Ray is a freelance copy writer and editor. For availability please inquire at info@brendaray.org


Nativa

Objective: Introduce an outdoor activity clothing brand for women. Emphasize the inclusion of females in a typically male dominated space. Empower and inspire women to get outdoors. Introduce products designed specifically for female bodied folks. Target audience: millennial women

Nativa is about connecting with nature. We believe when women get outside, they have the space to be their fullest selves. Hiking across the Moab or snowshoeing through Juneau, we want to support you. With wool lined pants, custom sports bras, and coats, we’re here to provide and empower. So you can get out there and be your fullest you.



Rory Rockmore

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Objective: Introduce a Valentine’s day collection, to a smart, down to earth, jaded audience. Inspire participation with a playful, fuck-you attitude. Target audience: women and gay millennials

Are you in love and also a terrible person? Us too. That’s why we designed Rory Rockmore’s Valentine’s Day collection. So you and your loved one can love being terrible.

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The Blue Room

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A big part of my copy writing comes from being an artist myself. I know how important brand is to the artist, business, and entrepreneur. I know it’s important to get it right.

Objective: Create an album cover that captures the Blue Room’s brand of beauty, power, intimacy and melancholy. Designer, Rachel Hirst and I had a lot of fun working on this.

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CrossFit

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Objective: Introduce the Cross Fit Whole Life Challenge to a hesitant audience. Demonstrate its seamless, approachable, family experience, using a family-man interview. Target audience, Gen X men.  

Terrence Jones always thought himself a decent athlete. He’d played baseball in high school, ran track, and even dabbled in Martial Arts. But after college, life began to creep in, adding a wife, kids, and a less than open schedule. “It was a struggle to get to the gym, even twice a week.” John explained. It wasn’t until he was introduced to “The Whole Life Challenge” with CrossFit, that John learned working out could be fun, encouraging, and even simulate a sports-like environment.

“I was a little intimidated going in there,” he admitted, “but over time you learn to appreciate what Crossfit really is.” John began going to the gym after his wife joined the program along with their two kids. Now after eighteen months of growth John is reflecting on the experience. “I went down two pant sizes and don’t require cholesterol medication anymore.” Alongside these physical changes John’s also reconnected with family. “For us, it’s a bonding thing,” he says, “To talk about the CrossFit games or the workouts we’re doing. Being able to talk about that and share has been a bonding experience for the whole family.”

John is one of many success stories of the Whole Life Challenge. The idea is not to radically transform a person’s life but rather introduce some healthy habits, provide camaraderie, and ultimately improve your health. These improvements can be seen big and small, from going down a pant size to enhancing a golf swing. “I’m a golfer and had a lot of tightness in my lower back and hips. After going through the Accessory workouts, I’ve been able to strengthen those muscles. Went out and played first round of the year without any issues or pain.”

So whether you’re looking to lose some weight, make some friends, or even improve your golf swing, the CrossFit Whole Life Challenge is a place where everyone is welcome.

 


ArtofCat

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Objective: Reinforce Leewaye’s brand of soft beauty, poetry, and subtle confidence. Focus on the artist’s process, as evidence to authenticity. Target audience:  Millennial women.

In her art, Cat Leewaye evokes emotion through use of color, as if it were language. In each work we catch those rare pigments so hard to come by, so delicately placed. “When it comes to painting,” she explains, “I know I have to start somewhere.” And she does, embarking on mural and canvas, always open to what’s ahead. “By the time I finish,” she says, “I know exactly where I am but not always how I got there.”



Annie’s Atonement

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Objective: Summarize the brand’s bold, queer approach, capturing the fluidity of beauty in a playful attitude. Target audience: Queer (and straight) millennials.

A big part of the Annie brand is the bend between masculine and feminine. We catch that flicker of glamour against a rough cut man. Beauty is all about the in-betweens and besides, who doesn’t want to pair red nails with leather?


Maggie’s

Objective: Introduce Maggie’s candles, using language of family, comfort, and home, unique to Maggie’s small business family brand. Appeal to the desire of memories and keepsakes. Target audience: Baby Boomers and Gen X, Women

Scent is the strongest tie to memory and at Maggie’s we know how important that is. We believe every aroma holds a story, from Hanukkah to springtime, cinnamon to lavender, an infinite number of tales untold. Mark these moments with a candle from Maggie’s. Burn it bright each season so that you can remember every smile, every laugh, every hug, for years to come.


The Shewee

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Long Form Copy (I know, I know, not the most exciting stuff but I know you want to know that I know how to do it. So here it is.)

Objective: Demystify the she-wee by providing a personable, casual narrative. Show the ways in which the product can be a plausible, modern, and empowering alternative to women’s restrooms. Target audience, Gen X and Millennial women.

See the live publication, here.

