Client Testimonials


No words tell the story of satisfied clients better than their own. Here’s what some of ours have to say.


Where do I begin?  Mary is the most talented, energetic writer and strategist I have ever known.  She doesn’t just do what she’s asked…Mary takes the ball and runs with it. She’s a self-starter who looks for additional ways to help; she’s thorough and knowledgeable in understanding how all facets of a campaign fit together and drive each other synergistically. Mary is a great advocate for her clients: She listens to what they think they need, takes a look at their big picture, then suggest solutions that will address not just immediate needs but long-term ones, as well. She helps to implement those solutions and recognizes effective channels for clients to use in getting their messages out. But most of all, what I like about Mary is that she’s fun. Her sense of humor is the added fillip that ties together all her strengths. I found it a pleasure to work with Mary, and I’m certain that you will, too.

Randy W. Peters, President
Peterboro Communications


Mary is easy to work with and cares about the company she is working with. She helped bring a much-needed marketing ethic to this workplace through her expertise and passion.

Ben Wachtel, Director of Communications & Technology


The asset Mary Shafer has been to our business is beyond words! From our corporate identity design and brochures to our comprehensive website, strategizing and consulting, her professional approach and knowledge of what makes the public respond is clearly indicated in our success. We would be lost without her!

Christopher & Jennifer Wiegand, Owners
Serenity Day Spa & Wellness Center


Mary Shafer’s personal attention and unique approach to my marketing needs resulted in an ad campaign so clever—and edgy—that it successfully distinguished my business from competitors in the area. When I came to her to help me generate new business, she counseled me to add a website. I had her develop the site and its content, which resulted in an immediate and significant increase in clients—exactly what I needed. I couldn’t be happier!

Sheryl Van Haren, MSW


Mary knows everything there is to know about marketing, especially in the newly emerging world of social media. She is also a clear, concise and creative writer. Her enthusiasm for the mission of our organization is always a great asset.

Laura Mirsky, Asst. Director of Communications


Consulting Services

You are doing what I do with clients – helping move them forward. Your thoughtful, inspired, straight-to-the-bone questions; your ability to elicit and refine my responses; and the speed with which you began to formulate the big picture… You are quite amazing, Mary, and you are making our continued working together not only enlightening, but fun – and very productive.

Sheryl Van Haren, MSW


Mary  Shafer is the real deal when it comes to caring about the success of authors.  Hiring her as a marketing consultant has given me the extra push I needed to believe in myself and my publishing company.  She believes in the driving spirit of entrepreneurs, and expertly guides you down the right avenues to help you share your message in the most effective way. When consulting with Mary, she provides me with facts, enticing ideas and expert professional examples to help my publishing company shine.  She goes above and beyond each and every time. My only regret is that I wish I had hired her three years ago. Every author should do themselves a huge favor and have the expertise and genuine guidance of Mary to help launch their books into the world.

Barbara Techel, Author & Publisher
Joyful Paw Prints Press LLC


Mary Shafer of The Word Forge gives dead-on advice about marketing and promotion. Her service is invaluable for the new author. Mary is the friend in the industry you need to avoid all those newbie mistakes.

Laurel Bradley, Author & President,
Wisconsin Chapter – Romance Writers of America


Website Copywriting

Mary jumped into a project that had gone off the rails for me, was totally under-informed and given an impossible assignment. She delivered the goods, on time. But that’s not all: It was good. I was able to take the work she delivered (a lot of copy for a marketing website) and use it AS IS for client delivery. The project would have been late and the work product lousy if Mary hadn’t jumped in. We’re very happy and looking forward to lots more work together.

Martin Focazio, Strategist
Empathy Lab 


“When the going gets tough, it’s time to turn to the best. That’s how I felt when I approached Mary about helping me write up copy for my new photography/storm chasing website. I knew what and how I wanted things to read on my site. When Mary took the time to understand exactly where I wanted my site to head and how I wanted it to read, it was a no-brainer to turn to her for her help. After I provided her with only 5 or 6 bullet points, she was able to turn all of my thoughts and ideas into easily read material, that no doubt will have an impact on those looking for my photography and storm chasing services. I highly recommend Mary for any of your writing and/or editing needs. She’s the best, and takes the time to fully understand what it is you want. Her customer service and attention to detail are second to none.  I will have no hesitation in using her again in the future.”

