Member Highlight - Paul Richardson of Storyworkz

May 13 2024

What is StoryWorkz and what services do you provide?

We founded the company 34 years ago, in 1990, and we help companies (and nonprofits) of all sizes grow through story-based marketing. 

We are a collaborative of about a dozen fun and experienced marketing professionals who do everything from photo and video to social media, from web development and graphic design to wordsmithing and branding. We essentially help our clients weave together all the things they need to do for marketing and branding and putting their best face forward.

Within this collaborative, I handle the photo/video stuff, as well as general project management. I shoot headshots, portraits, products, and places, organize and shoot video projects, and strategize with clients about their overall digital marketing needs.


What is your story? How did you end up in Montpelier?

Thirty-five years ago, I was living and working in Moscow, and there met Dave Kelley, a long-time Montpelier resident. We were both there running different joint ventures and decided to team up to write a book about how to do business in Russia. It was a time (1989-1990) when there was lots of hope that Russia was casting off its thousand-year chains of slavery and authoritarianism. Sadly, that hope was short-lived.

After two years in Moscow, my wife Stephanie and I decided it was time to move back to the States. Thankfully, Dave convinced us that Montpelier was the perfect place to land, to start a family, and to build a company. Russia stuff dominated our business for its first 15 years, but for the last two decades it has focused on photo, video, and helping companies tell their stories. 


What sort of things are you working on now?

I feel incredibly lucky to be able to make a living practicing a craft I love – photography and video, and to use it to help Vermont companies grow and thrive. And the variety of what I get to do is very fun. In just the past few weeks I have done: headshots for nonprofit and tech security professionals, as well as actors; product photography for Sunja’s Kimchi; a video for a state agency to encourage people to visit Vermont, as well as videos for companies in the maple and financial advisory industries; and branding photography for a local food coop and a potter.

Only some of this is stand-alone. Most of it feeds into larger projects our team has been doing to build websites, craft social media, and create print and digital ads.


What is something about your business that people might not expect?

I think mainly that we even exist in Montpelier. People might think that, in the age of smartphones, photo studios died off. But we have a professional photo and video studio right in Montpelier’s downtown. And it also happens to be the hub for a team of world-class marketing folks who serve clients all over the US, as well as Vermont. 

Also, people may not know about the project we are doing (sponsored by Vermont Flannel) to help highlight Vermont makers:


What’s special about being in the downtown and what do you like most about Montpelier?

For all but a couple of our 34 years in business, we have had our office in downtown Montpelier. While it might have been cheaper and logistically easier to locate on the outskirts of town, I have always wanted to be downtown. I value being able to walk to the post office (when we had one) or the bank or the coop. And it’s so great to have these amazing restaurants and coffee shops and bakeries just a few steps away, to say nothing of Bear Pond, Aubuchon, and all our other great businesses. And if you want to take a break in nature, you can walk five minutes and be in Hubbard Park, surrounded by trees. 

Montpelier is a very special place. I feel both proud and lucky to live here, to have a business here.

Note: Paul is doing dog headshots as a fundraiser for the Central Vermont Humane Society's Walk for the Animals on June 8th! Sign up for a headshot slot  for your pup here.

Photo: Paul Richardson photographing Brattleboro luthier (violin-maker) Douglas Cox, for The Vermont Maker Project ( Credit: Emily Hoffman.

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