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Meet Rachel Andersson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Andersson.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My career path is a little… non-linear. I grew up on the east coast and thought I’d become a writer (not a novelist or an academic, though – I’m pretty sure my dream was to write for a fashion magazine). I moved to California for college, studied sociology and English, made clothes that I sold online, and decided to take a post-grad course at FIDM in fashion, design and marketing.

Even at my first jobs, which were supposedly about fashion, I ended up being the one who wrote everything that needed writing. Product descriptions, “blogs” (a.k.a. MySpace posts), and even editing business plans were all my domain. I also ended up with the “marketing” projects: competitor analyses, social media content, and basically everything other than actual fashion design.

I finally took the hint and moved into account management at marketing agencies. I eventually managed social media for brands, produced concerts for Pandora and events for NBC, and did a little of everything at a tiny startup on Melrose Place that ended up becoming Violet Grey. I consulted for food & beverage companies (Pepsi! Whiskey! Pretzels! Fritos!), started an agency, and helped launch multiple wellness brands. Along the way, even though I was an Event Producer or Marketing Strategist in name, I was always the writer behind all of the communications for every client I worked with.

It was world-building: researching, designing, and wordsmithing to let brands speak authentically to their consumers. As a consultant, I still help brands express themselves – on paper and in real life.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh my gosh, has anyone in any career ever had a smooth road? There have definitely been surprisingly tough moments – most recently, when the parent company we sold our little agency to had a sort of leadership implosion and I had to take on the role of CMO of a global business, yikes – but, corny as it is, the tough times teach you the most. I know so much more about leadership, plus the nuts and bolts of marketing platforms I’d never used before, thanks to that company.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I specialize in copywriting & editing, especially for new brands or for companies looking to refresh their brand voice and identity for modern audiences. Most founders and brand teams don’t realize how much writing will end up being needed for their business or product: websites, social channels, sales materials, consumer education, press releases… it adds up. I help develop a brand voice – like a style guide for language – and compose or edit everything brands need to communicate effectively with their customers and investors.

Because of my years working in event production, I also work really well with designers and production teams, so I often end up helping with websites and project management since I speak all the design languages well enough to ensure everything will turn out the way the brand team is imagining it.

What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was a real stereotype of the kid who lived in the library, asked my parents to quiz me on hard spelling words for fun, and spent hours organizing my dollhouse (world-building, right?). I always loved clothes, and my friends and I used to design entire collections – complete with brand names, taglines and logos. Being a nerd is probably what made me so interested in what creates coolness; it depends on where you are and whom you ask, so the answer is always changing.

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