Kristi Waterworth, Managing Director
Growing up in the green, rolling foothills of the Ozark mountains, Kristi Waterworth filled her notebooks with stories about life on her family farm for as long as she could remember. No one could have imagined that this barefoot child would take that notepad and make it into a career one day. As an award-winning journalist, Kristi documented life in her native Ozarks, preserving people and traditions that were disappearing while capturing breath-taking barns, homesteads and working farms.
Kristi transitioned into copywriting by accident, but found herself at home right away. The relaxed writing style she had cultivated through years spent reading Hunter Thompson combined with her unique newspaper assignments was perfect for helping customers to better understand the products they were interested in purchasing. She felt it was a lot more important to build a relationship than to sell them the catch of the day — and she still does.
As Managing Director of Top Shelf and founder of her own company, In The Cloud Copy, Kristi’s two decades of professional experience have allowed her to seamlessly meld the operation of the two companies. In addition to being a very effective marketer and copywriter in her own right, she’s also fortunate enough to manage an amazing team of professionals who can make our clients’ copywriting dreams a reality. She manages the team from our Springfield, Missouri office. You can also follow her and her off-color commentary on the writing industry at http://www.WaterworthWrites.com.
How did you learn this dismal trade?
Mostly luck, really. I had been a Realtor during the boom years before the recession and a journalist on and off, so I had the right pieces – they just had to be put together. I read some articles, I studied other copywriters and I started taking some small jobs. I had a lot of good clients who helped mold me into what I am today.
What did you do before you became a copywriter?
I’ve been a journalist, a Realtor, a general contractor, a greenhouse operator and a dairy farmer.
How do you take your coffee?
In my mouth, rapidly. Also, primarily as tea.
If you had to pick just one condiment, which would it be and why?
If I had only one condiment, it would be ketchup. Ketchup is basic, sure, but it never fails you. It’s great on eggs, hamburgers and even potatoes. But we all know there’s never just ONE condiment, don’t we? This is a trick question.
What do you like best about working for Top Shelf?
I started with Doc and Top Shelf hundreds of years ago and although we’ve had a rocky road, I’ve been able to learn a lot here. Doc is a great guy to work for and he doesn’t mind spending the time to develop talent properly. I guess that’s the best thing, really, is how invested TS is in its writers.
What kind of writing do you do outside of Top Shelf?
Outside of TS I do business writing for various blogs and the occasional magazine article, though those are fewer and farther between lately. I’ve been working on a detective novel since the dawn of time.
How do you think your outside writing influences your Top Shelf work?
I think the more we write, the better we get – especially if we’re writing in different genres. You have to think differently for different styles, and that sort of makes you better all around.
What’s your favorite font?
Call me old fashioned, but I am a huge fan of Courier. I don’t use it for work, I prefer the readability of Arial for day to day stuff — but it’s not my favorite.
What words do you really hate / love? You know how a lot of people don’t like the word “moist?”
Not me. I’m an equal opportunity word lover. I especially love curse words.
Who is your writing hero?
If you mean who I aim to be most like, well that’d probably be Hunter Thompson, for better and for worse. Other big names include Chuck Wendig, Mary Roach, Amy Stewart, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
“The World Ender” by Lord Huron.
One thing about my writing career/life that people wouldn’t expect is:
I don’t think most people realize how young I was when I first started as a professional writer. My career started at age 15, as a junior reporter. I’m not kidding. That’s why I have a lot of old fashioned notions stuck in my head; it was a very different time. Most people my age are just starting to figure out their careers and I had mine lined out before I could drive. Writing was the only thing I ever wanted to do, even though I’ve wandered down some other paths – I was always writing in some way. When I was a Realtor, I spent a lot of time writing ad copy; as a farmer I wrote for the local newspaper and also kept all my marketing materials maintained on my own. I’ve always been a writer. I guess I always will be.