Football!”
High school: #3
Location: rural Georgia
Potential announcement from principal: (Silence.) There was not a lot going on here.
Melissa crossed from small-town living through the Twilight Zone to the land of leather, piercings and tattoos ... also known as design school. She loved the quirky juxtaposition of the super-hip Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a slow-as-molasses, southern tourist destination. In her words, design school was “ridiculously hard,” and one of her proudest accomplishments is surviving SCAD and doing well.
Not only did SCAD provide Melissa with ninja-like artistic skills, she also bagged a husband there. Once again, in her own words: “I met Austin in a class my freshman year, and I remember thinking, ‘Hey, he looks normal.'” These two crazy kids now have two actual crazy kids, Norah and Eva, who could not be more perfect if these two designers had Photoshopped them themselves.
Having originally studied interior design, Melissa got a job with an architectural firm after graduating from SCAD. She eventually realized that the graphic presentations she was preparing for clients were more exciting to her than the interior design work within those presentations. So, she changed gears and landed an in-house graphic design gig for a glass studio. From there, it was on to freelance, baby, and that's where the real fun began.
Melissa has had the privilege of lending her design skills to numerous non-profit organizations through City Leadership, a Memphis-based start-up that consults with budding, urban leadership programs. “Choose 901” has been one of her primary projects and is an initiative to encourage dynamic, young entrepreneurs to bring their talents to Memphis. She has also worked with churches, charter schools and several local community programs.
To Thinkwell Creative's benefit, Melissa is now using her professional powers to make things pretty for us. At present, she is doing so from Atlanta.
If Melissa were not happily married and busily chasing her babies around, we might find her following Marc Anthony's tour bus. She likes Salsa music ... a lot. When doing housework, she blasts her tunes because it makes her feel like the world is good. Let's hope her neighbors also like Salsa music.
Perfect relaxation for Melissa involves drinking coffee and reading a book on the beach at sunrise. Fortunately, both of her siblings have moved to vacation destinations in Florida.
Deeply rooted in her faith, Melissa is continually looking for ways to make positive contributions to the world that surrounds her. She enjoys cooking, baking and domestic activities at large.
Chicago, NYC, Houston, Austin, Memphis (She’s left her heart in many places)
Copywriter and Big Idea Thinker Upper
Is really good at:
Devouring novels and drooling over the American Experience series on PBS
Is not so good at:
One day in 1972 in the middle of watching The Brady Bunch, a mom in the suburbs of Chicago asked her daughter, “Why is it that you know the tagline for every product being advertised on TV, but you never know where your sneakers are when it’s time to go to school?” That was the day this particular copywriter was born.
Patty’s love for advertising started early (see above.) When she took first prize at her elementary school’s Science Fair, it only encouraged her more. The judges said they had never seen a visual display so eye-catching before. Who cares about (or remembers) the science behind it? It’s all about the big idea, people. Be different. Stand out. Patty figured this out in 4th grade. After her big win, her work started getting featured in other prominent places, like her parent’s refrigerator. The ink on her diploma (Bachelor of Science in Advertising, Creative Portfolio Sequence) from the University of Texas was barely dry when she set out for Manhattan.
Bloomingdale’s and Westinghouse were her first clients in the Big Apple. Since then she’s shaped numerous national brands, getting roll-up-your-sleeves, knee deep into every aspect of marketing—from strategy development to that awesome moment when a clever idea kicks in. She believes that if you tell a brand’s story well, an amazing little thing happens. It sells itself, and people fall in love with the brand. She has devoted her career to brand building in cities from the Southwest to the East Coast to the Mid-South, but says she has never worked a day in her life. It’s been too much fun to call it work.
When she is not writing about herself in third person, Patty enjoys loads of other stuff. She loves living in a really old house in Midtown Memphis. She is deliriously in love with her husband (another writer). She loves that God blessed them with both a girl and a boy, and she isn’t at all concerned that she might be messing this parenting thing up. (She has PTSD from potty training, but the kids are fine. We think.) She loves it when friends ring the doorbell of her really old house to pop in for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee (please arrive in your pajamas because she will still be wearing hers). She loves how she went back to Astroworld to ride the Texas Cyclone rollercoaster 40 times in a row on her 40th birthday without barfing. In Patty-speak, life’s more fun with a side of chutzpah. But enough about me. What can I write for you?
