by Scout Finch
"I've pulled out of my head every word that I can think of to use, and then I've applied it to something like Egyptian cotton sheets."
Laura is a copywriter living in San Francisco. I sat down with her to learn about what it's like to write the captions in catalogs for companies like Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and The Nature Company. I found out that the old cliché about writers doing almost anything to get out of actually writing is based, at least for some, in truth.
You're from New Jersey.
LC: I'm from New Jersey. I came out [to San Francisco] in 1989, a couple of months before the [Loma Prieta] earthquake. I didn't come straight here from Jersey, though. I spent eight years in Boston. School and work.
LC: Boston University. I did a dual degree program. I have a BA in English Lit and a BS in Journalism.
But then you decided to move to San Francisco, just in time for the big earthquake.
LC: I was here for that, in the South Bay, so I was nice and close. It was my first earthquake, so I didn't know anything about 'duck and cover.' I didn't know that it shouldn't be fun. Pete called and I said, "What a rush!" And he said, "You are so sick." You know, it was really fun for me, until I started watching the police reports and saw that people had been killed and. and then the aftershocks were actually really traumatic.
Let's talk about your work. You work as a freelance writer and you write catalogs.
LC: That's part of what I do. I consider myself a freelance copywriter. I write catalogs, I write websites, brochures, some advertising. I name companies; I name products and brands. I do marketing consulting and very occasionally, I do voice work.
Oh really? I didn't know that.
LC: That's kind of, you know, only by special request.
And you function as a corporate identity, right?
LC: I'm an actual corporation. I work under my own name, but I am a corporation, called Little Horses, Inc. It's more than just having a business license. I have a corporate account, I have payroll, and I put myself on a payroll.
How long ago did you create the company identity?
LC: Three years. My accountant said, "let's make you a corporation." Because if I were just doing it all in straight income tax, I'd have to pay 51% income tax. So I get corporate tax rates. I only pay personal tax rates on whatever I take as salary.
How did you start doing what you're doing? You don't just sit down and go, "OK, I'm going to write catalogs now."
LC: I studied Journalism in college and got a degree and went into that after [school]. And quickly found out that I couldn't live on $16,000 a year. And I didn't want to write Obits and I didn't have a soul for news, so I said, screw that. And when I moved out to California, I wanted to be a carpenter, but I don't drive, and you can't be a carpenter if you don't drive. So I saw an ad in the San Jose Mercury that GAP was looking for a copywriter and what they wanted was someone to write a monthly magazine.
L: Always have wanted to be a carpenter. I love working with my hands, I love the smell of wood when it's being drilled and sawed. I love making things and I would like to learn to do really fine finish work.
in the junk drawer:
in the junk drawer:
·feature· ·net worth· ·ac/dc· ·smoking jacket· ·field recordings· ·feed hollywood· ·target audience· ·decomposing· ·compulsion· ·posedown· ·the biswick files· ·mystery date· ·and such and such· ·blab· ·kissing booth·
·contents· ·freakshow· ·fan club· ·archive·
copyright © 1996 - 2000 fearless media