join the unfiltered family.

Around here, we don’t drink the kool-aid.

We only drink TRUTH JUICE, freshly squeezed, straight to your inbox.

About Sydney

Hi, my name is Sydney, and I’m a writer and marketing professional keeping it classy in sunny San Diego. I also like taking #alleyselfies in foreign countries (see above). This blog dates back to 2008, and I’ve been writing online since 2003 (earlier if you count A/S/L in an AOL chatroom as “writing” – but I digress). While some of the older posts (tagged Early Days) are borderline embarrassing to read now, they remain a part of my body of work.

So, what are we doing here? And what is all this Unfiltered stuff?

The Unfiltered Manifesto

Sydney: Unfiltered is a bullshit-free zone, and it is more than the highlight reel. It’s about living your best life and YOUR version of the dream. Unfiltered is all about being aware of the fact that the dream can (and probably will) change, and if/when it does, THAT IS OKAY AWESOME. I’m a firm believer that we’re all in this together, you’re not alone, and repeat after me: EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Unfiltered is about finding your voice, getting comfortable in your skin, and then using that newfound sense of self to shout from the rooftops about shit that matters to you. This little corner of the internet is a safe place to have uncomfortable conversations, and if you’re joining us here from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you know that I don’t mess around when it comes to intersectionality. The conversations here are inclusive, period, full stop. This article is a fantastic primer that I didn’t write but is applicable. Comment on what resonates with you. If it pisses you off, speak up. More than anything, show your face. I can take it. And I’ll probably high five you for doing so.

Who I Am

I will warn you right now; the following sentence will cause one of two reactions: HELL YAAASSSS, SHINE ON! -or- GET OVER YOURSELF. The truth is, it’s taken me approximately 31 years to own up to this fact fully:

I am an always-evolving, fire-starting Unicorn.

Seriously – I know it sounds like it’s 2008 and I’m calling myself a Ninja/Guru, but legit, you guys, I’m a unicorn. And if you’re feeling icky about that, I get it. Like I said, it took me a long time to own my shine and appreciate it in others.

When I’m not writing or working, I’m probably sitting on rocks at a beach, quietly sipping tea, or making a bomb-ass meal. I’ve only ever mastered two out of the three at once, as it’s difficult to whip up a meal while you’re sitting on rocks on a beach.

Not pictured: tea for the drinking. Also not pictured: a badass meal. Well, you get the idea.

Elizabeth Gilbert best described my life as The Flight of the Hummingbird. Let’s get this out of the way – she described A LOT of people’s lives that way, not just me – but I felt like she was up on that stage speaking directly to my SOUL.

You’d think that name-dropping Ms. Gilbert and opening up with the fact that I’m a writer would mean that I’m obsessed with Eat, Pray, Love, but sadly, I’ve never read it. And as much as I love Julia Roberts, I haven’t seen the movie either.

So hummingbirds. They flit from flower to flower, doin’ the damn thing. And my life is exactly like that. Like the small but mighty hummingbird, I go to one flower, give it all I got (errr, get all the nectar I can?), and then move on to the next flower. I used to think this was a bad thing. And then I woke up and realized I only get so many trips around the sun, so I might as well jam my face into as many flowers as I can. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I am a professional space-holder, which is woo-woo speak for I’m a great friend. I listen to hear you and understand you, not to cut you off and shove my opinion in your face. Though there is always time for opinion shoving, and when it comes to opinions, I have PLENTY.

I am a happy wife and mama to two Puggles. I won’t go so far as to say “my dogs are my kids” because they’re not snotty brats, but since I’m in the childfree-and-loving-it camp, they are spoiled rotten. Luckily, this little guy doesn’t judge me:

herbieSUI am obsessed with traveling, and my preferred method of transportation is a cruise ship. Between my sophomore year of high school and present day, I’ve been on 18 cruises. To this day, being on a boat (of any size) in the middle of the ocean is my happy place.

Here I am, on Azamara Quest, rocking significantly sucky jet-lag while docked in Stockholm: 

stockholmSU

What I Do

Back in the Day

I was the voice of the Wienermobile online (true story), and taught David Arquette how to tweet from the top of Madison Square Garden. I’ve identified influencers for big-ass brands like Yoplait (#yogurt), Pfizer, and Warner Bros., and I have quit two excellent jobs so I would have more time to jump out of planes.

After leaving the agency life, I set out on my own, jumping (literally) into the skydiving industry where I generated year-over-year increases in event attendance, tandem skydives, and overall jump tickets sold through my wizardry in the social media space. It turns out, skydiving is pretty easy to market, but not many people knew how to do it well.

I’ve spoken at SXSW twice, which used to be a bragging point for me. I also speak every day, in the privacy of my home, where I currently work. Usually on the phone. Sometimes through GoToMeeting or Google hangouts. I’m flexible. I’m working on the literal flexibility through my borderline-obsessive yoga practice. It’s coming along nicely.

Let’s finish pretending to give a shit about my past life and get to the good stuff, shall we?

Present Day

Currently, I am an Account Director at W2O Group, working with global brands in our tech practice. Over the course of my career, I have worked with entertainment companies, service providers, wine industry brands, CPG, biosciences, luxury travel brands, female entrepreneurs, social justice activists, and anyone who needs a trusty sidekick. I specialize in building communities (online and offline), launching products, and developing marketing strategies that aren’t full of the same old eye-roll-inducing BS. I’ve managed marketing budgets as high as $1.8 million.

My Work Philosophy

I have an aversion to slimy marketing practices. I’m not a fan of some of the existing formulas, and I’m hell-bent on finding a better way for the wonderful souls I’m fortunate to call clients. There’s more to life than a FREE SUPER JUICY opt-in, a shitty drip campaign, and never actually caring about or engaging with your customers. You can read more about this on the Unicorn for Hire page.