November 29, 2017

What Inspires the PHOS Team

Great inspiration lights a fire within you to be a better person, or to do better work. It motivates you to go above and beyond.

Everyone finds inspiration in different ways. And our team is constantly looking for new ways to get inspired and fuel our creativity.

Creativity is one of our five core values here at PHOS. We define creativity as our passion for inspiration and innovation.

We want to push the envelope on everything that we do here. Each of us strives to think outside the box and be bold. We couldn’t do this without getting inspired.

Below, our team members share how each one of them gets inspired.


I get inspired a few different ways.

One way I get inspired is through podcasts. Whether I’m sitting in traffic or I’m on a slow walk with the dog, podcasts allow me to hear from people around the world who have overcome challenges in life and business. A few of my favorite channels for business and marketing include Entreleadership, TED Talks, The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, and Marketing Over Coffee.

Another way I get inspired is simply by keeping up with how other companies tell their story. This could be through video campaigns, graphics, or even new innovative ways to communicate. There’s nothing better as a marketer than seeing something and thinking, “that is SUPER cool.”


My personal definition of creativity is applying ideas from seemingly unrelated areas to solve a problem. I don’t remember where I got that, or whether I strung together a few different thoughts to get there. I do know that it’s true, at least for me. It’s why, for many of us, the best ideas come in the shower, letting our minds wander.

Some of my best ideas are the ones that stem from other clients, projects, or opportunities. These also tend to be the ideas I like best from our team. They usually take the form of, “remember what we did in August for this project? Now, I know it’s a totally different industry and solved a different problem, but hear me out. What if…”

Those “what if” questions are my favorites questions. They don’t always immediately produce a golden nugget. But often enough, they lead somewhere or lead somewhere that leads somewhere, especially if they draw from an experience, no matter how seemingly unrelated.

“My personal definition of creativity is applying ideas from seemingly unrelated areas to solve a problem.”


There are two primary things that inspire me:

1. Spending time with people. I love being around people who are passionate. People who understand their own “why” and live with purpose and intentionality are rare, and when I get to spend time with them, it feeds me deeply. I make sure that I am regularly surrounding myself with people who are seasoned in business, education, leadership, and faith, who can not only inspire me to grow but hold me accountable for doing so.

2. Listening to well-recorded, thoughtful music. I love music. I’m a performer and a writer, and when I’m around great musicians, I’m inspired to be creative. In a supportive environment, there can be a true freedom to innovate. Herbie Hancock tells the story of playing with Miles Davis and hitting a wrong note. Miles stepped in and changed his chord structure at that moment to support Herbie and make his note fit the progression. That’s inspiring.


I often find inspiration from reading history. It can seem backwards to look to the past for answers in an industry that changes as quickly as digital marketing. Reading history and looking to the past can provide clarity in a world that seems to change at a dizzying pace.

Marketers work in the business of communication, and we must be able to tell the story of our customers effectively. History provides insight into the thinking of mankind. People tend to think that they change with changes in technology and industry, but the reality is that the major challenges to humanity have remained the same throughout time.

Being able to tap into that common narrative, the stresses and joys of life, people looking for love and meaning, working to be better every day, is an invaluable tool in having an emotional impact with our audience.

“Reading history and looking to the past can provide clarity in a world that seems to change at a dizzying pace.”


If I had to name something or someone that inspires me, I would honestly have to say that the rest of the team here at PHOS inspires me on a daily basis. I am constantly amazed by the work of my fellow team members and the leadership and creativity they bring into every project. It inspires me to be around such awesome people!

Outside of work, I find inspiration for improvement or projects by listening to podcasts, reading books, or browsing Pinterest. I also get a lot of inspiration from my boyfriend. He brings out the fun and creative side of me. Ultimately though, I find my best inspiration happens when I take time to myself in nature by taking a long walk and just taking in Creation.


Each of our clients is unique in their own way. They have different goals, personalities, and ways of serving others, and nothing fires me up more than being able to tell those personal stories through digital marketing. The best way I get inspiration is by learning as much as I possibly can about them, their industry, and their customers, and then I go from there. I try to put myself in their shoes or the shoes of their customers before I make any decisions on strategy. When I’m writing, I even put on music that I would consider the “tone” of that client’s brand and let that emotion drive the tone and voice of their content.

