What do you get when you place four very different individuals – each with their own passionate perspectives and multi-faceted talents – into one room? Our team.
Together we have a collective sense of energy and magic that is difficult to describe.
It must be felt.
If we were a band, Co-Founder Justin Foster would be on vocals for his giftedness of the spoken word and ability to captivate a crowd with the wisdom he shares. On bass, Co-Founder Emily Soccorsy sets the rhythmic tone for the team with her ability to transform words and ideas into art and masterful writing. Chief of Staff Cat Weise no doubt is rocking the drums, elevating the vocals and drums to amplify bigger and bolder than they could ever do alone. And Chief of Story Jennifer Lawhead is on the guitar, bringing harmonic tempo and soul to the music they were all making.
The music we make together as a branding foursome is original, soulful and authentic.
Justin’s a gentleman so he’s letting my bio come first. Despite the way he acts sometimes (super direct, enthusiastically puppyish, and intimidatingly quick and smart-assy) he is truly a gentleman.
He is the definition of a self-made man. He’s done every sales, marketing and branding job in the book and worked with a compelling variety of clients. And gotten real live results. I’m still surprised by the number of times he says, “Yes, I’ve worked with the___fill-in-the-esoteric-industry___before.”
But experience doesn’t a branding genius make.
An incredible mind paired with an intuitive heart mixed with a daring spirit does. And he has those. Every time we work with a client he brings his gifts blindingly to bear for them — even if he has a migraine, even if he’s tired, even if he did the same thing the day before.
In each instance, I’m impressed. So I know you will be too. Because I have ridiculously high standards. And so does he. That’s why we’re partners — because we deliver our obsession with our stratospheric standards to you, our client.
Other things about him he’ll tell you: everything about himself, everything about the NFL, everything about music. So…that. You’ve been warned.
Emily’s an independent woman, that’s why she insisted on having her bio first. But I’m fine with that because I’m a gentleman.
I love to tell the story about how we met. She hired me as a brand consultant, brought me in, watched me work, then at the end proceeded to tell me what I needed to do differently. And then emailed me a list to be sure her “notes” were clear. Damn.
That’s when I gave her the nickname Gold Star Girl (GSG).
I’ve never met another human with such high expectations of herself, of her work, and of the experience and results her clients receive.
I persistently avoid marketing people, but she’s the smartest marketer I’ve ever met. Not because she’s a fantastic writer (she is) or a brilliant tactician (true) or a savvy strategist (heck yes) but because of her intentionality and care for our clients and her ability to bring together art and science in each engagement.
She has the soul of a writer and artist, the heart of a lion, the bad-assedness of a person committed to continually improving her craft. The only other person I know like that is, well, me.
Chief of Story
Someone as smart as Jennifer shouldn’t also be that kind. And wise. It’s not fair to the rest of us. And certainly not fair to our competition.
But oh, well.
Since the she-must-have-been-crazy-to-agree moment Jennifer began working along with us, she has brought her unique blend of intense calm, deep insight and staggering productivity as her hallmark.
Earlier on, one of our clients begged us to add her to the website, because she was just such an incredible talent he felt that light must be immediately and definitively shared with the world. Jennifer calms us, organizes our thoughts and — most importantly — provides the sage coaching, project alignment and execution and precise responses our clients depend on.
As our chief of story, Jen is vigilant in spotting stories within the humans and brands we serve. In her careful, creative and constructive way, she coaches and collaborates with our clients, keeping the strings of their stories tuned, the percussion beat on temp and the modern brand story humming along. All with a smile.
As if that were not enough — she’s also a phenomenal content coach, copywriter, social media trainer and likely would gladly teach you how to change the oil in your car, should that be required.
We (Justin + Emily) blow sh*t up, and then Jen lovingly puts our clients back together in the most fundamentally sound and fantastic way possible. And when we say “possible,” we mean she’s researched and tried every single alternative out there before coming to her decision on how best to proceed for that individual client.
Her goodness is only exceeded by her intelligence and wit — making her a perfect Chief of Story.
Alas, she is human, (as far as we have been able to determine) and as part of our Root + River tribe, comes with her excellent share of quirk. These include a penchant for blasting rap on her car stereo, an undeniable addiction to Starbucks, and a tendency to unintentionally call people out for being ridiculous.
Chief of Staff
Cat gets it. Just intuitively, without flowery explanation. She is genuine grace and snappy generosity. She’s calm, cool water. She sees you, and then she sees through you.
But do not misconstrue.
She is mostly fire. Sparking, burning and building up a smokestack in her passion.
Her gifts are abundant: insight, intuition, attention to detail, keeper of space, unrelenting supporter, rigorous organizer, fanner of flames – all manifested in her role as our Chief of Staff. She protects us from us, making sure our time is spent living, breathing and being what we are best at – helping brands become. The space she creates allows us to perform in ways that are not possible on our own. She keeps us from becoming the log instead of the fire. And our clients, team members and random strangers all benefit from the peace she brings.
Her talents are varied: award-winning educator, community advocate, creative alchemist, fierce friend, fantastic parent, dog whisperer, to name just a polka-dot few.
Most of all: She believes people who are giving to others need someone to give to them. And we are oh, so, very grateful for this belief of hers.
And here are her cappers: she can hang with the roughest and tumblest crew in the world, she once lived out in the woods and she bakes the best Black Russian bundt cake ever mouthwateringly tasted. And in a Best Laugh in the World contest, she would win hands-down.
It takes a talented tribe to build and amplify a brand. Rather than a traditional agency, our studio approach is to bring together intentional, graceful and excellent individuals in each area of expertise, to create custom teams for you, our client. This Root + River tribe provides inspired design, content development, research and execution under our creative and strategic guidance.
WE PARTNER WITH PROFESSIONAL:
Photographers & videographers
SEO & digital advertising
PR / media relations
CRM & marketing platforms
Content writers & editors
Social media management
Customer experience design
Merchandise / promo items