#CLTInspreneurs: Paula Bartlett & Torrie Savage

Meet Paula & Torrie, creative marketing duo. 

Meet Paula and Torrie co-owners of #thesavageway. In a nutshell, #thesavageway creatively uses nature to market companies. Everyday they get to create in some capacity. Paula thrives off lists, organization, is extremely determined, and the quiet, behind-the-scenes side of the company. Torrie is outgoing, creative powerhouse and the risk taker.



(yes, the official name has a hashtag in front of it… aka, it’s always trending.)


Paula: #thesavageway started in 2012 after a chance meeting of two people at a bar (that’s a fun story for another time). We started out as a social media/ PR/marketing company, but after a few years, we realized that we were so much more (and different) than that. Today, we work with clients who want to stand out. Period.  Our services include Clean Graffiti, Moss Art and Creative Guerilla Marketing. We are based in Charlotte, NC but have worked in over 50 cities.

Torrie: #thesavageway has evolved so much since starting, I will spare you all the details and cut to the chase in that we now do out of the box “things”… Clean Graffiti, Moss Art & Guerilla Marketing. It’s funny we have not done PR in a few years but we still make the top lists – which tells us we have kept our clients and social presence in the public realm enough to still get noticed and that’s what it is all about. If you want to know all the details about any of the 3 above I would love to have coffee with you and tell you all about our adventure – it’s been a lot of fun and we love talking about it – It’s just not that easy to type all out.

What is a typical day like for you?

Paula: It all varies, but usually I wake up at 5:15am, meditate, make my to-do list for the day, hit the gym at 6:45am, shower, then the work starts. I could be writing blogs, creating proposals, researching new markets, playing travel agent, cleaning moss (yes, that’s part of my job), making maps, the list goes on and on – basically a lot of computer work. I try to be home by 5ish so I can cook and relax with my family. Usually I jump back into some work or read after dinner. I’m the worst sleeper but I try to get to bed by 10:30/11pm.

Torrie: Wake up and feed the dogs is always first – then I make my way to some tea, meditate and sometimes catch a workout class in the am. Work ALWAYS varies – some days we are stuck at a desk, some days I am making Moss Art and some days we are traveling to a new city to execute Clean Graffiti. Oh yea, and then I try to disconnect at night and be normal – meet friends for dinner, go to a brewery or drive to Matthews and hang with my some of my favorite people, my parents.

Favorite part about being an entrepreneur?

Paula: Definitely one of my favorite parts is being the boss of my time. There is so much freedom knowing I don’t have to work within the 9-5pm time slot. I thrive early in the morning and am usually spent by 3pm. Being an entrepreneur means I can take a break and get back to work later in the evening. I find a way to make it work in balance with my life. Another thing I love is that I am constantly pushing myself creatively. The ideas and pitches that we make for clients can be so out of my comfort zone, but I love being challenged.

Torrie: Creative freedom and being my own boss.

Least favorite?

Paula: Accounting. (thank goodness for James Pollack!)

Torrie: Not being able to turn it off or disconnect.

What did you do before you went out on your own?

Paula: Event Planning / Marketing / Bartending

Torrie: Marketing Director at an agency.

Why did you pick Charlotte as the home of your business?

Paula: Personally, I chose Charlotte on a whim almost a decade ago. After graduating from Ohio University, I packed my car and moved south. Charlotte had a growing economy and warmer weather (which was perfect for me).  Since 2008, I have grown to know this city as my home. I could not imagine being anywhere else.

Torrie: Happened by default.

What inspired you to go out on your own?

Paula: I wanted to work for something I was passionate about.

Torrie: Working for clients I did not believe in. If we HAVE to work our whole lives, I needed to be fulfilling my time and efforts with people who actually deserved it. I had NO CLUE what being an entrepreneur entailed… but man, did I learn fast! I love having #thesavageway as my job, we truly love what we do and who we do it for.

What do you do when you’re not working?

Paula: I work a ton, but I find it is so important to make time for you. There really is nothing more important than your own mental and physical wellbeing. When I’m not working, you can find me working out, hanging out with my husband, cooking and testing recipes, spending time with our two pups (Rosco & Lola), reading, or spending time outside under the trees.

Torrie: Hang with friends and my dogs. Cook, read & workout.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being out on your own?

Paula: To trust my gut. This is a big motto of #thesavageway and something we practice daily. Whenever we have call/meeting with a potential new client, the first thing Torrie and I do is assess how we feel about it. We pause and listen to what our gut is saying. Early on, we said yes to a lot of projects because we were hungry for the work, but it was not a good fit for us overall. Now, by listening to our guts, we know that we are working for companies that we whole-heartedly believe in and can support.

Torrie: Get an accountant.

Talk about a time you failed big time and what you did next.

Paula: When you run a business, you fail all the time. But you just have to learn how to do it better the next time. We’re paving this path as we go and there are definitely pitfalls and wrong turns but we haven’t gone off the map yet. That’s where having an awesome business partner comes in. Torrie & I are able to hold each other accountable and run big decisions by each other. We have found a way to navigate this crazy path and have fun while doing it!

Torrie: We have definitely made a lot of mistakes but a “big fail” hasn’t happened yet.

Who do you look up to or look to for inspiration/advice? 

Paula: I gather inspiration from all over the place and I try to constantly stay engaged with reading to keep my mind open.  A few favorites are authors like Paulo Coehlo & Thich Nhat Hanh, books like “Creativity, Inc,” & “Rework,” Podcasts from Rich Roll (The Rich Roll Podcast) & Dan Harris (10% Happier), and artist, Ashley Longshore.

Torrie: I have a handful of local mentors and reading or staying inspired with podcasts has also helped.

What’s your motto, or some words you live by? 

Paula: Be Kind. Always.

Torrie: Trust  your gut.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to be an entrepreneur?

Paula: Being your own boss is difficult (and not for everyone). You must have a lot of self-discipline every hour of the day. If you decide to go down this road, please make sure that you can laugh and have fun while creating your business.

Torrie: Put your big girl pants on, it’s no easy feat.

Where can people stalk ya?

Insta: @thesavageway

Twitter: @thesavageway

Facebook: @thesavageway

What’s your “power color”?

Paula: I don’t necessarily have a power color, I mostly wear neutrals and big grandpa sweaters (☺). But if I want to feel like a boss, I throw on some heels.

Torrie: Green

A Note from BW on Paula and Torrie…

We chose Paula and Torrie to represent the OUT OF THE BOX space. Truly, they are inventing new ways to share a brand’s story. Through moss and clean graffiti, TSW is putting messages in creative places and engaging people in organic and authentic ways (and we are all about that). They’re fun, kind and live passion-driven lives, which is inspiring for everyone, not just entrepreneurs. They are a perfect example of taking a leap of faith (something every entrepreneur must do): trusting in something you believe in, even if it’s new, scary, and/or no one else can see it.

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