Missouri School of journalism alum’s journey from ad agency success to bold entrepreneurship

Maggie Glenski Wells, Winkle's Media

By Claire Hamlin

Like many during the pandemic, J-School alum Maggie Glenski Wells found herself at a crossroads. After a successful career working at top advertising agencies around the country, she longed for a different track that put family and flexibility first. With the founding of her own agency — Wrinkle’s Media — she managed to create a new path for her career, the seeds of which were planted during her time at Mizzou.

Inspired by the experience she gained studying strategic communication at the J-School, her connections in the MU community and others in the industry, Glenski Wells, a Kansas City native, moved to New York City following her graduation in 2011. There, she built a network of MU alumni and launched her career in advertising at some of the top global advertising agencies.  

“I was actually able to secure my jobs there through the Mizzou mafia, connecting with a lot of Mizzou alumni up in New York City. I was there for a little over four years and worked [with clients like] Toyota and ExxonMobil,Glenski Wells said. “I started getting real experience in the digital side of advertising and was really enjoying the social world and working on websites.”

She moved back to Kansas City in 2015 and started working for VMLY&R, another top global advertising agency. There, she dove into all areas of advertising and honed her professional specialties.

“When I came back here to work for VMLY&R, I got on the Gatorade account where we ran all their social media. I got to do a lot of groundbreaking, award-winning work for them for a couple years, and then from there I worked on Dannon yogurt. I did a lot of social for them, but also a lot of traditional marketing,” she said. “My last client I worked on there was Intel, which was awesome as well. I was a part of a whole rebrand for the client. Over all that time, I really noticed how much I loved working in the social space and the digital space.”

“Our mission is really to help entrepreneurs and small business owners who have this vision and dream for themselves to help bring their vision to life. So, I’m giving them the expertise they need to reach their customers online.”

But in 2021, her world changed with the birth of her first child. The 9-to-5 agency world no longer seemed so appealing, and she realized it was time to embark on a new phase of her career.

“When we had our first child back in 2021 and I went on maternity leave, that changed my perspective and readjusted my priorities,” said Glenski Wells. “I realized I’ve always kind of had this dream of entrepreneurship. I also realized I wanted to have more flexibility to be with my family and wanted to have more of an impact with the clients I was working with. I think I was kind of burnt out on the agency life.”

Inspired by other working moms who left the agency world and turned to careers doing freelance work, she decided to open her own company.

“The idea was to take my global experience of working with all these amazing, huge brands, and use it to start working with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help bring their visions and dreams to life,” she said. “So, in July 2021, I went off to start Wrinkle’s Media. The name actually stems back from my great great aunt, Helen Wrinkle, who founded a small pharmacy in St. Joseph, Missouri, in the 1930s.”

Now, Wrinkle’s Media, a communications consultancy, provides brands expert digital marketing strategy, content development and platform management to grow their digital presence.

“Our mission is really to help entrepreneurs and small business owners who have this vision and dream for themselves to help bring their vision to life. So, I’m giving them the expertise they need to reach their customers online. I’m just really amping up their digital marketing, so that they can focus on their company and bringing their dream to life,” she said.

In the future, Glenksi Wells plans to continue to grow the client base of Wrinkle’s Media as well as add to her media team.

“I’d love to continue working with some more small businesses and would love to work with a few local clients or boutiques here in the Kansas City area. I’m a huge book lover, so I’d love working with anyone that’s in the literary space, too. The main goal though is to keep growing not just in terms of the number of clients I work with, but also the amount of people on my team,” she said. “Wrinkle’s Media is still just myself, but I’m actually in the process of looking to hire contractors and other freelancers underneath me now, so I can take on more clients. As we grow our team, one of my main goals is that we stay true to who we are.”

Updated: August 31, 2022

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