I pee a lot. Like all women, my bladder is located just below the uterus, in front of the vagina, on the pelvic floor. Living in New York City, I find myself in that constant precarious position of having to pee but with nowhere to go. “Bathrooms are for customers only!” the shopkeepers urge me. Most days, I stick near Union Square because, if anything, I can use the university’s restrooms. And I know it sounds like I pee an abnormal amount — like maybe I drink more water than I’m supposed to, or maybe I should’ve peed before I left the apartment — but I still can’t help but wonder: Do I really pee much more often than men? Why is there always a line outside the ladies’ restroom? Are there any other options for women to pee in public?

When my boyfriend said he had a surprise for me, I didn’t really know what to expect. “Is it a plane ticket?” I asked.

When he told me no, I was a little bummed but opened the thick, plastic packaging to reveal a slender, pink item that resembled a funnel. “A Shewee!” I shouted. “You got me a Shewee!”

I stepped into the bathroom to try it right away. Reaching for the thin, leaflet instructions, I read: Practice in the shower first. This will give you the hang of the device and allow you to learn your own positioning before you start using it out in the world.

The phrase, “out in the world,” stuck with me. Maybe I didn’t have to linger around Union Square when I shopped in Manhattan. Maybe now I can venture off to a shop in Soho.

In the bathroom, I stripped off all my clothes, stepped into the shower, and turned on the faucet.The Shewee is shaped like a thin, open tunnel with one side used to hold gently beneath your urethra, while the other end funnels outward and into the toilet — not unlike a penis.

I stood there, carefully, timidly, holding the pointy end of the device against my body. Should I shift it higher or lower? I referred to the instructions for guidance: Try holding the device beneath your urethra but above your anus, pressing the end gently but firmly against your skin, then begin to urinate. Once everything was in place, I took a deep breath, certain that the device would fail and that the pee would leak from the funnel and go splashing down my legs and all over my feet. Soon I relaxed, and without another thought, my bladder let loose.

The stream was a miracle. I watched as my urine emerged peacefully from the device, a perfect arc, dropping directly into the drain before me. Not one drop trickled down my leg. Not one drop splashed up onto my hands — a clean and perfect execution. Shocked, I pulled the plastic from my body and gave it a few shakes. Placing the device back in its self-sealed container, I pulled on my clothes and burst from the bathroom.

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“I did it!” I shouted. “I peed standing up, and none of it even got on me!”

My boyfriend laughed. “That’s great, babe,” he said. “I’m really happy for you.”

For the next 72 hours, I brought my Shewee with me everywhere I went. I brought it to my office job. I brought it out with me to the clubs on Capitol Hill. I even brought it on our camping trip. Each time, the Shewee offered a new advantage. If I didn’t feel like hovering over a nasty toilet, then I’d just use my Shewee. Were bathrooms for customers only? I’d just step into an alley and use my Shewee. Were there ticks and spiders in the bushes? I’d use my Shewee.

Is this how men have been living their whole lives? Had they just been able to pee like this, whenever, wherever, without once thinking about where they were, or if it were private enough to pull their pants to their ankles? Had they never thought about what they’d hold onto as they were squatting, or whether their shoulders, elbows, or knee joints could handle such a squat? Had they never considered if the pee would get all over their clothing or shoes? Now with my Shewee, I could potentially pee anywhere, any time. Sure, I would need to be discreet, but the Shewee was discreet. I could meander off, stand against a wall, and be done with it.

A few days later, I texted all of my sisters. “You guys,” I said. “This product is amazing.”

That afternoon, I took a video (censored) and showed the image of me standing up, fully clothed, peeing into a toilet.

“That’s amazing!” They texted back. “How do you do it?”

“Doesn’t it make a mess?”

So few women seem to know about the Shewee. So many of the friends I’ve talked to actually didn’t know it existed, or they saw it as a joke — something to laugh about but nothing they would ever seriously use in their daily lives.

I had first seen the Shewee on tour in England when I was playing at The Glastonbury Festival (The Blue Room — shameless plug), and all the women seemed to have this small, plastic device they carried with them to the restrooms.

“Is that a stack of tampons?” I asked one of them.

She laughed. “No, babe; it’s a Shewee.”

“A shewee?”

“Yes, it’s really helpful at places like music festivals because the restrooms are so nasty. This way, I can stay safe and clean.”

I stared at her, shocked. All this time I’d been squatting over the grimy toilet, trying to keep my legs from touching the pee-sticky surface. Why hadn’t anyone told me about this? I knew of other feminine products. I knew of tampons and Monistat and pink razors, but the Shewee was something I’d never seen before. There were no advertisements on television. The product wasn’t even really sold in stores.

I went home and did a Google search, learning it was first developed by U.K. entrepreneur and inventor, Samantha Fountain, and later introduced to the British market in 2003. On the official Shewee website, the page states:

The Shewee was made as a way to improve trips to toilets for women. The germs, doors that don’t lock, lack of (toilet) paper; all things women hate about (the usually disgusting) women’s public toilets can be solved with the use of a Shewee.

