Welcome to The Blue Room at Crisp Marketing! In this space, we will introduce you to the stars of Crisp Marketing – the individuals who make things happen behind the scenes. First up is Carisa Wenstrom, Multi-Media Specialist / Graphic Designer in our Memphis office.
Welcome to the Blue Room, Carisa! Tell me, how long have you worked for Crisp?
I’ve worked for Crisp Marketing for over a year and a half.
I understand you have made quite an impact in the Memphis office. Give us an idea of what you do regularly in your role.
I design various web and print pieces, help with our social media presence, and handle all of our photography and video work.
What would your coworkers tell me if I asked them to tell me about you? In other words, how are you known at work?
The Beast, haha! If something needs to get done, I’ll make sure it gets done – whether it’s helping out on a marketing project, or painting walls in our new office. Anything you need done, I got it.
What do you enjoy most about your current position?
The freedom. Both my lead and my boss are great about giving me the breathing room I need to be my crazy, creative self. I’m a definite non-conformist, so the more freedom I have on a project, the more focused and driven I become.
What month and day is your birthday?
February 6th (Aquarius, oh yeah!)
Would you consider yourself right-brain or left-brain dominant and why?
Definitely right-brain. I can’t remember names to save my life, but I never forget a face. Math is my arch-nemesis. Most advanced forms of math simply don’t make sense to me at all, but certain things are crazy easy for me. I can’t immediately tell you what 1/3 + 1/3 is, but it takes me less than a second to figure out how much tip to leave on a restaurant bill. And everything is a visual to me. Remembering things, problem-solving, how I take in the world around me: all through visuals.
What are your favorite places to go in Memphis?
Huey’s is my favorite restaurant by far. Their veggie burger is life-changing. Down on Beale Street, I love A. Schwab’s and BB King’s (the live music is ridiculously amazing). And of course, I love Graceland. I’m a die-hard Elvis fan!
Before working at Crisp, what is the most unusual or most interesting job you ever had?
I was a MIG welder for about 3 years. It was hard work, but oddly enough it was kinda fun? The summers were awful, though – 130° heat index while wearing a leather welding cape is the *worst*.
That is so cool. Where did you go to school?
I went to high school in Moline, Illinois and then college in Rockford, IL at Rock Valley.
What is your favorite movie and book?
My favorite movie is Beetlejuice – it’s been my favorite since I was a kid. And my favorite book is The Chris Farley Show: A Biography in Three Acts.
Who are three famous people (living or dead) that you admire or relate to?
1. Lucille Ball: She was my first role model I had growing up (outside of my parents), and she had such an impact on me that I named my daughter after her.
2. Jack Nicholson: What a Hollywood boss. Pretty much everything he touches turns to gold. I’ve loved him ever since I was a kid and saw Witches of Eastwick and The Shining.
3. Johnny Cash: I love how soulful and thoughtful he was. He tried his best to see the good in people, no matter their background. And I can really relate to his affinity of black clothing attire.
Tell us a little bit about your life outside of work.
I’m a gamer for sure. Right now I’m obsessed with Fallout 4 (PS4), with over 560 game-play hours invested. I also love No Man’s Sky, Skyrim, and GTA (all of them). My favorite game of all time is Red Dead Redemption, and I cannot WAIT for RDR2 to come out later this year! I’m also a big movie fan – especially Westerns (old and new), and anything by Quentin Tarantino. Outside of that, I have a small family – just me, my husband Brad, and our incredibly awesome daughter, Lucy. We play a lot of board games (Catan! <3), collect action figures, and read comic books. We’re basically the poster-family of Nerd Empire.
Tell us a story about something cool you have done.
In 2015, my family and I moved from Northern Illinois to Memphis, TN. We don’t know anyone here, so it was a big chance to take. But we figured we’re still young enough and crazy enough, and you only live once, right? Might as well make the most of it. So far, we love living here. Southern life is very different from life up North, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Describe your teenage self.
“I’m a loner, Dottie. A rebel.” I had a few close friends, but mostly kept to myself. I was an artist who preferred watching movies and painting on canvas alone in my room to the stereotypical high-school-party-life that everyone else seemed to be following. My mom swore up and down that I was “depressed”, but honestly I was perfectly happy being a house-troll.
What would your friends/family say about you if I asked them to tell me about you?
“She marches to the beat of her own drum.” My first-grade teacher wrote that on my report card one semester, and I’ve heard it a million times since. A rebel, rogue, thinks outside the box – all accurate descriptions of me that I’ve heard from everyone who knows me. Work Place Me isn’t much different from Outside World Me – I think the only difference is that outside of work my language is a bit more…colorful? The censorship switch is definitely in the ‘off’ position the second my feet leave the elevator doors.
If you could spend a day hanging out with anyone from any time period, who would it be and why?
Doc Holliday from the Old West (late 1800s). Not only is Doc an extremely interesting individual who wasn’t scared to be his wild, intelligent, sarcastic, rebellious and often unpredictable self, but I would love hear about what life was truly like during one of the most pivotal time periods of American history.
What are a couple of life or career lessons that you have learned so far?
I’d say the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to take chances. I had a run-in with cervical cancer back in 2014, and it wasn’t until I was faced with my own mortality that it really dawned on me how short life can be. It’s kind of sad that it takes an extreme event like cancer to trigger such self-awareness, but such is life, right? There’s a very small window of opportunity that you just can’t let slip by. So take chances. Do things that scare you and push you to your outer-most limits. Step outside your safe zone. Stop focusing on the what-if’s and just do it. It’s like what Andy Dufresne said (Shawshank Redemption): “I guess it comes down to a simple choice: Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
What advice would you give your teenage self?
Buckle-up, buttercup. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But you totally got this.
What is your life philosophy, motto or favorite quote?
I have a personal motto that I’ve followed for several years now, and it’s served me well:
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.