“I definitely have a love for pioneering new, interesting ways to communicate.”
Meet GirlCrew Toronto member and owner of Bardsy, Carina Gaspar
When Carina Gaspar got in touch about being featured she immediately stuck out as she mentioned that as part of her services she also writes dating profiles! As someone who dabbled very briefly in the world of online dating (I went on one POF date then promptly went home and deleted my account), I found the profile part very challenging, and I’m sure plenty of you out there will agree that it’s a bit of a minefield. While today, she’s a whizz at everything from restaurant reviews, to LinkedIn to OkCupid, Carina’s journey to this point even has an unusual beginning.
“I once wrote a eulogy for our dearly departed office fish at Google, and that, weirdly, set things in motion. I began to create funny little signs around the office, even had the Pittsburgh headquarters commission me to write a limerick about their towels going missing.” While writing allows her humorous side to flourish it’s been her thing for quite some time “I’ve always been a writer—from angsty teen poems to Christmas plays—and I definitely have a love for pioneering new, interesting ways to communicate. Whether it’s funny interoffice signage or online dating profiles (that’s a real writing industry now, crazy, I know), I like helping people get their best selves across in written form.”
With a BA in English and Theatre Studies, and a MA in Theatre studies, it seems this girl has a knack for the written word and pegging characters, but now she is using those skills to help others put their best foot forward online as after working freelance for a while she has branched out on her own “…recently, I’ve started up my own website that offers my professional writing and editing services: bardsy.com.” So, if you are thinking your digital presence needs a bit of a kick, “…an outside-the-boring-box resume…[or] a kickass Match.com profile to attract your Prince Charming” then drop her line and she’ll sort you out.
1. What is the best thing about your role?
I feel very much like Pinocchio all the time: “I’ve got no strings to hold me down.” I get to be my creative, bubbly self in writing and in person, while also helping people find love, find jobs, even find a new Twitter following. For me, that’s the perfect combo.
2. What did you find most challenging about it?
I’m often asking people personal questions about past work and love lives, and I know how vulnerable that can be. I have to be kind, patient, but also get what I need, too: I have to get my client to a place where she tells me about the time her ex-boyfriend scoured e-Bay to find her long lost childhood toy. Or the fact that she’s been hurt in the past and doesn’t want this or that quality in a man (we don’t want no scrubs, amiright?)
3. What is your proudest work related achievement to date?
There’s nothing better than client feedback that says “Wow, you totally nailed it. This piece sounds just like me.” It’s even better when they come back to you and say they landed the job, the girl/guy, the white picket fence, etc., that they always wanted. I recently coached a newly-widowed man on how to write his online dating profile—he was a lovely soul, and I can’t wait until I get an invite to his future wedding, ha!
4. What would be your one tip to others who want to get involved in this industry?
Develop your strengths in active listening—to your client, to yourself. Notice your clients’ mood and gauge from there. Notice your tone. Heck, notice your writing pitfalls too (like my penchant for including -ing words when they’re really unnecessary, le sigh.)
5. What would be your motto in life, and in work?
Brene Brown is my wing woman of life, so I often have this quote from her in my head: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Of course, I also have a chalkboard above my bed where I scribble my own thoughts, and it currently says “Be kind. Be brave. Grab dem bulls.”