It had never occurred to me that I didn’t have to live like this — that there were actually other options.

It’s been a couple months, and the Shewee has caused me to realize a few things. For one, I never understood how often people tell me “bathrooms are for customers only” or how few public restrooms are actually available. While this is problematic for humans, it’s especially problematic for women. What are our options when we really have to go? I suppose one could buy something, but then we have to spend our money. We have to spend our money when a male-bodied person could simply go outside and find a tree. And what happens if we don’t have any money? Do we step outside, squat between two cars, or duck behind a bush? I never realized how embarrassing and vulnerable it can be for a person to have to expose herself, all the way to the ankles, just to relieve herself behind a bush, while our male counterparts can do the same standing fully clothed.

Of course in my ideal world, there’d be a lot of other options for women. We wouldn’t even need the Shewee at all. Little girls would be taught to pee standing. Or maybe bathrooms would be designed by women so there were hundreds of them up and down the street — complete with bidets and self-cleaning services. Or maybe women’s bodies wouldn’t be so taboo, so that when you noticed a woman squatting between two cars, it wouldn’t really be that big of a deal — in the same way you see a man peeing near a tree, it’s not that big of a deal. All these options would be wonderful. But right now, in this current reality, in this current culture, I think the Shewee is a great option.

These days I bring my Shewee with me most places. Its container bounces effortlessly in my backpack or purse.

When my boyfriend asked, “How do you keep pee from getting all over your stuff?” I explained that the plastic is water resistant, so it dries almost immediately, and the container is designed to seal perfectly. Not once have I opened my purse and seen my Shewee busted loose from its confines.

Whenever my boyfriend has to pee, I offer my device because I am just so happy it exists. I really want all women to have one. It makes your life so much easier in ways you don’t even realize. Buy one today — right now. Never squat to pee ever again. Your dress is too beautiful, your joints are too tired, and your dignity is too great ever to pee squatting.

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Med School

(Private client, maybe not exactly copy but I still love this essay. This client was incredibly left brained while I, right. Together we sat down and came up with a compelling narrative that covered his qualifications without boring the administration too much.)

Objective: Describe the client’s reason for applying to medical school. Provide background/family information, relevant experience, and future career goals. Must be kept under 600 words. Target audience: Admissions Office at Jones University

    As a six year old my first real exposure to medicine was when my brother, Rafel, was admitted to the local hospital for a tumor. At the time we were living in Sweden, visiting him in and out of the hospital for weeks. I still have that single image etched into my mind, Rafel in post-op, laying flat against the clean linens, his eyes drifting aimlessly about the room and beside him, capped in clear plastic, the frightening contours of a moist apricot seed. Oh, I thought, he swallowed an apricot. So that’s what this was all about. It wasn’t until later when my mother took me aside to explain, “This is a tumor, this was inside your brother,” that I was exposed to the jarring realities of the human body. My mother gently accompanied me on this journey. I realized that perhaps the cartoons had it all wrong. Hearts didn’t look like two half ovals facing each other but something much uglier, non-symmetrical pink flesh, moist with blood, and pumping. I was at first repulsed, as any six –year- old would be. The tumor was ugly. Human insides were ugly. But soon after this repulsion faded into a harmless and gentle curiosity.

As I grew older this initial experience proved to be more than helpful during my medical studies. Apart from being a Syrian refugee and realizing that the world is less than perfect, I also grew up with this knowledge of human fragility. When I first began my EMT work, I was exposed to all sorts of jarring images, each of them bringing me back to my initial reaction of quiet surprise followed by gentle curiosity. For many people mortality is a giant hanging cloud that haunts and intimidates the world around us but doctors cannot be one of these people. They have to confront this mortality on a daily basis. Through my EMT training I was able to not only confront my own mortality and the mortality of others around me but to remain unintimidated by it and to be able to operate within it.

My goal as a physician will be to focus on primary care and this is for a number of different reasons. For one, I would enjoy seeing a large number of diverse patients but also I really look forward to the chance of building relationships with people. Urgent care, although certainly helpful, has always left me with questions of uncertainty. Did the patient make it? Did they survive? Is there something I could’ve done differently? In primary care I’ll have the opportunity to build a working relationship with my patients, to see them on a long-term basis, and develop a positive environment. This, I feel, would suit my desire to help others because I believe that a body is not just a body, there is a mind inside of it, a specific individual that we are working to keep alive.

Overall I think that my experiences have combined to make me a unique applicant for medical school. Through my internships, premed courses, and EMT trainings, I feel that I have a realistic grasp of what it means to be a healthcare provider. I truly hope that I can pursue my studies at Jones University. I look forward to furthering my medical career and beginning my work towards offering patients a life free from poverty and illness.