We had the good fortune of connecting with Liese Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liese, why did you pursue a creative career?
I believe a creative career chooses you. I have always been led by my passions. Although that word might be overused today it’s the best one I can think of to describe what inspired me to what I do now — help brands with their marketing for the past two decades.
During my college years, I explored my passions for journalism, photography, film and art. All these fields of study kept me looking at the world differently and honing my love for storytelling. For instance, when it comes to developing your own photos there is nothing more fascinating than watching the image emerge out of nothing.
Today, my clients call me their brand therapist and the title has stuck. I use all my creative talents – writing, visual storytelling, content creation and interviewing skills – to help my clients tell their stories using marketing and social media strategy. Through all this, my clients will build valuable relationships with their clients new and old. It’s an extremely satisfying way to use my creative skills to help foster small businesses in Los Angeles and beyond.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My journalism background makes me a unique brand strategist because it helps me pinpoint a brand’s story, and how to tell it, so it will connect with valuable customers. Often, I find small business owners take their own story for granted, so it’s helpful to hire a strategist with a fresh perspective. Perhaps that’s why my services have been dubbed “brand therapy.” I listen to my client’s goals and apply my strategies to help them be even more successful. I don’t view myself as a business. I am here every day to listen, help, contribute, support and create value for my clients.
I attribute most of my success in life to my curiosity. There is a saying I live by – to be interesting, be interested. There is an art to telling stories, brand messaging and selling things, and it is the art of subtlety which is often lost in the way we do business these days. I embrace this subtlety to help brands build a long-lasting legacy.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The best place for the LA experience is The Getty off the 405. There is a little walkway in between two buildings that I love to go to. As you walk down it, you seem to walk into the sky and to me it’s the most LA experience because under the sky is the freeway and it all just spreads out before you if it’s a clear. Plus, the restaurant, which is just called The Restaurant, is amazing. The all-glass walls really take advantage of the fact that the Getty is in the heart the iconic Santa Monica mountains.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
They say that when we are ready the right teacher comes along, and I’ve found this to be true. I would like to shoutout to my first mentor, my publisher at Special Events magazine, Carol McKibben. She took a chance on me right out of college and hired me as editor of the magazine. We stay in touch to this day, and she continues to inspire me as she has evolved into a successful novel writer.
Warning! My next shoutout might sound super “L.A.” but I learned so much from my yoga teacher, Seane Corn. I began taking her classes at Yogaworks at a vulnerable time in my life. She taught me to find inner strength through difficult poses. Mind you, this was pre-hot yoga, and I’ve never sweated more than in one of Seane’s classes! Through the poses I learned to be non-reactive to uncomfortable situations and dive deep into myself for strength. It’s helped me to continually keep growing. Growth is not always comfortable but it’s necessary to becoming a successful, creative entrepreneur.
At present, I’m learning virtually from Chris Do, founder of The Futur. I stumbled across him on Youtube many years ago. At the time, he was a graphic designer but he also talked about life, entrepreneurship and how to be a better person. He has around 800 videos to date, and he has evolved into a true thought leader and educator in the world of business. He also hosts helpful weekly chats on Clubhouse. Everything he says and recommends resonates with me for its wisdom, heart and generosity of spirit.
The main headshot: Bree McCool Photography Speaking about Brand Therapy at Warner Bros.: no photo credit White pants and black shirt: Paige Ray Photo