Caryn Hill, Photographer
Caryn Hill Photography and Silver Lining Tours


I love it! I may use you more to rewrite additional copy. You did an amazing job. Wow…you definitely get it — Yay!

Cherie Vergini, Clairvoyant Healer


Mary has been invaluable to me as I grow my business. Though a writer, my area of expertise does not include marketing or PR. Mary and her staff not only provided me with great ideas, but gave me the tools with which to transform those ideas into effective marketing tools. When The Word Forge commits to a client, rest assured no corners will be cut, no possibilities unexplored.

Rebecca Valentine, Principal
The Write Stuff


Publicity & Press Releases

The Word Forge turns assignments around quickly and doesn’t need a lot of babysitting. I know when I’m expecting a project, I’ll get it. Mary has also helped LanierThinking, Inc. meet extremely tight deadlines on very short notice. She’s professional, flexible and easy to work with.

Peggy Fernau, President
LanierThinking Inc.


Ghostwriting & Editing

“If anyone can establish someone’s identity as an ‘expert’ via a white paper, Mary Shafer can. She not only wrote ‘Choosing a Communications Designer’ for Cavanaugh Interactive (CI) as a valuable guide; she also identified CI as a ‘user-friendly’ expert with the ability to bridge the gap for those with little experience working with outside vendors. That’s been an important part of our unique selling proposition, and she understood that from day one. She takes her job very seriously and never misses an opportunity to make her words work for you.”

Nancy Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Interactive


I hired Mary Shafer to edit copy in a lengthy application for a highly competitive business leadership program. She was able to quickly grasp the key points and to edit for subtle influencing language, as well as re-arranging some parts to create smooth transitions from thesis to conclusion. She provided the necessary quick turnaround and shaped the document into the strongest argument I feel could have been submitted.  And, it worked…I got accepted into the program!!  Thanks, Mary.

Julie Van Haren, Director of Communications, Embedded Processing
Texas Instruments


Report Writing

One of the best wordsmiths and editors in the industry is Mary Shafer of The Word Forge. She has a way of taking ordinary language and turning it into powerful headlines and marketing messages that focus on the needs of the customer to help promote sales.  She is also an excellent editor for resumes, website text, etc.  I can’t imagine using anyone else for this purpose!

Pat Walkington, Principal
Pat Walkington Education Sales & Marketing 


Editorial Articles

I have hired Mary repeatedly to research and write business-oriented articles for a trade magazine. Her work is vivid, accurate, original and on-time. She is a true professional.”

Carla Waldemar
Freelance Writer/Editor


Mary – I just looked at the proofs for (your article) and wanted to let you know I thought it was a great story. And I have heard that the COLE president liked it a lot too. Just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated it. I hope you’ll continue to be interested in profiles for our publications. Again, kudos on the fine profile!

Jim Kneiszel, Editor
Portable Restroom Operator magazine


Mary always comes through with what she promises. For this newspaper business she is valuable for her nose for news and she reports accurately and fairly.

Bridget Wingert, Editor
Bucks County Herald



The client loved what you did with the script and told me to make sure to pay you his compliments on a job extremely well done. He said you really captured the essence of their customer and what they do, and he appreciates behind-the-scenes talent like yours. He is a very tough customer — wants results, and compliments don’t come readily from him, so this is high praise, indeed. Thanks for making me look good!

Suzan Marie Chin, Principal
Creative Raven Marketing


Just got an email from the client thanking me for sending you over. He had very kind words to say about you. He was very impressed with your knowledge and professionalism. Thanks for making me look good!

