Editor’s Note: They are leaders. They are inspirational. They are mentors. They are visionaries. They are, quite frankly, badasses. They are our 2022 REEL WOMEN – incredible personalities in Advertising, Entertainment, Media and Production. Women like Steph Price are making “Herstory.”
Steph Price is a Senior Creative Director where she blends strategic thinking with copywriting magic to create compelling brand stories for clients of all kinds. She believes deep collaboration between strategy and creative is co:’s special sauce and is especially passionate about creating ideas with positive social impact — ones that not only help brands, but all of us.
Prior to co:, Steph worked as an advertising writer and Creative Director in New York at Razorfish, Y&R, Lowe, and Ogilvy One working on brands such as IBM, MTV, Stella Artois, GMC, Chase, got milk? and many more. She also spent time in Phnom Penh, Cambodia working with the design thinking lab 17 Triggers, who uses creativity to trigger behavior change for social good in developing nations around the world.
Outside of co:, she’s the Executive Director of an education non-profit called EIM Haiti — an adult English school and leadership institute in Port-au-Prince, which serves over 200 students and an all-Haitian staff. She’s committed to helping change the narrative on Haiti and has led countless trips to the island.
She also loves puns, 90’s TV theme songs, summiting mountains, and making high-end cuisine out of leftovers.’
Let’s meet Steph!
What’s your origin story?
In college, I was stung in the face 3 times by bees and that gave me the superhuman ability to write non-grammatically correct ad copy. Both parts are true.
Bees were living in the walls and got me 17 times. I was also in college when I learned you could write like you talk, which changed everything for me. (Yes I’ve taken creative liberties with this origin story, but you get it.)
How did you get into strategic consulting?
I started in advertising as a copywriter and honestly started freelancing at co: thinking they were an ad agency too. But yeah… I was wrong. Over my nearly 6 years here I’ve completely switched gears and embraced the value of going further upstream with clients to help them define their true purpose vs just saying something witty in the world.
Who were your mentors?
So many. Dave Holloway got me into this business from the very start. Early on in my career, I learned so much from people like Peter Rosch and Bernie Hogya. More recently powerhouse women like Tiff Rolfe and Rosemarie Ryan have taught me how to not only create great work, but how to sell it, how to listen, and how to build trust among clients and coworkers.
While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
If I’m being honest, my biggest achievements are what I’ve been able to accomplish outside of my main work, while still delivering day-to-day. Specifically the formation and growth of an education non-profit called EIM Haiti that provides English classes and job training to over 200 adults in Port-au-Prince. As a mom of two toddlers I’m also proud to be raising two wonderful humans while still maintaining a career.
What drives you to create?
I love the feeling of building something from nothing. Or more specifically, taking good things and putting them together in a way that makes them great. Whether it’s turning random leftovers into gourmet meals, or weaving strategic threads into story gold.
What shows are doing the best job of portraying strong women on TV?
I love Ruth on Ozark. She’s strong and vulnerable, sweet and crass, messy and real in a way I think is rare to see. I’m also embarrassed to admit that I binged Love is Blind Season 2, but… Deepti, way to know your worth girl.
Coffee, Lunch or Happy Hour. Name a famous woman you would like to attend each function with.
Coffee: Michelle Obama. I mean… who wouldn’t want to start off with some morning inspiration?
Lunch: Ali Wong. Whatever kind of day you’re having, laughing about it always helps.
Happy Hour: Angela Merkel. Bit of an odd choice, but I think if you had a pint with Angela, she’d tell you some shit.
What is the biggest challenge to women in your industry?
Trying to figure out how to care for the emotional well-being of our teams and ourselves. There’s been so much honesty recently around mental health and burn-out and I think female leaders take this especially seriously. The challenge is knowing exactly what to do, what lines to draw, what role to play. It’s tricky.
How has having the superpower of being a woman helped you?
Not to rely on gender stereotypes but I do feel that being a woman has given me greater empathy and emotional intelligence, especially in helping members of my team feel supported.
What is your kryptonite?
Humor. Being able to find moments of joy even when things are hard reminds us that we’re all just humans trying to do the best we can. And work, while important, it’s just work and not always worth taking quiiiite as seriously all the time.
When you’re not creating, what do you do in your off time?
Over the past year I’ve gotten into exercising more and just recently hiked Mt Kilimanjaro! I’ve never been into working out in the past but focusing on physical health as a way to also boost mental health has been so rewarding. I can’t believe that I waited until my 40’s to learn this.
Predict your future! Where are you in 5 years?
Hopefully on an epic vacation somewhere making goals for the next 5.