With a passion for deadlines and details, our account executive Emily Rieders is always ready and motivated to do great things. She’s fluent in Greek life organizations and dedicated to making sure her clients always find design love.
SM: What is your role at Rhyme & Reason Design?
ER: I am an account executive and project manager. The cool thing about working at Rhyme & Reason Design is that we get to wear a lot of hats, so I’m an account executive, project manager, copywriter and, some days, an in-house coordinator of things, which is really fun because we get to flex a lot of skills. But my main role is to work with our clients to help make their dreams come true through branding and marketing materials.
SM: How did you come across Rhyme & Reason Design?
ER: I was previously working for an app in the fraternity and sorority community and part of that company was providing the external websites for fraternities and sororities on a national level. We had always worked with Rhyme & Reason Design, since its inception, to design those templates. So, Karen from our team and my former boss knew each other in college and were pretty good friends, so they always stayed in touch and worked together. I knew the R&R team was just a really cool group of people, but I was always looking for the next step in my career. A mutual friend actually sent me an email one day that R&R was looking for a new account executive and if I knew anybody who might be interested. Of course I emailed her back saying, “well I’m going to give you a call!” Long story short, I immediately submitted my résumé, then chatted with Scarlett and Karen and it all really worked out to be just the right place, at the right time. So I packed up my bags and moved to Atlanta to join the R&R team!
SM: You handle most of the Greek organizations for R&R, is that because of your background in the fraternity and sorority community?
ER: Growing up, I was always a fan of organized activities. I was involved in sports teams and youth groups, so when I went to college, I knew that I wanted to really involve myself on campus. A lot of my older friends joined Greek organizations and I knew it was kind of the same structure as everything else I had always done. I joined my sorority my freshman year (I’m an Alpha Gamma Delta) at Florida State University and it really helped shape me as a person and as a leader. I immediately started to take on leadership roles and got really involved in some of the higher aspects within the sorority. I was a recruitment counselor so that’s where we welcomed all the potential new members and helped those women make decisions on which sorority to join or help figure out if they even wanted to join at all. After that, I became head recruitment counselor so I got to plan the entire recruitment process and train a lot of new counselors and not just learn about my sorority, but also Panhellenic as a whole. From there, I was asked to teach an emerging leaders class where freshman in their Greek organization got to take this leadership opportunity and we talked about all four Greek counsels. I even worked in our Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. I really took the experience and ran with it. I had a really awesome group of advisors who helped me shape my language and presentation skills. It’s really an industry that once you’re in, you’re in and it was a really natural transition to R&R. It’s an industry that I love and really support, and if it’s done right it can be done really well and help a lot of undergraduates and alumni/ae become the people they’re meant to be. But I love being on this side where we get to work with their headquarters and help everyone else understand that perspective.
SM: Tell me about a project you’re proud of.
ER: I’m proud of all my projects! But, I do have two that are close to my heart. My very first project that Scarlett let me take and run with at R&R was a new property for Winn Companies, which was called The Village at Brookline. It was the first project that I had free reign on the creative brief and I led the design meetings. I think I’m R&R’s biggest fan girl because I think it’s so cool that we create these brands and build these pieces, and then they get to go out and live in the world. The one I really love to hang my hat on at the moment is Alpha Delta Pi. That was a huge rebrand, and eventually the ADPI Foundation joined in to rebranding as well. Getting to spearhead this project for the first secret society for women in existence and take them to the next step of their journey, including changing their tagline, updating their colors and giving them a new look and feel, was really cool. And pairing the foundation with all of it was the icing on the cake. They are great partners and watching them take these pieces and run with them makes me feel like a proud mom! ADPi will always be so special to me now.
SM: What is the most important part of a rebrand?
ER: You get out what you put in. It’s very hard to hire a company that’s probably outsiders to your community or organization and really put trust in them to nail it on the head. Being open to conversations and being honest about what you want and who you are is important. You have to trust the process. Process is created for a reason and it’s proven to work. You have to trust that people know what they are doing.
SM: What are some of the differences between retainer and rebrand clients?
ER: With our retainer clients, the nice thing is that a lot of the time (not all the time) we are the people who did their rebrand, so we are very familiar with them. We are like a well-oiled machine—we know when big projects are coming up and how long they take. So it’s really nice for that continuity piece. Because we’re so close with their brand, we’re able to notice room to grow or fun new projects we can create for them to help support their mission. A one off logo rebrand or full organizational rebrand is fun because we get to create this whole new iteration of the organization, but once that project ends, we don’t really get to see it very often or help take it to the next level after that. One thing we do really well here is treating everyone as if they are our forever friends and making sure they are really happy and invested in what we create for them.
SM: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
ER: Most people don’t know that I was on an episode of True Life. There is a link on YouTube somewhere, I really hope it never sees the light of day again but it was a fun thing that I got to do going into my freshman year of high school. We were at summer camp and MTV came and filmed. It was one of those coming of age summers and super embarrassing. But it was a fun experience and a fun DVD to look back on every now and then.