When COVID-19 drained the juice from some of her dearest clients earlier this month, the suddenly idle Halifax copywriter, art director and branding specialist Cindy Schultz — the woman in the picture above — came face-to-face with the question that must surely confront all marketing geniuses at some point in their careers: What’s on TV?
“I could have just, you know, laid around and watched Netflix,” she says. “But what’s the point of that? Why not take those hours and actually help people who are struggling, who are in trouble?”
And so, staring down the barrel of a true worldwide, existential crisis, the owner-operator of Broad Creative went back to work — this time for free.
“I’ve had some clients for almost 25 years,” she says. “They’re like family, so it’s really painful to see them struggling. I’m lucky enough that over the past few years, I’ve had to turn away business, because I’ve been so busy. I’m not out of pocket when I’m helping people, I’m just out of hours. But who cares? If there’s someone out there that’s hurting and can’t afford any marketing, then I would be happy to assist with that.”
A few, it seems, have been happy to oblige her. Tracy Lamb is one. She runs
Rejuvenation Plus, a hair and aesthetics salon in Sussex, N.B. Lamb’s sister, who knows Schultz professionally, put the two together last week. Within a couple of days, Schultz had built a logo. The price tag: zero.
Lamb couldn’t be happier.
“It’s just beautiful,” she says. “I still can’t believe it. I know a couple of graphic designers and I know what they would charge. I mean something like this would cost $500 or $600 easy.”
She’s not wrong. Schultz operates on her industry’s high wire. Her clients – like Maritime Travel, White Point Beach Resort, and Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation – routinely use words like, “fabulous,” “talented,” and “brilliant” to describe her.
Schultz is now spreading the word about her free services on social media. People shouldn’t be shy about contacting her, she says. She feels their pain.
“I’m a single mom, and I’ve taken hits in the past,” she says. “In the 2008-09 recession, my clients weren’t advertising as much, so I started a blog called Halifax Broad. I used it to publish my own stupid stories about life, trying to tie in a local product or business at the end of each piece. I wound up winning Marketing Magazine’s creative person of the year award.”
Which is another way of saying: anything can happen, even nowadays. “You have to be creative and kind in times like these,” she says. “I can’t do this forever. But right now, if somebody needs something, and this will brighten their day, then why not?”
Why not, indeed. What’s the alternative? Netflix?