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about

about me

“Language is the only homeland.”
…at least according to poet and exile Czeslaw Milosz. As a writer and brand storyteller, I believe this. Images convey plenty, but when it’s important - in politics and romance, business relationships and ordering take-out - you have to use your words. The right language is a big deal and my clients and friends know that I take it seriously, whether it’s in a note card or writing all of the copy and messaging for a brand.

I love to travel and again and again, language is what fills my dreams about a place, my journals and what helps me convey gratitude and my understanding of a place. If you wander and write, somehow you metabolize so much more with words. That’s true for me.

Wandering in Isle of Skye.

Wandering in Isle of Skye.

VAL LEEPER

I've been in marketing and communications for nearly 20 years, but I've been listening to dialogue, memorizing lyrics and poems, movie lines and advertising my entire life. I love all of it - even the stuff I'm not a fan of, if you know what I mean. Storytelling is a central part of my daily happiness.

My grandparents were AMAZING chats and listening to them - and to everyone around me - is how I learned how to curate the great stories from those anecdotes that conveyed, "I'm basically just waiting for the waiter to bring the bread."

I've worked in nearly every aspect of marketing and advertising - from researching an industry to tracking a project's ROI. Most of my work focuses on developing a brand and messaging to targets with strong storytelling. I also build sleek (and successful) websites, create promotional campaigns, buy traditional media, deploy relevant content to social media, plan events, write press releases and blogs, help raise money and over-encourage my clients.

It's the writing and branding that I love most, because that's where all of the storytelling happens. I can find the audience for your product, service, cause or project, create the right message, send it through the right channels and see your business grow and succeed.

My approach is both collaborative and solitary. All of my clients go through a branding Q&A and process and I listen closely to the answers. I love my clients and there is plenty of back and forth as we work through a project. When it's time to originate or execute an idea though, I like to walk my dog, turn on music and muse.

Inspiration is everywhere and is often infused into my clients' projects. I look to film, books, TV, magazines, conversations with friends, scheduled downtime to be quiet at the Abbey of Gethsemani or out wandering alone.

Mostly I love words. I have a B.A. and M.A. in Literature and while I'm tired of advertisers frothing at the mouth about clever "juxtapositions" I do love incongruity. There's something about contrasts in advertising - and in memes and artistry and movies - that is fun(ny) and extremely effective.