Don't give life to dead things. It takes too much energy to focus on people and things who do not add value to your life...
For as long as she can remeber, Farley Creative founder, Michelle Farley, has had a passion for writing. As a child, she recalls writing poems and short stories - even creating original commercials and advertisements for non-existent products (pretty remarkable!). By the time she reached college, Michelle would become the first African-American Editor-In-Chief of ‘The Cauldron,' a student-operated newspaper at Cleveland State University.
With a growing list of clients, Michelle has combined her passion with a masters in creative writing to launch her dream career. In the field of advertising - where black female creatives are far and few between (the agency world still stuggles when it comes to hiring, retaining and promoting minorities) - Michelle has carved out quite the impressive niche. We were thrilled to talk wth her about her career journey, how she balances family life and entrepreneurship, and the responsibility we have to empower our girls. Check out her interview below.
Dream Career: Professional Copywriter
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Words of Wisdom: "What would I tell my younger self? I would tell her that things I concerned myself about won't matter. To take risks and be unapologetic about her awesomeness. I would also tell her to use her voice and come out of the shadow. She has a place in the world and no one has the right to take it from her..."
What advice would you share with girls looking to mirror your career path? What courses should they (both high school and college students) take in preparation for a career as a professional copywriter?
In high school, I would suggest taking elective courses like graphic design, photography, media writing, etc. But before doing so make sure you do a quick audit of your classes to make sure you have the five academic solids covered. Try to take advanced placement classes; especially English courses. In college, you can decide to major in communications with a specialization or design a major that meets all of your interests. Internships will help you find your niche.
Speaking of girls, how can we as women empower our girls to celebrate, love and honor themselves?
I think we have to volunteer our time and resources to mentor girls. It doesn't have to be through and organization. I believe we all know girls in our neighborhoods, churches, a family friend who just needs a little bit of motivation and encouragement. It only takes a small gesture to show them there is beauty in their differences and that their destiny is bigger than their circumstances.
What's the thing that brings you the most joy?
My family. As a kid, I remember praying that one day I would have a family and live in a house that was full of laughter, fond memories and happiness.
If you had to give your life story a title, what would it be?
The Art of a Lilly.
Tell us about your company, Farley Creative. What was the inspiration behind its launch?
Farley Creative Co. is a boutique copywriting agency that creates engaging and memorable messages for businesses of all types. These services range from website content and informative blogs to video scripts, elevator pitches, product descriptions and more. In a nutshell, I give a voice to businesses. I started freelancing on project here-and-there. Eventually, people were contacting me through word-of-mouth. I decided that I was going to give entrepreneurship a try and I've been enjoying the ride ever since.
Please describe a day in the life of a copywriter?
No one day is ever the same, and it's not that glamorous. I'm constantly checking my emails and sending proposals throughout the day. Some days I will have back-to-back phone meetings. Other days it's pretty chill, and I spend most of the time writing in my home office. Sometimes writing all day is isolating. That's when I try to change up my scenery by working from a coffee shop or bookstore
As a new mommy, wife, entrepreneur and creative, how do you balance it all?
Honestly, I don't know if I have a handle on balance just yet. I live by my Google Calendar and Project Management software. I try to protect my weekends from work. Usually, if my project load is high, I commit to working a half-day on Saturday, after that I shut down the computer and spend time with my family, run errands and if I'm lucky to get in a trip to Target and a nail salon appointment. My husband, Erik, is super supportive too. We both have demanding careers, but somehow we find time to have adult time even it's only an hour to watch a documentary on Netflix or catch an episode of Shark Tank together.