Hello, friends and new readers! 👋
WOW – what an exciting day! I’m stoked to finally launch my new site and YouTube channel today, and finally hit the ground running under the name of my new re-vamped business, Brandstorming Guru. For readers who might not know me, let’s begin with a bit of background about who I am and why Brandstorming Guru came to be.
My name’s Sam, and I’m a Phoenician (AKA someone who lives in Phoenix, Arizona and enjoys masochistically submitting herself to the 115°F summers). I’m also a brand strategist and designer (AKA someone who helps innovate brand identities and brand strategies for individuals or businesses,and enjoys masochistically submitting herself to the creative process). In my spare time, I usually end up forgoing a normal social life, instead spending it systematically destroying my hands and feet through a proprietary blend of salsa dancing, rock climbing, hiking, and skiing.
Oh, and as of today, I’m also the founder of Brandstorming Guru! (*pops champagne*)
If you haven’t read the origin story yet, I’ll go ahead and plop it right here. (It’s found on the homepage of this website.)
I was inspired to create Brandstorming Guru after Taimy and Joan, two brilliant dancers and friends of mine, asked me for help.
When I first met Taimy and Joan, I was totally blown away by their talent, work ethic, and creative genius. After immigrating to the US from Cuba just a year prior, they were working insanely hard to build something for themselves here in Phoenix. The pair approached me and asked if I could help them setup an online presence. They realized it was something they needed to succeed in the US, but had no idea where to start. I wound up building them a website and setting them up on social media with a cohesive brand. Taimy and Joan now market themselves as Sentidos Dance and have since moved to New York City!
I only did this small amount of work for Taimy and Joan, but the experience left a huge impact on me. It really affected me to see such a clear example of a pattern that I've since observed on countless occasions: artists, creatives, and thinkers with potentially world-changing ideas and massive amounts of talent are held back from their true potential for impact because they often don't have the right resources to develop a strategy that will allow them to be seen, heard, and PAID! Frankly, I think it's B.S. that people who know how to gain influence using highly effective branding, business strategy, social media and digital strategy are out there impacting the world (potentially for the worse) while there's a huge community of artists and creative thinkers like Taimy & Joan sitting in relative obscurity right under our noses without any of that.
I was pretty pissed about this, so I created Brandstorming Guru – and now I’m pursuing strategic branding and design work full-time. My end goal is to help creative makers, thinkers, and performers like you be seen and be sustainable so they can continue to create, make the biggest impact possible, and be empowered to change their world and THE world.
And so here we are! I’m absolutely thrilled to kick this thing off with the release of my first mini-series on YouTube, Designer’s Mind. A massive shout-out to my videographer and editor, Patrick (you rock!) and to ASU design professor Dean Bacalzo, my first guinea pig (whoops...guest). In this mini-series, Dean and I get down into the meat of why personal branding is essential, discuss how to think like a designer, and hypothesize about what it would look like if we cracked open his brain.
I can’t wait to keep rolling on producing more Brandstorming-related content for the new YouTube channel, as well as on this blog. I’ll also be cross-posting all my blog posts to Medium – find my profile here if you prefer to read over there.
But for me, the most exciting part of this launch is that starting in January, I’ll be able to pursue my consulting work full time. For those who don’t know, I’m graduating from Arizona State University in December with my master’s degree in Creative Enterprise and Cultural Leadership. After taking a nice break to hit the AZ ski slopes (yes, they exist!) and dance my butt off at Reno Latin Dance Fest, I’ll be setting in full steam ahead. If you or someone you know needs help with their brand strategy and/or website, you can reach out to me here. I’ve already started taking clients for January 2019, so hit me up now if you don’t want to stand in line! I work with all kinds of creative thinkers, makers, and performers including dancers, researchers, social activists, theatre directors, choreographers, authors, non-profit founders, and even nutritionists.
Basically, if you’re doing something cool and putting your stamp on this world, I want to work with you to help make that process more effective, efficient, and sustainable!
Here’s to the start of a new adventure and the crazy, twisty road ahead! 🥂
Founder, Brandstorming Guru
Thank you to everyone who helped me as I developed Brandstorming Guru.
Stephen Shugert, my amazing husband, for everything, for believing in me and being the world’s best support system!
David Olarte, for changing my life multiple times over and making me laugh while you did it
Taimy Miranda & Joan Rodriguez, for being my muses
Johanna Taylor, Linda Essig, and Wil Heywood, for your insight and support
Patrick Askins, for your mad camera skillz and generosity
Dean Bacalzo,for being my guinea pig (AKA first guest)
Edie Williams, for pushing me to start a YouTube channel
Nicolas Tapia, Elijah James, Deenie Tusalem, Pedro Gonzalez, Julie Roman, and Rob Grisko, for your insight and support