For this week’s Creatives Who Inspire installment we interviewed Liese Gardner, a marketing and brand strategist who helps entrepreneurs streamline their messaging. We’ve relied on Liese’s extraordinary expertise over the years. She is passionate about the written word and took advantage of the extra time during quarantine. Back in March she challenged herself to write a newsletter each day for 30 days or until the lockdown was over. The essays are a snapshot of quarantine — stories of porch pop-ups, people helping people, pivoting businesses and more. She recently compiled 19 of the essays into a book called The Quarantine Diaries, which is available on her website! Keep reading to find out her favorite local coffee, the quotes she is living by right now and more!
First thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Coffee! I love Urth Caffe Manhattan Mudd. I do the pour-over method. Pre-COVID I would get to the gym by 6, but now, I instead take a moment of gratitude in the garden with my coffee. Then I make a to-do list for the day, as I have every day for a bazillion years it seems. I always highlight the top three things I have to get done and make sure to do them. I have several wonderful clients for whom I initiate and oversee marketing campaigns. Plus, I’m working on a book, and I’m getting two Brand Therapy workshops ready for August. So, there is still a lot on those to-do lists!
What’s your all-time favorite movie?
This is tough as I love a lot of movies. But if I was on a desert island for the rest of my life and was only given five movies I’d love to watch again and again, I would pick five that I already love watching again and again – The African Queen, Moonstruck, Chinatown, Forrest Gump (I just rewatched this the other day and was charmed and surprised by it all over again) and Pulp Fiction.
What’s one thing you love about the event industry?
Tell us about your pet(s).
George, my cat, is a pretty chill little guy. He’s a chatty little friend, and the best is when he kneads my tummy and purrs and drools. It makes me happy that it takes so little to make him happy!
What does your day-to-day look like right now?
After coffee, gratitude and an online work out, my workday begins. Top categories that I touch on each day: create and manage my online courses (sales and marketing workshops and a new copywriting course for August), work with my clients to amplify and clarify their message to their ideal clients, work on my weekly newsletters and continue to update my Cal State University course offerings.
At about 5 or 6, I make a cocktail. For some reason, the idea of making a cocktail–all the details, flavors and nuances, such as glassware and bitters–really appeal to my sense of taking things slower these days. With cocktail in hand, I check in with my best friend and family before making dinner on the grill (a summertime pleasure) while George happily chases butterflies in the garden.
On the weekends, I do DIY projects around the house, a California Spanish-style home built in 1931. With an older home, there is always something to be done.
What’s your favorite quote to live by?
I have two right now. This first might be just a little Type A! “The more I work, the luckier I get.”
The second is a little more kick back – “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
Describe your favorite meal.
Anything by Good Gracious! Events, of course! Seriously, I have had some very memorable meals from Pauline, Joanne and the team at Good Gracious! That house-smoked salmon is sublime, especially with the pink peppercorn tartare. And anything from the Food, Fun and Love cookbook, which I still have and use!
Where do you look for inspiration?
I love the printed word! The New York Times and the New Yorker always have something that I find interesting–and these days, frightening–but it’s important to stay totally informed. And I love magazines–the layouts, the photos and the little tidbits that keep me inspired to try something new. My favorites are Elle Decor, Vogue, Bon Appetit and Food & Wine.
I’m also inspired by so much of what I see on Instagram. I am so impressed by artists who have taken this medium and turned it to their advantage, especially those working with stop-motion photography (@allthatisshe), photography (@carolyn_mara) and Photoshop (@alexandriaslens). They create completely new realities that are creative, beautiful and ethereal … all for our pleasure!
Name three things you can’t live without.
Batia from Batia and Aleeza Hair Salon for my hair cut and her own special products that make it look curly, not frizzy. Curly hair is an art and she gets it right. I think she’s been cutting it now for 20 years! http://www.batiaandaleeza.com/
Urth Caffe’s Manhattan Mudd, Old Grandpa and Espresso Roasts are ALWAYS in my coffee drawer. https://www.urthcaffe.com/
Where can we find you?
Read our interview with Deborah James of Bella Vita Events.
Read our interview with Jessica Whitney of ZOē Productions.