Marketing + Brand Development



Chicago-based creative director and marketer, Amanda M Smith is driven by design and fueled by a love for brand strategy and storytelling. She develops successful partnerships through a deep understanding of client pain points, presenting design-forward solutions to meet objectives and facilitate growth. Her relentless focus on client success, combined with her passion and extensive knowledge of retail design, has resulted in the development of thriving retail support programs that build brand awareness and increase shopper engagement.

Amanda’s varied experience as both a designer and brand strategist is present in her work spanning interior, retail and event design. With a keen eye for visual balance and composition, you’ll find her combining unexpected textures, finishes and materials with on-point messaging and lifestyle graphics. She also specializes in retail fixtures, identifying the right system to meet requirements for both form and function. 

As as a leader and active member of the retail community, Amanda has moderated round table discussions with fellow designers, hosted educational lectures and appeared as a guest speaker at industry events and conferences. Her personal passion for arts and music runs deep alongside a love for thriving community retail. After all, shopping is more than merchandise, more than a sale - it’s an experience.


For more than 10 years, I’ve worked alongside Amanda. In that time, she helped us develop and execute strategic initiatives to drive brand awareness and build our client base, resulting in increased new business. Amanda immerses herself as needed in new areas of focus, researching and understanding to the tools to get the job done.
— Robin C. Brower | Senior Vice President, OPTO International, Inc.


Skills + Talents

  • Creative + Visual Direction 

  • Visual Merchandising + Styling

  • Retail + Merchandising Audits

  • Store Fixture Development + Specification

  • Trends Review + Analysis 

  • Brand Development

  • Marketing Strategy + Content Creation

  • Message Development + Copywriting

  • Photography Art Direction + Supervision 

  • Event Planning + Management 

Awards + Accolades

  • IIDA Award of Excellence for Booth Design at GlobalShop 2018

  • Panelist and Guest Speaker at 2017 Surface and Panel Symposium, “What’s trending? What’s new? What’s next?”

  • IIDA Award of Excellence for Booth Design at GlobalShop 2017

  • VMSD Outstanding Booth Design at GlobalShop 2017



ZenGenius, Inc. | U.S. Business Development

VOID, CO. | Founder + Chief Brand Strategist

  • Provides on-demand marketing and design resource for small to mid-size retailers

OPTO International, Inc. | Director of Marketing

  • Established and executed 12 and 24 month multi-channel marketing programs (print, email, online, events) increasing brand awareness

  • Identified target markets and segmented key audiences maintaining a pulse on the ever-changing industry, driving the growth direction for the organization

  • Daily creative collaboration and leadership of a small, multidisciplinary team including graphic designers, renderers and marketing coordinators

OPTO International, Inc. | Brand Development Manager

  • Established the business as a leader in retail store fixture solutions through rebranding and fresh approach to messaging, establishing the persona and tone of the brand

  • Managed all aspects of creative development including planning, design, art direction, editorial, typography, color/press checks and approvals

  • Developed award-winning retail and trade show/exhibit concepts including overarching messaging, design and layout, space planning, finish and material selection, product promotion and placement, graphics, visual merchandising and in-environment engagements

OPTO International, Inc. | Business Development Manager

  • Developed open and honest relationships with prospective clients, understanding the demands of their business, presenting solutions and meeting their objectives to facilitate growth 

  • Led retention marketing efforts, implementing strategies for on-boarding and renewing client accounts with focus on improving experience and maximizing revenue, while analyzing results against expected performance, identifying areas for improvement

OPTO International, Inc. | Retail Designer + Fixture Solutions Specialist

  • Designed and developed retail fixture layouts based on client merchandise requirements, departmental adjacencies, and architectural challenges.

  • Specified finishes and materials based on desired aesthetic and integrated corporate branding and signage when appropriate.

  • Partnered with retail design firms to establish fixture rollout programs for brands, corporate and independent retailers.



At the heart of every visual merchandiser is the ability to be ingenious - the ability to think creatively and solve problems. Our team brings calm to your chaos, expertly addressing your merchandising challenges. Are you ready to create a zen moment?