Libby Wamser has always had a way with words.
It was Christmastime when she was 12 or 13 that she discovered the impact her words could have.
As one of 9 children, Libby always found the day chaotic with everyone opening presents at one time.
She had given her father, a World War II vet, a personal poem as a present. They hadn’t been getting along well and she wanted to express what she had been having trouble saying directly to him.
She captured some of his catchphrases, ended a stanza with each, printed and decorated and framed it, and gave it to him.
That’s when she noticed in the scrum of the gift-opening frenzy, that her father had disappeared.
He had gone into the other room after reading it and he was crying.
“I remember being like wow, a little scared of it,” Libby recalls. “When I see that poem now, it’s horrible. But it’s when I first got the power of it.”
She had always loved the rhymes of Dr. Seuss and the challenge of haikus and started creating her own, just for fun. It came naturally to her.
That childhood love became a hobby that’s now a side hustle for the full-time hairdresser.
Libby recently resurrected the business she started in 1995 when she discovered the value of her lyrical skills to her business networking group. She’d write member updates and birthday poems and then began selling her work to clients, charging a dollar a line and penning poems for teachers, friends, family… even for pet eulogies.
Now, she runs a full-fledged poem creation company called Lyrickraft (https://www.lyrickraft.com), personalizing poems for clients of all types. She helps people say “what they need to say” in eloquent ways. After a brief phone call to learn more about the client and the intent, Libby gets to work, translating information into poetic phrases.
The poems are turned into a piece of art – a keepsake for the recipient.
“It’s a way they know their legacy is written,” she says.
She’s expanded her written work and is partnering with graphic designers to turn the poems into other objects like photos and t-shirts.
Valentine’s Day is busy for her, as are other major holidays, though she fields requests from all over. The oddest was a poem a client wanted to give to her therapist.
Libby says the typical poem takes her about an hour to write. The words usually come easily but when they don’t, she consults her well-worn rhyming dictionary.
“One section of the O’s is loose,” she explains.
A life well lived has stories of pleasure and pain
There are ups and downs, some loss and some gain
Some people spend their time just bumping along
Others take the helm and steer, purposeful and strong
How have you cast yourself in your own story?
A bit player in someone else’s plot or a hero of glory?
Most likely you find yourself somewhere in between
It’s time to turn the page and take charge of the scene
Through The Storytelling Strategist you’ll become your own director
Your Next Chapter is one step closer to Happily Ever After!
I reviewed the content line by line. And I have to say, it’s pretty darn fine.
OK, you got me, my rhyming is clearly in jest. I’ll end this blog post now and leave the poetry to the woman who does it best!
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If you’d like to commission a poem or to find out more about Libby’s services, contact her at LyricKraft. Poem creation starts at $75-$95 for written content. You can also follow her on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Valerie Gordon is a former award-winning storyteller who believes in the power of words. As founder of career and communication strategy firm The Storytelling Strategist, she helps women with the skills necessary to create careers of impact and influence. If you know of an inspiring woman to profile, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.