Member of the week: P.Richelle White, copywriter etc.

Nov 7, 2007

Based in St. Louis, MO, P.Richelle White has a multi-facted career as a freelancer. She's a copywriter, producer and creative consultant, and, interestingly, she made the leap to freelancing in order to "work green." P.Richelle specializes in the home and lifestyle categories, and her writing is focused on areas such as home furnishings, food, and pets. To promote her work, she uses demo reels on YouTube. Learn more about P.Richelle in her Freelancers Yellow Pages profile or at Creative Hotlist, where she keeps an online resume and portfolio. Our Q&A with P.Richelle continues below.

P.Richelle White

What has been your most exciting project? My most interesting project as a freelancer is actually one where the client is a company I co-own. Sounds strange, I know. I'm part-owner of a small "green" business, and I was tasked to name the company, develop a brand identity, build and write a web site, write a brochure, create promotional items and packaging... all of the things I typically do for clients but this time I was one of the clients. It's a lot different when you're the one writing the checks for all the elaborate printing, paper and folds you've dreamed up for a project! The experience has helped me to better accept my freelance clients' budgetary limitations and made me more adept at finding creative ways to make every dollar work. You can see some of that work at Why did you decide to go freelance? The decision to go freelance was the best career move I've made in a long, long time. I was working for a global corporation that does not practice sustainability and whose global business practices are not in sync with my own sensibilities. I loved the work I did there! But I struggled to make peace with my own -- and my family's and friends' -- perception of the global brand. I interviewed with some non-profits and learned I could not afford to be a full-time "do gooder," as appealing at that sounded. So I took the leap and left my job, committed to doing only work for brands I believed in and for companies I could feel good about at the end of the day. I quickly learned that there is no shortage of work for people who are passionate about what they do. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance? My advice to someone who is considering going freelance is to squirrel away some money first and hang onto your COBRA benefits as long as you can. It takes the pressure off those first couple of months when you have a financial cushion to rest on while you're finding your way. Decide how you will brand yourself and how you will market your services to differentiate from others who are out there competing for the same accounts. If you don't know how to do that, find a good creative consultant who can help you figure that out. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live? My favorite spot in St. Louis is Forest Park. Before I moved here, I never knew that St. Louis had such an amazing green space right in the middle of the city. It's an urban oasis! It hosts the St. Louis Zoo, art museum, history museum, a golf course, incredible paths and trails, and just gorgeous waters and woods. What is your inspiration? I'm inspired by good people. People who believe in something and make their entire lives about something... something that is outside of themselves. Those are the people I want as clients, as vendors, as colleagues, as friends.