Writer & Mistress of Content
Would be played in a movie by:
The movie would be:
A zany comedy about a quirky father named Butch who has an epic obsession with Disney World and has taken his family to the famous park 30 times and counting. Rated PG due to the unfortunate cussing incident on the Tea Cup ride from 1983. Spoiler Alert: True Story.
We sometimes refer to Shoshana as the impossible love child of Etta James + Lisa Jackson + Jane Fonda, because this amazing powerhouse somehow finds the time to be a bluesy songstress + an inspiring writer + a fitness fanatic—all while simultaneously juggling life, kids and all those Disney trips (see above).
Okay, so she’s actually the love child of Butch and Dina of Memphis, who cranked up Elvis, Peter, Paul & Mary, Otis Redding and the like on the record player in their home when Shoshana was a wee tot. She remembers parties where the men sported mutton chop sideburns and stood at the bar making gimlets while ladies fussed over harvest gold-colored fondue pots. Her parents had a legendary reputation for upping the dinner party game in the neighborhood—introducing exotic international foods to the block, like falafel and shwarma pita. This was way before Food Network, people. Shoshana’s parents were Food Network in the ‘70s-‘80s. Shoshana is the only member of the Thinkwell team who once trained for the Olympics. As a young girl, she hit the mat as a competitive gymnast for 12 years straight. She had no idea at the time that it was also great preparation for a career in marketing communications. Both require extreme discipline, endurance and courage. Shoshana has been fearless—on the uneven bars and behind a laptop.
Shoshana is the kind of writer who can just open her brilliant mind, and perfect thoughts pop out and land on paper. So it’s no wonder she was part of a stellar team that was nominated for an Emmy when she was a TV news writer and producer in D.C. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly develop a writing crush on her. As our content writer, Shoshana knows what it takes to understand your message and find a voice that makes you look good. You’ll fall in love with everything about her writing. You can blame Indiana University, her alma mater, for your writing crush.
Shoshana joyfully exhausts herself by being the best playmate to her three children anyone could ever dream up. She crawls, chases, hides and climbs after twin boys and a daughter (who thinks she's the triplet!) every day—sometimes in three-inch heels and a dress. Shoshana’s fam, which happily resides in her hometown of Memphis, also has two dogs: Dreidel is a mini poodle and Memphis is a black lab mix. Side note: Her last name Cenker means Tavern Keeper in Yiddish—another first for Thinkwell. We’ll drink to that!
Graphic Designer & Fanatical Fontificator
Can often be found:
Chasing the good life, the kind you find at her fave vacation spot in Treasure Cay, Bahamas—where cars are not allowed, freshly baked cinnamon rolls are mandatory and it’s against the law not to notice breathtaking sunsets.
Will never be found:
Using big, ugly, honking fonts
You know that girl, the one that can totally get away with top-of-her-lungs, one-note off, windows-down car singing? That’s Stacey. Stacey is passionate about living large. By day, she designs the crud out of marketing materials, answers emails, creates goodness in the kitchen, kisses boo boos, designs the crud out of some more marketing materials, runs a load of laundry, homeschools, answers some more emails, and brings a breath of fresh design to anything that crosses her desk. By night, she takes a little nap so she can do it all over again.
Even though she was born in the Deep South, Stacey was raised in different cities along the eastern seaboard. Her parents ran a loving but strict household, encouraging Stacey to take her education seriously in hopes that she would one day become a doctor or scientist, maybe even Nobel Prize winner. Well, that backfired. Instead, Stacey went off to college and switched career paths three times while her parents pulled their hair out. On graduation day, Stacey was a Fine Arts major holding a diploma in Graphic Design. She really wanted to take a gap year, but it wasn’t en vogue back then, plus her parents didn’t have any more hair to pull out, so instead she plunged head-first into a job with an advertising agency in Memphis.
Stacey’s work has stopping power. It gets noticed. That’s because she believes that even the smallest project, like, say, a matchbox cover, deserves mega stylish design. Her philosophy is so strong that Stacey eventually left the ad agency world and was tapped to teach design for the University of Memphis and a private college prep school. Now she’s back doing her favorite thing: visually communicating the story of a business. What story can Stacey help you tell?
Stacey is married to JD (another talented graphic designer). They are often asked to join forces on projects, but without question their most impressive collaborations to-date are daughter Garner and son Graham. When she’s not working or raising her family, Stacey attempts to power through the growing pile of yet-to-be-read books on her bedside table. But let’s be honest, she usually says to heck with the books and starts a dance party with her entire family in the kitchen instead. Sometimes guacamole is involved, sometimes bacon. Sometimes both.
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