about ampersand

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You're on the bridge between what you think you should do and what you’re actually called to do.

You’re smart, ambitious, open-minded, determined, and self-aware. You have a bit of an entrepreneurial streak that you’re not quite sure what to do with, but you do know that you must be passionate about the work that you do. You’re done with bandaid solutions and willing to do the hard work to create the lifestyle you want.

Your friends may think you’re crazy for not enjoying your cool startup job or your parents may be proud of your corporate retirement benefits, but you just know you’re meant for something that feels more meaningful and impactful to you and the communities you care about. After all, there’s a reason you keep feeling pulled to your creative work, even after long days at the office, right?

I’m here to partner alongside you on the bridge to figuring out where and how you can best use your passions, experiences, and talents to build a career and life that feels so true to you, you’ll hardly believe you lived any other way before.

Hi, I’m Marissa! I’m a professional career and life coach who loves the promise of a blank, new notebook, thinks podcasts can turn any chore or commute around, and feels most carefree when I’m dancing.

I believe that when we allow ourselves the opportunity to ask for something more—out of our careers, out of our relationships, and out of our lives—we discover so much more than we even planned. And when we have the intuition to know it’s time for a change and the courage to move in a new direction, life rewards us with growth and fulfillment.

You can learn more about how to work with me here.


Creatives, I get you because I am you.

I’ve been blogging and creating and scheming since the week after college graduation and I’ve done it all: fashion, DIY, and lifestyle blogging; book reviews; giveaways, ads and sponsorships; blogging about blogging, income and traffic reports, Periscope workshops, video interviews, online courses, speaking engagements, podcast recordings, and more. And it’s all led me here, to you! (Thank God.)

I am deeply passionate about emboldening creatives to pursue meaningful work in a way that's unique to you and your values. I’m not here to tell you to do exactly what I did or to just up and quit your job or to put your side hustle dreams aside for good. I’m here to help you figure out what’s right for you, craft a plan to make it actually happen, and be there every step of the way.


Ampersand Coaching thrives
on these core values:

1 // Authenticity

2 // Creativity

3 // Freedom

4 // Growth

5 // Connection

6 // Empowerment

7 // Generosity


My Story


I know what it feels like to have one foot in the traditional working world and the other in a creative entrepreneurial world and not feel like I fully belong in either.

When I was forced to give up teaching in a traditional high school classroom, it was my newfound love for blogging that gave me a second chance to completely start over, a gateway to a new life in which I got to decide the rules. It lead me to pursue marketing consulting for a tech startup, a path that I thought would fulfill my emerging values of freedom and flexibility while still honoring my desire to help others, my writing skills, and interest in social media and email marketing.

Initially, my new career path provided immense relief and new purpose and excitement. I was thriving in my role, traveling around the country giving presentations about social media marketing and teaching small business owners how to craft effective email campaigns. But it didn’t take long for things not to feel quite right. I knew that this wasn’t ultimately where I needed to be and I had quickly outgrown the entry-level work.

You see, after I left education–an extremely traditional industry–and started to experience start-up culture firsthand while simultaneously witnessing everyday people making a creative living online, my whole world opened up. It was like I was seeing all of these new possibilities and paths for the first time. I became fascinated with companies challenging the status quo and redefining what work could look like. I even interviewed with a dream company, known for its values-based, transparent work culture, and made it through the third round. And I was starting to take blogging even more seriously, rebranding, building a community, and imagining how I could take my creative projects to the next level.

But before I could make a career change myself, I was part of a big company-wide layoff, so I was back on the job search.

The problem was, I didn’t recognize myself in any of the job descriptions I kept coming across during my desperate attempts to find a new job, nor did I have a solid creative idea that I could make a living on, not to mention I didn’t really resonate with the idea of being a “girl boss” and having to “hustle” and “slay.” No matter which way I turned, I didn’t really recognize a true place for me.

I eventually got another job in marketing at another tech startup. This time, it was a position with a significant amount of responsibility and even more flexibility than ever before. But, again, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn’t right, either. Sure, I could do this work and do it well, and even feel a level of passion about it. But I couldn’t ignore the signs that I was meant for something...well...more.

At the same time, my relationship with blogging was starting to change.

While I absolutely loved the creativity, community, and business aspects of my brand, I felt stuck in overconsumption, jaded by the marketing industry that I was a part of. It felt silly to be blogging about blogging. I was craving more heart, more connection, more stuff that actually mattered. I still wanted to blog—it had been such an important part of my life that changed my trajectory forever—but I didn’t really know how to proceed.

So, at a loss in both my career and creative work, I decided I needed to try something different. I hired a coach. It was, hands down, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Finally, I had someone who could help me let go of my limiting beliefs, figure out that freedom, flexibility, and creativity are what help me to thrive, understand why my relationship with blogging had changed, embrace the idea that I could, in fact, run a successful business my way, and most importantly, discover the thread throughout all of my experiences in my career and life: coaching. It’s the perfect blend of my teaching background, my interest in personal growth, my desire to empower others, and my marketing and leadership skills.

Today, I am a Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, trained through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), an accredited program through the International Coach Federation. And man does it feel right.


Why Ampersand?

The ampersand is one of my favorite symbols, beautifully connecting two separate clauses into one cohesive sentence with a fun flourish.

Initially, my reasoning for choosing the name Ampersand was a hat tip to the multi-passionate creative. I wanted to encourage people to embrace all of the “ands” in their lives-–to celebrate that you aren’t defined by just one thing, one label.

Since then, the meaning has evolved to represent the transition in between two separate “chapters” in our lives. Just as the ampersand connects sentences together into one, there are pivotal moments that connect our pasts with our futures.

The ampersand is a visual depiction of the twists and turns we take in life that ultimately form something beautiful. And have you noticed? Not everyone draws an ampersand the same way, either! ;)