Greg Tarallo, President
NetStride Internet Solutions


The Arts

I want to thank you for all the help you’ve given to me with my website. Within a short number of days, after you formulated new meta search keywords, I received a significant wholesale order from a gallery in Texas. They found me via the Internet, because of the work you did with the website. I know if it hadn’t been for your expertise, they never would have located me!!! Thanks from my heart.

Diana Contine
Dakota Moon Custom Jewelry


WE LOVE THE PUBLIC RELATIONS PROPOSAL! I was amazed at how thorough it is (and how well your ideas fit our playhouse!) Thanks again for all of the great work you did…it is beautiful.

Curt Herr, Vice President
The Langhorne Players


Corporate Identity

When our Community Center began a complicated re-branding process, we knew we would need a consultant to guide us through the complex decisions that would follow. Our agency interviewed three professionals and at the conclusion of the interview process our clear choice was Mary Shafer of The Word Forge. The ensuing process involved countless decisions, but had we not made Mary our “first” decision, I wonder if all the rest would have come so easily.

Our process included a name change for the agency, a new tagline, a new logo, a new website (first time for us), and a concentrated effort to introduce this re-branding to the public. From the beginning, Mary challenged our committee to define our organization’s core message and service so that we could communicate that creatively and clearly. As if working with one client would not have been hard enough, Mary took on the challenge of working through all these stages with our full 17-member Board of Directors. Imagine the difficulty of reaching consensus on branding concepts with 17 people! But Mary led this effort masterfully – encouraging our good ideas and redirecting our hare-brained ones!

At the end of a lengthy working relationship, we have much for which to be grateful: A name that the public likes. A distinctive logo that brings consistent praise from members and professionals alike (Land’s End loves it!). A website that presents us, warmly, to a broader public than we might have imagined. And a new colleague to whom we can turn for ongoing guidance and support – Mary Shafer.  I can assure you that your organization would be equally well served.

Douglas Eschbach, Executive Director
Generations of Indian Valley


We needed a change in our business logo, someone to help us with our tired newspaper ads, and someone to help us with all of our advertising. We asked Mary Shafer to do the job. She was the perfect choice. Mary is helping us put our best face forward by creating a bolder logo. Our ads are becoming more informative and have more appeal to the reader. Mary has put herself out to help us meet an ad deadline. We at THE TIRE KING look forward to working with Mary Shafer at The Word Forge for years to come.

Anne M. Lyons, Vice President
The Tire King


Non-Profit Organizations

How do you put your business on a clear, concise path to success?

You call Mary Shafer. Mary Shafer of The Word Forge is a communication expert with almost 35 years of advertising, marketing, and public relations experience. Her broad skills run a close second only to her genuine love of helping others tell their story in a compelling and persuasive way.

Mary developed a marketing plan for us that was so detailed, yet so clear, that even a novice such as myself could follow it and implement her ideas. Hiring Mary was truly the smartest business decision I have made. Not only will Mary put you on the correct path to success, but she will stand on the sidelines to cheer and guide you all the way, as well.”

Jo Greenawalt, Director of Marketing and Charity Relations
Impact Thrift Stores Inc.


Mary Shafer’s knowledge and experience have proved invaluable to our marketing efforts. Her energy and enthusiasm invigorate the process.

Ted Wachtel, President
International Institute for Restorative Practices, A Graduate School



We hired Mary to write copy that would differentiate our consumer catalog from those of our competitors. She succeeded in establishing a personal voice for our first-page letters that communicated our foremost concern for customer satisfaction. Best of all, she brought a consistent sense of style to product headlines and descriptions that helped define in print the essence of Lizell. Mary understands that giving each product a story helps customers connect with that product. Creating such stories in the limited space of a print catalog isn’t easy, but Mary’s broad background showed in her careful choice of just the right words to communicate features while highlighting benefits. We often asked her to help us choose new product names, as well. She was with us for five years until we brought the project completely inhouse when we went all-digital, dropping the print catalog in favor of our website.

Patty Lizell,
Lizell, Inc.