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A Farewell To Brand Whitesville...

If you asked me five months ago about my thoughts on Whitesville, the answer would have been completely different than what it would be today. Five months ago, I would have said it was a small, dying town in the middle of nowhere. Five months ago, I would have told someone it’s a town you drive by, just to forget 10 minutes later.

Merely looking back five months ago, it genuinely upsets me that I thought the way I did about Whitesville. I have learned so much, and feel as if I’m a part of this southern West Virginia town. When thinking of a branding project, people tend to focus on what they can change to make a place better. In this case however, nothing actually needed to be changed in Whitesville. We wanted outsiders, as well as those on the inside, who may have lost some hope, to see just how truly wonderful the place they live in is. 

With that being said, Brand Whitesville has given me a lot of insight, and I want to say thank you…


You taught me how to think outside of the box

Everyone always says that cliché line, “Think outside of the box.” While everyone has heard that phrase at least a thousand times, it is exactly what my team and I had to do. We were presented with this quaint, small town in southern West Virginia, nestled between beautiful, rolling mountains, with a river running through it. We have thought countless times “why can’t this town be a buzz…the area is gorgeous”. That’s when we realized we needed to stimulate more community pride within it. The community is where it starts, and where it ends. 

How to be passionate

To be honest, I have never been this passionate about a project during my entire college career. Thinking about all the ups and downs during brand Whitesville, it has shown me how much I wanted to light up this town and beautify it from the inside out. I was upset when certain things didn’t go my team’s way, which is wonderful because normally during any other school project I would just brush it off, but not this time. This time I was left asking so many questions. 


Showing me there really are great teammates out there

I was able to work with an outstanding team, and I couldn’t of been happier. They all are full of energy and talent; every time we sat down at group meetings the conversation flowed and ideas would pour out of one another’s mouths. Again, out of all four years of attending West Virginia University, I have NEVER had a team as driven as this. 

Finally, thank you for challenging me 

I have been asked countless times, “Why did you choose this capstone branding project over others?”  Well, for starters, I heard the professor who was in charge of this class would challenge me along with the branding project. Being challenged is an awkward thing in my opinion. In the beginning, you think you are doing something wrong left and right, but then half way through, you finally realize that you were being asked for more than you were capable of to help push your boundaries and succeed to your fullest.


So long #BrandWhitesville. Thanks for being the last river I needed to learn to cross before graduating from West Virginia University. 

P.S. For those who haven’t checked it out yet, here’s the new website. 


I'm Gabrielle Russillo, a strategic communications major with an emphasis in advertising in the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. I held the Account Executive position on my team. It was my responsibility to oversee my team’s performance in each of their specific areas. I also served as a connection between the client and my team. My duties were to lead in a professional manner, organize/execute work we curated, and made sure deadlines are met on time.