PHONE NUMBER: 541-758-1621
OWNER: Melissa R. Weintraub
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 6
WHAT SHE SELLS: Editing of mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation, flow) of existing texts, as well as assistance with websites, articles, proposals, and more.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO:Having a good website and/or brochure with all the spelling and other mechanics correct may encourage potential clients to contact you. No one can see all their own errors, so an additional view can help.
Melissa, when and why did you start your business? I started my business in June of 2007 after obtaining my Master’s degree in rhetoric and writing at OSU. I enjoy the freedom to work at my own speed and to be able to choose jobs that match my skills the best. That said, I will entertain almost any project and will refer clients elsewhere if there’s not a good fit. Also, I wanted a job where it was easy to travel and still work. The answers to many of my questions about reference format styles and mechanical questions (yes, I have them!) are usually available online at reputable websites, so I can work without direct use of my reference manuals, if necessary.
Tell us more about your services. I work frequently with clients whose first language is not English; it’s usually not necessary to understand all the content (as in electrical engineering essays, for instance) to clarify the text portions and make sure the format is consistent. Despite years of experience working in writing centers, I don’t provide services to students working on essays for specific classes (it can be an ethical problem). Instead, I recommend OSU’s Writing Center, which is free. I work with OSU students, but I prefer working with final drafts, approved by the major professors (in the case of students) so that I’m able to give the client as much help as possible.
What are your specialties? My specialties are working with people on their manuscripts and on resumes. I also help students prepare for the SAT and ACT writing sections because I have familiarity with format and structure of the test. I also enjoy assisting students with application essays; I can often pick up on themes or symbolism and encourage applicants to enhance them for the readers.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? I’m pleased to be featured as the Local Business of the Week because it’s a good way to bring more attention to my business and how it can help CIBA members. I advertise in the yellow pages, and I have pages on Linked In and Facebook. Much of my business, however, comes by word-of-mouth from contacts in the Writing Center at OSU, the English and Writing Department, and former clients.
Does your business fill an unusual niche? What does your business do better than anyone else? I like to help my clients understand why I’m making particular changes and suggestions, so I tend to comment a fair amount on the work. In fact, a recent client asked for this type of assistance specifically, much to my joy. I also cater to OSU students and faculty, since I’m familiar with the OSU Graduate School guidelines. When I’m working on resumes, I encourage clients to think of everything they’ve ever done: work, school (and specific classes), volunteer work, any prizes they have been awarded. While seemingly unrelated, these activities develop skills that may be useful in the jobs clients are applying for.
Why should someone use your services? The charge for my services is $35 an hour, and I don’t charge for the time when I have to look up grammar rules or check on the vocabulary of what I’m editing. I also offer payment plans, set up when the contract and its specifics are negotiated.
What is the impact of local independent businesses in Corvallis—and what does the future look like for local independents? I like the fact that there are so many local businesses in Corvallis, like Grass Roots Books and Music and Animal Crackers, and I try to use them. However, this is not always as convenient or as speedy as needed, so I do resort to chain stores sometimes. I hope, though, that these independent businesses remain.
What is your relationship to the community? What organizations do you support or participate in? I’m a member of CIBA, the Chamber of Commerce, and several other semi-local groups.
How important is sustainability to your business? Most of my work is through email because that’s more convenient for both me and my clients to review the papers, send portions back and forth as needed, and remain in contact. I print only as I need and try to reuse paper. Personal meetings at a local coffee shop or library are available upon request.
Please give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business. “Your words: unmistakable” is DoubleCheck’s motto. I strive to help clients think like writers, offering advice on ways to help individuals catch many of their own errors.
(Interview and article by Ciana Ginochio – August 11, 2013)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).