Brand clarity—infused with FUN!—starts now.

Hi. I’m Mary-Elizabeth, scientist turned storyteller and Founding Mother of Chard & Stripes. Here’s my philosophy:

If building a brand isn’t fun, why bother?

If it puts you in chronic despair, you might as well get a job with steady paychecks. But relax, I also bring glad tidings:

Together, we can have fun building your brand, …

And turn your story from “just” doctor into the health leader you truly are, for example.

Had clarity within an hour and cried tears of gratitude.

I’ve spent the past three years and as many website designers trying to get the aesthetic and voice to reflect me and my business.
I eventually gave up and settled for a website I could live with, but didn’t really excite me. Then I started working with Mary and…

Within an hour I had clarity and well defined steps to get what I wanted.
I was so relieved, I cried with gratitude. Now I have what I had been looking for all along.


Branding is about telling stories that stir the emotions.

People will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel


Know this:

Confused is the last thing you want folks to feel about your brand.


Because confused people don’t buy or buy into ideas.

I’m here to help you find the words—brand and product names, slogans, taglines, key phrases, etc.—and visual symbols to tell clear, concise AND rousing brand stories…

BEFORE hiring a designer, if that’s your plan.

Know this too:

If you don’t brand yourself while branding your business, someone else will.

To tell your best brand story, I’ll help you create a big title you’re worthy of, if you want one.

Or perhaps I’ll help you claim something like “storyteller,” which I once balked at despite writing a memoir!

Either way, we can take our time getting you comfortable in different shoes.

Exponentially better than what I’d do alone.

I can call ME when I just need somebody to think something through, and I’m amazed at how quickly we solve the problems
so I can move forward. The clarity she helps me achieve in just 30 minutes has saved me hours of time.
The results are always exponentially better than what I can come up with myself.

She brings a creative and analytical balance that’s so effective yet hard to find.


Better understood the uniqueness of my business.

Mary-Elizabeth Harmon helped us at Bookbright Media understand what was unique about our business and how best to communicate that.
Without her, we never would have understood the importance of narratives and stories to everything we do.

Thanks to Mary-Elizabeth, our website communications are truly top-notch!

Bookbright Media

Branding is a journey, not a sprint.

And as the Chinese proverb goes,
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

So step-by-step is how we’ll work.

We’ll get clear on your title and the who, what, and why of your brand.

We’ll decide on ONE doable step to take toward an e-presence that speaks to your ideal folks.

We’ll take the doable step—perhaps making an opt-in page—and keep going incrementally.

Yes, branding is that simple.

Secured recurring sponsors.

It was both a pleasure and very rewarding working with you.
You took the time to listen and understand exactly what was needed to help me create a proposal that kept the integrity of my vision
and added the professional language that allowed sponsors to understand the benefits of supporting my project.

With your help I exceeded my sponsorship expectation.
I went from 2 sponsors in my first year to 6 to 10 recurring sponsors for three years running.

The proposal you prepared for my project showed the win win situation for both sponsorship business and artist support.
I look forward to working with you on other projects and I definitely will be referring you because You Are Top Notch.

Community… A Sound Creation
Art on the Atlanta BeltLine

I’ll confess it’s not always easy getting clear on the basics of your brand depending on how confused you feel.

And it can take some tinkering to find the verbal and visual language to send the right message, but…

Branding is simple and can be super fun.

Let that be your story starting NOW.

No matter how you feel, stop saying that you’re confused and don’t know where to start.

Sorry if that came off as salty, but you can’t find clarity when claiming confusion.

Like having a personal translator.

Working with Mary-Elizabeth is like having a personal translator in your mind who translates your thoughts into brilliant ones!
When I partnered with her to help me with my brand messaging, I had no idea just how delicious the experience would be.

She is a wordsmith like none other and I was blown away by her ability to highlight my ideas in concise, creative and impactful ways.

More importantly, however, was the fact that she understood me and the personality of the brand I was working to breathe new life into.
Mary-Elizabeth has an uncanny ability to see possibilities for what can be and she magically brings them to life.

