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Grill the Arsonist – Caroline S.
April 1, 2020 | Sarah Larson

After a stint at an ad agency in Des Moines, Iowa, Caroline Schweitzer made her way to the Quad Cities to join the team as MindFire’s Creative Arsonist in 2017. She has been a vital asset for our clients – lighting fires with her creative spark and talent. Can she handle the hot seat like she handles creating smokin’ hot concepts? Let’s see…

Caroline S.

You’re a Creative Arsonist. How did you come to this career path?

I spent my first semester of freshman year at Iowa State. Luckily, I ended up at the right state school where I completed a journalism degree from the University of Iowa. 😉 Go Hawks! After graduation, I moved to Des Moines where I spent several years as a copywriter and digital strategist at an ad agency before moving to the Quad Cities.

How do you stay inspired and creative?

I love to look at the work of my peers and creatives I admire. I keep tabs on my favorites and get inspired by their work daily. A lot of inspiration comes just from absorbing messaging as a consumer, as well.

As a writer, you have to be prepared to write and deliver with quick deadlines. I wish I could say there was a magic formula to writing great content, or some kind of Rube-Goldberg switch you could hit…and then SLAM! The perfect idea hits you! But, alas. For me the key has always been to just sit down and start writing. Some days it just flows easier than others.

What do you like to do in your free time?

My husband and I recently bought a house in Le Claire, where MindFire is based. We spend a lot of our free time doing home improvement projects. So far we haven’t gotten in too far over our heads. (We have, however, begun an excellent rapport with the employees of Lowe’s, lol.)

What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?

Ahhhh, it’s hard to choose. Overall, the large-scale work we get to do for Hitachi, John Deere and Waratah is very exciting.

Our Skogman Knows campaign that we did for Skogman Realty (found here) was also a favorite for me. Growing up in a Skogman-built house, it was kind of a cool “full circle” experience.

Describe yourself in three words. (Creative doesn’t count 😉  )

Weird (this I know), kind (hopefully) and thoughtful (also hopefully). We should really ask OTHER people to confirm my personal brand’s perception. 😉

What do you enjoy most about being a MindFire Arsonist?

I think our biggest differentiator is what makes me enjoy working here the most: our creative is strategic and measurable. Having research-backed strategy gives me the full picture when I dive into generating and implementing creative, and it ensures our deliverable is on-point. Our commitment to creative approaches also allows me to push our clients to be brave and bold, which is what makes my job fun.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Hmmm. I can turn almost anything into a song. Does that count as a hidden talent? They are NOT good songs. Sometimes they rhyme. Cleaning the house? Song. Mowing the lawn? Song. Bothering my husband? Song.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“Even in my revenge fantasy where all I do is exercise, I can still do only twenty-five pull-ups. Pull-ups are tough, no joke.” – Mindy Kaling, who is one of my favorite writers. She is so funny and witty. Read her book. It made me snort laugh like six times.

What advice do you have for young whippersnappers who want to become Creatives one day?

Dip your toes in the water and see if you like it. Job shadows are great, interning is great or even taking courses in school that allow you to get exposed to the industry is great. And then realize that interest is only the first step. The best creatives I’ve met have a fire and knack for creative work that seems to come to them as second nature.

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