They challenge me to make sense of the world, which is how my first children's book transpired, Sun, Moon & Friends.
I was born and raised in Rockwall, the smallest county in Texas, which is why I have an affinity for my current hometown, Coppell. There's something sweet about a small town hugged by big neighbors.
In my free time, I enjoy playing piano, traveling and volunteering for the Assistance League of Coppell.
My first year of college was an eye-opening one. I had every intention of studying anatomy and physical therapy, but my English professor encouraged me to pursue writing. After one journalism class, I knew I wanted to be a creative writer at a magazine. I interned at Texas Monthly shadowing the art director and learning the ins & outs of magazine writing, photography and design. It was the perfect scenario because at the same time, I was designing my honors thesis, a magazine for college students called Aspire.
My master's in journalism, bachelor's in mass communication & minor in fashion merchandising have carried me on a journey from the media to the nonprofit sector to retail. Now, as a Creative Copywriter for JCPenney, I contribute copy to jcp.com, emails, text messages, social media channels and store signs. I love playing with words and finding that lightbulb moment that inspires customer engagement.
Prior to working at JCPenney, I was a copywriter for Tandem Theory and their client Sally Beauty. I wrote headlines and product copy for emails, videos and store fliers, pushing the latest trends in haircare & skincare. I also organized a style guide for Sally Beauty's 400+ brands to ensure consistent communication.
I landed my dream job when I became the Managing Editor at Plano Profile, a lifestyle magazine that reached 160,000 loyal readers in Collin County. Prior to taking the helm, I was the Assistant Editor, covering community events & learning HTML to manage the company's website. I interviewed more than 100 nonprofit leaders, 60+ published authors and a number of local and national celebrities: Olympic gold medalist Nastia Liukin; Emmy award-winning Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus; and philanthropist Pat Smith, former wife of NFL star Emmitt Smith, to name a few. I worked with a dynamic team to publish a well-respected community publication, which has since reinvented itself as Local Profile.
My life changed in 2012 when I became the Director of Communications for Every Orphan's Hope, a ministry that builds homes for orphans and widows in Africa. One widow becomes a "mama" to nine orphans and together, they form a family. I traveled to Zambia to learn about their stories of overcoming poverty and finding strength in God. It was an incredibly humbling experience to be immersed in a culture where community is everything. I photographed their beautiful smiles and recorded them saying "hello" so that I could design audio greeting cards for their sponsors in the U.S. The audio cards were a reminder to sponsors that their monthly investment was far more than a monetary transaction.
Before Every Orphan's Hope, I briefly took a position at Hilton Worldwide as a Content Editor. I wrote copy and edited photos for Hilton's elite family of brands. Mostly, I worked on Hampton Inn, Hilton's largest brand with 2,000 hotels worldwide.
I truly love both digital and print media. From 2009–2017, I was a freelancer, and eventually Managing Editor, for Richardson Living, another local lifestyle magazine where I worked under the pseudonym Joy Rhodes. I have worked with several clients as a freelance writer or graphic designer, including Pizzeria Testa, Sci-Tech Discovery Center and Destination Imagination.
I am passionate about storytelling through words, design and photography.