Hi, I'm Laura.
I grew up on an island in the Chesapeake Bay believing it was entirely normal to take a boat to get to school. Or to the movies. Or to any food source that didn't start with the word "blue" and end with "crab".
When the creek froze in the winter, ice skates replaced the outboard skiff as our method of conveyance and the groceries got piled unceremoniously onto a sled. It wasn't much different than Dr. Zhivago, really, if you replace the furs and fiery romantic intrigue with hot chocolate and missing hockey pucks. In the summer, serving K-Street lobbyists freshly-harvested clams on a silver platter was just how one spent her weekend.
From the moment I was able to piece the letters of my name together in roughly the correct order, I knew I wanted to put more letters in front of it. (And behind it.) A lot more. But even as a kid, it didn't take long to figure out that writing is worthless without context. To write well, I was going to need some tools. Tools that couldn't be easily bought. Tools that had to be earned through experience, through the pursuit of knowledge, and by embracing hard work. Tools that would need sharpening against an unyielding sense of wonder, feverish curiosity, and aching loss . . . the same tools wielded by the literary greats to craft the stories that have defined our very humanity.
Right. No problem-o.
Without really knowing what I was doing, I dove headfirst in front of the oncoming freight train of inertia. I chased every opportunity to learn about anything that had ever spoken to me: diplomacy, finance, travel, technology, art, sports, fast cars...
At the age of seventeen, I bought a one-way ticket to Scotland and spent the next four years learning how to lock my front door. And savor a Guinness to the last drop. And when to surrender to ancient superstitions. And how to find my depth in a crowd of ridiculously bright people with ridiculously impressive accents.
Following graduation from the University of St. Andrews with an M.A. in International Relations, I returned to the States to work for a technical trade association as a writer, editor, and conference coordinator.
I lived. I wrote. I got better with people. I stockpiled tools.
Upon earning a masters in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University and a first-class education in student loan debt repayment, I plunged into the deep end of marketing. Over the next handful of years I managed strategic partnerships and experiential marketing initiatives for major sports properties, consulting agencies, and Fortune 100 companies like BMW of North America.
I kept writing. I kept stockpiling. But something was becoming clear and I had no idea what to do about it.
Regardless of the direction I went, the bottom line always seemed to return to . . . the bottom line. The adventures (and misadventures), jobs, and literary pursuits that I added to my toolkit were business lessons in disguise. The day I was dubbed "the hammer" following the successful negotiation of a multi-million dollar sponsorship agreement, I finally woke up to the realization that good business isn't just something I take seriously, it's a genetic imperative.
I was faced with a new mission: merging my love of writing with the magnetic challenge of running a profitable enterprise.
And here we are.
I'm proud to introduce Stuart Holladay Creative. It's the embodiement of the exciting reality that faces me each day: the process never has to end. The tool kit only gets larger. The writing only gets better. The opportunities to collaborate, to develop, to help someone, to learn from someone . . . never stop coming. I've been writing my whole life and I will keep at it until it's over.
When I'm not writing copy, I'm chasing my next published work: a young adult novel that explores the diminishing spirituality of the millennial generation in the technology age. I have a thing for cars. Motorcycles. Formula One racing. The ceilings of airport terminals as viewed through 2am eyes. Red wine. Half marathons who dream of becoming whole. The Washington Capitals. And Emily Post's Etiquette.
But in the end, it's still the strategy of smart business that makes my heart pound, and getting those letters in the correct order that puts a smile on my face. Writing, it turns out, might just be the sharpest, most versatile tool of all.
Thanks for visiting. Please let me know how I can help.