During our consultations, I would always end up feeling like I owed her more pay because I’d get what I came for and so much more,
including ideas and strategies about other areas of my business.

I find delight in knowing that I have a designated go to person for consultations about my brand. No longer even have to think about it.
She is an ideal partner in every sense and I’m thrilled with the work she has done for me.

Owning Change

Now you might be thinking, “Who is this chick and how’s she qualified to help?”

Here’s the quick answer; the longer one’s coming in my 2nd book, Striding Giant.

When I was about 10, I started getting the feeling that I was born to do something great. My mistake was that I overthought what that might be instead of following what excited me most.

I decided that working to cure AIDS would be “doing greatness,” and after going to MIT and Hopkins, I joined an HIV lab, PhD in hand. Sixteen months later, I quit. Twelve years after that, I had a career-induced health crisis. At the time, I was an analyst writing strategic “stories” for Congress, including one that changed Medicare regulation.

But too sick to shine in LIFE, I left my job to regain my health…and wound up losing my house and sleeping on my sister’s couch. Determined to grow my skills and become the entrepreneur my brother said I was before he died, I spent years getting a street MBA—with a focus in branding—from The School of HARD-ASS Knocks.

STRIDING GIANT: A Former Over-Thinking Scientist Finds Her Footing in a Wobbly World.

As you can see from my testimonials, “top notch” has been tied to me more than once.

Proof that’s earned is in the clarity of this page and the fact you’re still reading and feeling something.

But this ain’t how it started:

I struggled to find clarity in my brand and got knocked around, as I indicated, learning to apply strategic storytelling skills and more from my “old” career to the effort of building alluring brands.

It happened, though.

She digs in and pulls out gems.

Mary-Elizabeth is a Sculptor of words.
Her ability to delve into the essence of the subject and pull out gems…is Talent and a true Gift.

She works with a rare integrity combined with steadfast time management that is so important when working with timelines.
Her ability and scope of vision is a valuable addition to any strategic team building and business development.

Grow Where You Are

Today, I’m here to spare you from struggling like I did…

Or to help set you free if it’s too late.

Clarity comes from doing, not ruminating. And like Dr. King said:

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

If you’re having a hard time building your brand, let your first step be getting help.

From me or someone else.


Building a brand is supposed to be fun—you can always suffer on a job.

When I was struggling and unemployed, I got help from books and free stuff online. But I wanted help from a human and paid a lot in time, mental anguish and lost income from a lack of clarity and not selling anything.

If you need clarity to sell things but are low on cash, …

Get on a list for alerts about my upcoming group coaching calls and “pick your price” workbooks.

If you’re looking for 1-on-1 support, here’s what I offer:


You’ll be on a podcast next week and are happy AND horrified about more eyes on your landing page. You know it’s off but can’t see how to fix it. In one hour, we might pull off a miraculous makeover, but set your expectations for MUCH better than before. If I don’t think we can do that in 60 minutes, I’ll pass and won’t take your cash.

Email me: hello[at]ChardandStripes[dot]com


This is for you if you’ve been struggling with branding for months or longer. With time to ponder questions I’ll send to clarify things about yourself and your work, together we’ll part the clouds and make angels sing. Your family might start giving you the side-eye for seeming to love your brand more than them. 🙂

Click here for a brand chat to see if we’re a fit.

$400/mo retainer

I’m building a fashion brand and have books to write. Translation: I’m planning on pausing client work at times. But I’ll allow some people access to me year round on a retainer. Would that include you? For $400 a month, you’ll get a one-hour clarity call. Depending on my time, you may have the option to buy more hours for $400 each.

Click here to explore if a retainer is right for you.

You should know…

I believe that despite good intentions, we feed what we fight—power flows where focus goes.

If your brand is primed for war and you’re not willing to give it a pro-something stance, we’re not a good fit.

Moving right along…

Whether we work together or don’t, consider Chard Mail.

It’s weekly bite-sized stories with cheer and inspiration + ideas, tools, resources and lessons learned for you to make a great-feeling life and world, with a focus on remaking the worlds of food and fashion.

It’s full of spiritual wisdom and non-food and fashion types love it too. Subscribe here.