Founder's Story

Discovering the power of storytelling.

Alexandra Vollman

Owner & Managing Director

Stories have been my trade since at least high school when, driven bored by my school’s limited extracurricular offerings, I led the creation of a student-run newspaper. It may not have lasted long after I did, but it was enough to light the fire that led to my lifelong interest in journalism. I find chatting with strangers about their lives and businesses, fears and goals, struggles and triumphs enjoyable.

I liked hearing as well as recounting people’s stories for others to learn or gain something from, to find the humor or humanity in. I knew even in high school that this is what stories do — build bridges between people.

It wasn’t until after college that I began to realize the power of story to also connect people with businesses.

Tony Sisson had been repairing shoes for nearly 30 years when I met him in 2009. I had been assigned an 800-word story on him and the “shoe-repair craft” by the small newspaper where I was working as an intern. Sisson made writing the piece easy and enjoyable. His story was one of hard work, craftsmanship, dedication to quality. Someone who loved working with his hands, Sisson was eager to please his customers and, it seems, most often did. 

In a note he sent me after the story was published, Sisson thanked me for the piece, which he’d framed and placed at the front of his shop. The story, he said, brought him new business, and he was constantly fielding compliments about it from customers new and old. In the note, which I’ve held onto, Sisson wrote, “I can’t begin to thank you for making my customers appreciate the time and effort I must put into my craft to give them a quality product.”

Sisson’s dedication to his craft and his customers impressed me — even helped deepen my commitment to my own craft. But perhaps more than anything else what I took away from the experience was an understanding of the power of story to help brands connect on a deeper, more meaningful level with consumers. 

Years — and many jobs, industries and stories later — I founded Anecdote on this premise: that authentic stories have the power to grow audiences and brands. Of course, quality is a prerequisite, and through Anecdote, I pride myself on working with organizations and brands that strive to have a positive impact on the world by creating quality, long-lasting products and adding value for consumers. Those are stories that are easy for customers to get behind — and a pleasure for us to tell.