Nancy Walker is a brand strategist, speaker and creative enthusiast at Walker Brands, the company she founded twenty years ago in Tampa. A passionate believer in the power of place, she built her company headquarters to express her agency’s collaborative and creative culture. Photographed at Walker Brands in Tampa.
You recently celebrated 20 years in business. What advice do you have for new entrepreneurs just starting the journey? When I started Walker Brands, I was an artist and wanted to provide design services. I just plunged in. There’s no template. The playbook doesn’t exist. You have to figure it out by making mistakes. Your responsible no matter what. Get ready – the lows you have will be the lowest lows – but the highs are the highest of highs because you made it happen!
What inspires you?
- Nature. I’m blown away by the creativity of the universe.
- I get tremendous inspiration from the internet. Great ideas inspire me. I’m always looking for them. It’s like food for me. I get energized by it I like to read about trends on the cutting edge. It pushes me. The world can be very vanilla.
- Cities. I love urban environments. The density, contrast and texture. I grew up in Washington D.C. Those city planners knew what they were doing!
Where do you go to unwind? Anna Maria Island is my favorite place. I love the beach.
What your 3 favorite places in Tampa?
- Curtis Hixon Park. The mix of assets is phenomenal – culture, waterfront, green space.
- Howard Avenue. I like to get my oatmeal at Daily Eats, pizza at Bella’s, and go to Evo’s for a shake.
- Ballast Point Pier – I love looking at the skyline from there. It’s the coolest place to watch the sunrise. The same people are there every morning.
Your endless creativity and enthusiasm are contagious. Where does that come from? We all have gifts and passions and if we’re lucky we find them in life.. A lot of my creativity comes from my father. He loved to shake things up.
Tell us about the book your are writing. I loosely call it a book – it’s really a collection of thoughts. It’s about my father. He was an Episcopal priest with a passion about the concept of death and dying. He felt it was one of the most important parts of our lives – that when we embrace our mortality we learn to live. He didn’t believe death should be scary. I want to honor his legacy.