I’m spoiled.

I spent the first 17 years of my career writing copy and steering the design for promotions aimed at creatives—artists, writers, designers and other right-brainers. Work that, much of the time, felt like play.

So when I left my job as promotion manager for HOW and Print magazines (and I.D., God rest its soul) to open a solo practice, I resisted the advice of friends who suggested I pursue burgeoning markets such as technology or health care. How could I go from creating campaigns for a graphic design conference to writing about silicon transistors or surgical instruments? Too big a leap.

And too steep a decline on the fun meter.

For example, in the line of duty, I have … carried a mannequin around the city of San Francisco for a two-day photo shoot … sat in on a meeting with Starbucks store designers at their headquarters in Seattle … collected coasters, matchbooks and other brand paraphernalia at hotels up and down the Vegas strip … tested, tasted and published my mother’s peach cobbler recipe … explored the retail districts of four major cities, looking for standout store design and visual merchandising … named a book and a magazine … written descriptions for conference sessions titled “Design = Fart” and “TOAST: How to Make Burnout Delicious” … and corresponded by mail with John Grisham. I even got a kiss on the cheek from Karim Rashid.

Plus, writing for creatives means I get to use words like stratospheric, inspirative and la-la land. When I invent new words like “shop-seeing” or “elegantize,” my clients don’t bat an eye. And I never have to explain why it’s okay to use incomplete sentences in copywriting. Like this one.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you.

If you were looking for a bio on this page, here’s the abbreviated version:

  • Born and raised in Northeast Mississippi.
  • Always loved magazines and plants/gardens.
  • Studied with Dr. Samir Husni (a.k.a. Mr. Magazine) at Ole Miss.
  • Internship at F+W Publications, now F+W Media.
  • Bachelor of Science in Journalism & Advertising.
  • Moved to Cincinnati for copywriter position in F+W’s Magazine Division.
  • F+W acquired HOW magazine, I became its promotion manager.
  • Figured out why I love magazines: design. And typography.
  • Created campaigns for several HOW Design Conferences.
  • Staffed the conferences, too, and left totally inspired.
  • Went back to school part-time at age 30 to study graphic design.
  • F+W acquired Horticulture magazine, I became its promotion manager.
  • Design + gardening: subject matter euphoria.
  • Managing instead of creating: euphoria killer.
  • Left to fly solo as Phraseology Creative Services.
  • Fun projects + great clients: all-around euphoria.
  • Discovered no one can spell or type P-h-r-a-s-e-o-l-o-g-y.
  • Too many other “ology” business names in the marketplace.
  • Re-branded as Betsy Smith Worldwide.
  • Working happily ever after.