Story

Always a vivid and imaginative storyteller, Versatile Creative’s founder, Julie Williams, was the only second grader in her elementary school designated as Talented and Gifted (TAG) at age 7, starting an accelerated education in the visual and literary arts in addition to her independent creative pursuits.

Colleagues say “Julie thinks like a creative director” combining her life’s body of work in writing, visual arts, teaching, leading and strategic planning to create compelling communications driving social change.

With equal parts left brain/right brain and introvert/extrovert, Williams is a rare (but growing) breed of holistic processors, who are able to see the whole picture and how it breaks down into its innumerable details. With a naturally observatory and intuitive approach, Williams seeks to create experiences and stories that have meaning and breed optimism.

Since her official start in journalism 13 years ago working at a weekly newspaper and then Portland Monthly magazine, Williams has built a versatile career in the communications industry managing teams and stakeholder groups of 2 to 50+ people and budgets up to $250k while working across:

  • all communications channels (digital, social media, live/events, publicity, advertising and print)
  • various industries: non-profit, corporate, startups, education (higher ed, K-12, alternative ed), apparel, retail, design, tech,
  • multiple B2B and B2C business models,
  • and with multiple levels of stakeholders (operational, line management, C-suite, investors).

As Williams has grown Versatile Creative over the last seven years from contract writing and production services to a strategic communications consultancy, she has been honored to work and connect with some of Portland’s best and brightest leaders, growing a network of 1,000+ trusted colleagues in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

In addition to consulting projects, Williams regularly presents communication workshops and trainings, such as for Portland Community College, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Public Relations Society of America, Portland State University, University of Oregon, Willamette University, and Young Women Social Entrepreneurs. Williams’ speaking engagements and creative writing practice have recently focused on networking, relationships and building community.

Williams is an active member of Portland’s entrepreneurial community, including:

  • affiliation with Oregon Entrepreneur’s Network, Freelancer’s Union, Built Oregon and Small Business Development Centers,
  • funding from the Portland Development Commission and
  • co-founding HIVE, a Masterminds group for creative women entrepreneurs.

Williams is also active in many faith organizations and practices, including Sacred Fire Community, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Leaven Community’s Bras, Bibles & Brews and the Yoga Space.

Dedicated to her own and others’ personal and professional development, Williams completed her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2014–a mark of excellence in the communications’ field, demonstrating broad business and communications knowledge, a strategic perspective and sound professional judgment. Williams has been a PRSA Portland Metro Chapter member and volunteer since 2010 and recipient of the 2012 New Professional Award of Excellence, given to a rising star in the PR and communications field.

While serving as the Vice President of Professional Development for the Portland chapter, Williams oversaw a team of 25 who coordinated 60+ events in 2013-2014 and organized a coalition of eight local professional development organizations in continuous efforts to build Portland’s community of communications and design professionals.

As the youngest member of her Master’s cohort, Williams rose amongst her peers to serve as the University of Oregon’s Chair of the Journalism Graduate Student Association for one of the first graduate programs in the country to integrate advertising, public relations and marketing, plus business management, into a professional degree. While acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in English from Willamette University (magna cum laude), Williams held a retail job, worked as a writing consultant and co-led the award-winning redesign of the student-run newspaper.

Williams is passionate about helping people move from survival to strategy in all communication fueled  by her life experiences: the places she’s lived, the people she’s met, the adventures she’s had and the challenges she’s faced.

An Oregon native, you’ll also find Williams avidly exploring the outdoors, playing sports, reading and traveling: always with the intention to live in harmony with nature.

Follow along on Instagram: @j3williams, Tumblr: soletraveler.tumblr.com or Twitter: @oregonintegrity.