In 2017, Crate and Barrel fully integrated their kids company (The Land of Nod) into their own brand to create Crate and Kids. As the senior writer at Nod, I was brought over to work alongside the Creative Directors, VP of Creative, and the rest of the Crate teams to develop, launch, and maintain the new brand.
Crate and Kids officially launched in March of 2018, appearing in multiple Crate and Barrel locations across the country.
As the senior copywriter at Crate and Barrel’s kids’ company, my job is to maintain the voice throughout every channel of the brand. My staff and I handle everything including catalog copy, marketing emails, product titles, web content, radio scripts, and more. As a toy collector and a kid-at-heart, I feel very much at home with Nod’s offbeat voice, quirky style, and affinity for all things vintage. These are a few marketing emails, catalog spreads, and web assets I wrote.
When Jellyvision (now Jackbox Games) rebooted their flagship trivia game, You Don’t Jack, I knew I needed to be involved. I was a fan of the franchise in the 90s, and loved the game’s irreverent nature and edgy humor. Along with two other lead writers, I worked on the game for six months from start to finish, writing questions, scripts and game interludes. We even provided voiceover work. The game was a huge success, being well received by critics and fans. It was also the only time I ever got to use the word “barf” in a professional setting.
Below are some of the questions I wrote for the game. (Answers are in the bottom right corners.)
Death by Toys
I run an online action figure boutique that specializes in handmade art toys and small runs of licensed collectibles. Focusing on cult films and retro horror, the whole thing is literally a one-man operation. I handle everything from designing products to crafting each piece to maintaining the website to shipping out every order.
Vook.com specialized in creating compelling eBooks that incorporate video, sound and animation. When they asked me to write them a guide about collecting Star Wars toys, I was incapable of saying no. Vook has since rebranded as a self-publishing platform, but the Vook guides were an interesting platform that people seemed to love. I knew collecting all those action figures would eventually pay off.
The Decal Lab
When this California-based décor company wanted to spice up their brand experience with humor, the three owners sought me out online and asked me to provide new names/copy. Using a combination of offbeat humor, unique product titles, and SEO phrases to maximize search volume, I worked remotely over the course of a few months to add some flavor to the Decal Lab’s brand.
Publications International Ltd.
Author - “Jokes for Seniors” Book Series
When PIL Publishing put out a call for humor writers to take on a series of joke books, I was intrigued. After seeing that the books were aimed at the 55 and older crowd, I almost didn’t apply since I was half the age of the target demographic. So I listened to a little Henny Youngman, Bob Newhart, Rodney Dangerfield, and a few other old-school comedians to get a feel for the voice, and put some sample jokes together. I was hired with one other author to write four books back to back to back to back. It was a really fun project and a great exercise in writing for an unfamiliar voice.
Back when I was writing and performing comedy, I frequently contributed to RE:COM, a Chicago-based magazine focusing on the national standup scene. The magazine blended useful articles for aspiring comedians, as well as nonsensical articles. The attached clip is an absurd humor piece I wrote that was disguised as an actual helpful article.
For about 3 years, I ran a website with one simple (and absurd) premise: Consumer products being reviewed by cats. I used my own cat Holly as the model and wrote nonsensical “reviews” of everything from keyboards to chairs to water.
At its peak, the site brought in hundreds of readers every day and had developed a decent following. After Holly died, I retired the project and gave up the domain. It’s still hidden on the internet as a tribute to her.
When my first kid was born, my brother recorded a lullaby album full of Nintendo game music we loved as kids. I enjoyed it more than my son, and we uploaded the tracks to SoundCloud to share.
After the tracks started getting thousands of plays per day, we scaled up the operation. My brother recorded some more, and I came up with a name, created a website, and designed the artwork for each album.
Now, every album is fully licensed by Nintendo through Loudr.fm, and the albums have been featured on DNAinfo, Polygon, and more.