Music to Tech and Beyond with Heather Wagner Reed
The Founder & CEO of Juice Consulting is telling Austin stories in genuine and impactful ways
Juice may seem like an unlikely name for a PR and marketing company, but it actually is a perfect fit for Heather Wagner Reed’s long-term vision. Her firm’s tagline, ‘Bringing fresh squeezed vitality to our clients for 16 years,’ is a statement of who they are and what they do. Webster’s synonyms for ‘juice’ include strength, vigor, vitality, influence and clout as well as the essence of something. These words are the touchstones for the stories Juice tells and the service Reed and her team provide for her ever-expanding list of clients.
Fred Schmidt, owner of Toy Joy says, “In all cases, Juice put their full heart and soul into telling those stories in a genuine and impactful way. Heather actually cares, which is rare and refreshing in today’s highly transactional business climate.”
After learning the essence of global branding working on Beyoncé’s marketing team in Houston, Reed launched Juice in 2007 and set up a one-woman public relations shop. In the beginning, she drew on her experience in the music sector mostly focusing on helping to launch the careers of indie musicians and others in the creative sector. As Austin grew and evolved, Reed and her company expanded to reflect the growth of the city. Even though she found herself “juicing it up” for a wide range of clientele in a variety of sectors, Reed has always stayed true to her vision of telling their stories in a cutting edge and exciting way with an authentic voice, advocating from the heart.
“I only take on clients that I believe in. I enjoy being involved in start-ups like FreeWater which allow me to be with them on their journey. I love seeing a musician bloom and go from an indie unknown to a fully developed artist that is being nominated for GRAMMYs. My purpose is to help them tell their stories in engaging and innovative ways,” said Reed.
Largely due to word-of-mouth referrals, Juice grew from a one-woman agency to a full service public relations, marketing and event planning firm with a seven-person team who service clients from many diverse sectors including music and entertainment, tech and innovation, international government, the nonprofit world, the visual arts and real estate. Her client list includes familiar names such as Gloria Gaynor and Gina Chavez, tech accelerators TechStars and MassChallenge, innovators Spaceflight Records and Sonic Guild, and The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar and Old Settlers Music Festival.
In addition to local, state and national clients, 13 years ago Juice began to “bring the world to Austin” during SXSW and ACL, attracting an international clientele that includes Canada House, M for Montreal, British Underground, The New Japan Islands and South Asia House. This year at SXSW, Juice coordinated concerts and events for Spin Magazine that saw standing room only and waitlist crowds, prompting CEO Jimmy Hutcheson to say, “Collaborating with Heather consistently proves to be a wonderful experience. She and the Juice team always demonstrate an extensive reservoir of knowledge and a wealth of experience within the realm of marketing and events.”
In September, Heather Wagner Reed was named a 2023 winner of the “Women in Business” awards presented by the Austin Business Journal. Noting that “nothing brings more joy than being involved in community,” not only does her client roster include non-profits such as Swan Songs, HAAM, HOME and Austin Music Foundation, but Reed also serves in leadership roles for the Texas Chapter of the Recording Academy, the Texas Lyceum and the Adderley School as well as having served on the Austin Music Commission, the advisory board of the Wittliff Collection and membership in the All ATX Leadership class of 2020. For the past five years Reed has served as an adjunct professor at Austin Community College teaching Marketing and PR for Creatives and mentoring young professionals interested in PR.
With Reed’s love of music in their blood, it is no surprise that her two children are also attracted to creative pursuits. Thirteen-year-old Livingston is a classical guitar major in the Fine Arts Academy at Lamar Middle School, and 11-year-old Lotus, who attends the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, has a love for musical theater.
So what’s next for Heather Wagner Reed and her team? “We are going to keep growing as Austin grows. I want to evolve our interests and collaborate with others who share our commitment to this city. I want to serve as a connector to other innovators who lead with their hearts.”
Building a legacy on stories that reflect the strength, vigor, vitality and the essence of Austin seems to be in the cards for Reed and Juice for many years to come.