Anything around me, whether it be aesthetic, audible, or process-oriented, inspires the way I approach everything I do with leadership, creativity, love, integrity, and community.

“I try to put myself in their shoes…”


Whether it be inspiration in work, in fashion, or in anything else, I typically find myself searching the Internet for inspiration like the millennial I am. Social media is my go-to online source for inspiration, whether it be Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.

If I’m seeking out inspiration, I’ll usually head to Pinterest first, searching for inspiration in work, school, and everyday life. This helps get my creative juices flowing and gets me thinking about what I could be doing to make myself and my work better.

However, sometimes I just stumble across inspiration on Instagram or Facebook. As an advertising major, I follow a lot of creative influencers and creative classmates. Occasionally, I’ll see some of their work on their social media that sparks an idea for me and my own work.


I’m inspired by thoughtful attention to purpose. If a brand, product, or service was designed in a purposeful way, I’m drawn to it more so than its alternative counterparts. The attention to detail in color, animation, wording, process, simplicity, efficiency, and the interactions of all these elements can make even the most tedious tools entertaining to work with.

I create websites that serve a colorful, purposeful, and interactive front-end while keeping an efficient, simple, and manageable back-end. I help facilitate organized, systematic development processes that ease the burden of fellow developers. If something looks simple on the front-end, it should be coded simply on the back-end. I enjoy the harmony of what I create, where no matter if you’re the client, the customer, the content creator, management, or even the developer, you’re left with an overall impression of “Wow, this is so simple to use. This makes sense.”

The synergy created between our clients, their customers, my own team, and my fellow developers to simply serve others with a united mission and vision is what makes PHOS the perfect business for me to grow old with.


Inspiration for me comes from a lot of sources. By day I am a designer. By night I’m a baker/chef, a fitness enthusiast, an animal activist, and a wife. My sources of inspiration are from here to the moon that touch all of these topics.

For design, my inspiration comes from design blogs and social media-specific for designers, like Dribbble and Behance—and of course, Pinterest. I also touch YouTube and Instagram in my daily antics. My inspiration, however, doesn’t just come from the internet. People inspire me. Their stories are what shape the meanings behind everything I do, at work, and at home. I strive to capture what they’ve done. This can be done in baking, weightlifting, branding, etc. In order for any of those to stick, though, I have to want it. These things inspire me because they are my passions. Without me, I wouldn’t have any inspiration. I must inspire me.

“My sources of inspiration are from here to the moon that touch all of these topics.”


Outside of PHOS, I blog weekly about simple and modern DIY living. A lot of my inspiration comes from online window shopping lifestyle brands like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Kinfolk, & Poketo. They’re such powerhouses when it comes to storytelling with their brand through coordinating products & packaging, email campaigns, and social media! Colors and textures are always being refreshed to build the narrative.

Other lifestyle blogs I check weekly because they are absolutely #killinit with brand identity and content are The Merrythought, Paper & Stitch, and Sugar & Cloth. The creativity that pours out of these ladies is insane!


Something that really inspires me is reading books about other people’s lives and the things they’ve done and accomplished. Whenever I read about someone overcoming something great or taking a huge risk and succeeding, or even sometimes failing, it really inspires me to think more outside of the box of my everyday life.

I recently read Love Does by Bob Goff and reading about his amazing life of trusting God and serving others, while having a ton of fun, really inspired me to want to be just like him. Regardless of the author or book, though, I think just reading about the things other people face and how they overcome it, how they take chances, or how they make their own opportunities is a huge inspiration in my life.

Alexis Fillmer

With a strategic mind and a love for culture and leadership, Alexis spends each day working to get the most out of every idea and person on our team. As our Director of Operations, she’s responsible for creating organizational clarity, ensuring excellence in our services, and creating a culture in which our team members can flourish.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Alexis playing with her son at the park, starting a new house project (and maybe finishing it), at the nearest farmer’s market, trying a new recipe, or scoping out live music with her husband.