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THE ORIGIN STORY

My dad said I was born pushing immunization shots for babies away from my tiny perfect little feet, looking at doctors like they were crazy for trying me. Now, as a baby, doctors stuck me in the foot anyway, but my dad was more than proud of me for having agency and sticking up for myself out the womb. But over time, this feistiness was dampened by life and its "socializations."

For a while, however, looking back, I remained one expressive kid who was definitely modeling the feistiness/expressiveness of the women of my family who were no-nonsense about life. And I was incredibly expressive when my parents weren’t around, rolling my neck at the disrespect of anyone on the playground that sat behind the building complex I lived in on the west side of Harlem. But, like I said, life happened.

Echoes of Harlem’s Strong Women

Born Rebellious

My dad, bless his heart and rest his soul, was all about tough love, not quite getting the whole “it’s okay to feel your feelings” memo. And my mom? She was a gem while growing up, but caught up in the mix, she sometimes echoed dad’s old-school vibes about keeping those tears and tantrums under wraps.

This dynamic turned me into a bit of a people-pleaser. You know the type—always angling for smiles and nods, terrified of a frown or a tear. It’s a tough gig, constantly tuning your strings to the approval of others, and let me tell you, it’s a fast track to losing yourself (which I did).

 

But here’s the kicker—no matter what happened to me or you, it’s brought you here to this site as a glowing example that things always come together for your greater good and that we are all made with our unique essence, our core desires just waiting to be rediscovered, no matter how buried they get.

The Approval Chase

Tough Love and Gem Hearts

Arts, Science, and Sandwiches for Humanity

Academic Whirlwind: From PolySci to Brand Strategy

I got to say, my unique essence got buried deep though, especially after years of suppressing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For example, when I was a kid, I wasn't just feisty. I was all about the arts and sciences—a geek in artist’s clothing or maybe the other way around.

 

This love affair with creativity and inquiry didn’t just stick through middle school; it stuck with me into my high school years, where I also morphed into a pro-Black, civic-minded maverick who beyond aced my physics exams.

 

Extra credits? Yes, please! Yep, I was that teen, making sandwiches for Habitat for Humanity construction workers by day and firing up debate teams by night after learning the principles of dynamic and kinematics on frictionless tracks for funsies during midday school lunch breaks.

Fast-forward through the whirlwind of academia—from a Political Science degree at Tufts University to a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communications at West Virginia University and a certificate in Media Management from NYU—and there I was, supremely lost, a tad disconnected, thanks to those old emotional roadblocks set up by well-meaning parents.

The Aha! Moment in Brand Development

It wasn’t until 2019 that everything clicked. Stumbling into brand development or brand strategy felt like finding the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle career-wise. Suddenly, after all those years of writing gear to specific audiences, making sure logos were not stretched out or too small on marketing materials, and diving deep into market research for giants like Frito-Lay and Ikea...it all made sense. It was brand strategy all along, even when I didn’t know it by name!

Pairing this newfound clarity and understanding about the foundations of brand development with a bit of therapy (big up to self-awareness) and exploration of astrology in 2024, I started seeing clearly not just who I was as a kid but who I was meant to be. Diving into the brand archetypes side of brand development was like reading a biography of my soul. 

 

Turns out, I’m an alchemist, a magician, an advocate, and a bit of a rebel—whether I was defending my brother on the playground or learning how to use a centrifuge and pipets as an oncology lab intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC.

Rediscovering My Essence Through Archetypes

My Current Chapter: Writing the Spellbook of Personal Branding

So, where am I now? Exactly where I need to be, contributing positively to the world, driven by a purpose rooted in transformation, healing, and guiding others towards self-awareness for an amazing, authentic personal brand.

And as I navigate this world, I'm recognized not only for my deep marketing expertise but also for my innovative development of brand strategies, messaging frameworks, communication approaches, marketing research applications, social media campaigns, and designs.

If you’re curious about my next big move, I’m writing a book on this very journey WITH my approach to personal brand development that I’ve not seen yet. Drop your name and email if you want the scoop when it launches—no spam, just the good stuff when it is ready. 

There you have it—my life, my story thus far, and a little invitation to join me on this wild ride of personal brand building and self-discovery for those who believe they are serving a higher purpose, perhaps on a spiritual journey, or “all about the sun, moon, and stars.” Let’s make magic happen.

Join the Launch List for Insider Access to My New Book!

Now, I’m all about guiding others to find or rather rediscover their authentic selves through the magic of brand development and archetypes, with a few other tricks up my sleeve to really self-discovery. Think of it as your personal brand spellbook, ensuring you never have to chase approval again because when you’re true to your brand, the right people can’t help but notice.

Guiding Others to Authenticity

VANESSA C. MATTHEW

MY VALUES

Spirituality: A deep-seated belief in spiritual growth, mindfulness, and connection to something greater.

Personal/Self-Development: A focus on personal growth.

Empowerment: A passion for empowering others.

Creativity: A love for creative expression.

Holistic Well-Being: A focus on overall health and harmony.

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BORN IN NYC, STAYING IN NJ
VANESSA@VCMSTRATEGIES.COM

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