Sink or Swim: My First Week

By Gia BellamyFirst Week At Swim

The only thing Gia loves more than the smell of old books is copywriting that hits you right in the feels. Helping brands find their unique voice and make meaningful connections with their fans is what drives Gia to write sharp, on-strategy copy day after day. That, and a fresh cup of dark roast.


To say it’s been a pretty baller summer so far is an understatement. In the past couple of months, I moved from the North Loop to the North Shore, repped Ad 2 MN at the AAF National Conference in Las Vegas and fell in love with paddleboarding. And, only one of these things required me to get in the bone-chilling waters of Lake Superior.

Amongst all these exciting developments, the cherry on top was starting as a copywriter at Swim Creative. I had high expectations after meeting Patrice and David (and stalking the website), and after my first week I can confidently say: the hype is real. Allow me to be more specific.

The work is badass. Like a moth drawn to a bright creative spark, I was pumped to team up with the people whose creativity I so admired. Everyone at Swim is able to think out of the box yet within strategy to help their clients. In our industry, that’s a skill more rare than daily timesheet entry.

The clients are stellar. I mean, have you seen Swim’s client roster? It’s basically a list of my favorite Duluth brands. For a copywriter, writing for a company that you love and respect is a dream, so I’m feeling pretty hashtag blessed right now. The hardest part has been trying not to drool all over my keyboard. Speaking of, is it beer:30 yet?

You’ll feel right at home, right away. There’s nothing better than the vibe of a nimble, hardworking agency. Sure, you’ll work at Mach 10 speed sometimes. But there’s a heartfelt high-five and an IPA in the fridge for when the client says, “I absolutely love it.”

That’s the best.

There’s assigned reading. Which is great because, let’s be real, I’m never going to finish The Corrections anyway. At Swim, everyone is required to read an industry book and discuss it at an all-team meeting. It’s just like any other book club, except that we actually read the book. Crazy, right? This month, it’s Truth, Lies and Advertising. Stay tuned for the review.

“Sink or Swim” isn’t just the agency’s origin story. It’s the culture. In my first week, I was surrounded by designers and developers hustling to get a site launched, strategists concepting event ideas, and a branding presentation that the client — you guessed it — absolutely loved.

The best part? Everyone was upbeat and offering to help out any way they could. So freakin’ cool.

To me, that’s a reflection of the Swim Code of Ethics. Some mission and vision statements are a load of corporate-speak, but this one is the real deal:

Be good. Do good. Tell the truth. Work hard. Live responsibly. Take care of our community. Only be amazing.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what week two brings.

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