The Studio

a boutique creative content agency



An idea for a short story popped into my head with such clarity, I was convinced it had been living there all along. The story practically wrote itself, and an hour later, it was time for the click, a writer’s dreaded and most-loved sound. 

Click. Publish. 

While little words went tumbling into the internet unknown, a final thought arrived at the doorstep of my mind: “Would anyone want to read this?”

They did, and little word studio was born.

What was at first an award-winning fiction blog transformed over the next few years into something much more. Today, little word studio is a creative content agency trusted by clients from high-growth startups to billion-dollar brands.

With a focus on real estate and proptech, our team also writes and creates for the fitness, food/wine and entertainment industries. And we do it with the same artistic energy you’d find in the short story that started it all. So, whether you’ve knocked on our digital door to read a few posts from the Collection, or discover what a content agency actually does, welcome.

Now that you’re here, I invite you to make yourself at home. Since watching this company grow from day one, I’ve realized the studio I built is no longer mine. It’s yours.


Melissa Kandel

Founder/CEO, little word studio
who we are


Get to know the little word studio crew.

Melissa Kandel

Founder / Chief Executive Officer

Melissa Kandel is the founder and CEO of little word studio. A third-generation entrepreneur, Melissa supports real estate brands, leading executives, tech startups, proptech companies, food/wine companies and more with high-quality content to engage targeted customers and grow their businesses through content marketing. In 2021 she launched Elite Content Collective, a subscription-based mastermind community for real estate professionals to gain access to high-quality content at an affordable cost.

Born in New York, Melissa now lives in Newport Beach, California. She wrote her first story at age nine and has been writing ever since, earning a B.A. with honors from Columbia University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

She launched little word studio in Oct. 2018, and within two weeks signed her first client: Gino Blefari, CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc., the largest residential real estate brokerage network in America. Additional clients include multi-million-dollar startups, multi-billion-dollar organizations and some of the world's most respected real estate brokerages and brands.

Prior to little word studio, she was global director of PR, communications and digital media for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the youngest-ever employee to be named director at the company.

Melissa contributes articles to Forbes as a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invite-only community of senior-level executives - she was featured in Forbes 140+ times this past year. Her writing has appeared on the cover of REAL ESTATE magazine, in Mortgage Women Magazine, Inc., and more. In 2018, she was named by Z Publishing House as one of "California's Emerging Writers" and by Women Leaders Magazine as one of the “20 Most Inspiring Leaders 2022.” She's a member of Rebecca Minkoff's The Female Founder Collective and the Newport Beach Distinguished Citizen Program. In 2019, she started a magazine, West Oceanfront, recognized by Feedspot as one of the top coastal magazines nationwide. She is also a renowned speaker, and has led sessions at some of the real estate industry’s largest events.

An avid volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF), Melissa's writing was published on the national blog and she serves on several boards for CFF's Southern California chapter. In 2017, she launched an annual charity event on Balboa Peninsula, which has raised almost $15,000 for the organization.

She is currently working on her first novel.

Heatherly Grace Shepherd

Communications Specialist

Growing up and growing into the military has taught Heatherly above anything else, to "leave it better than you found it." She began working at little word studio in June 2020 and is now responsible for client content creation, content management and more. She always strives to make a positive impact with clients, projects and the work she produces. Her professional background includes digital marketing at Highlands Publications in Birmingham, Alabama; television and radio broadcasting at American Forces Network in Gyeonggi-do, Korea; and a variety of communications work across the globe, from California to India and beyond. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication from Auburn University and is always looking for more stories to tell.

Gabrielle Katz

Communications & Marketing Specialist

Gabrielle Katz is a communications, social media and marketing professional who brings creativity and dedication to every project. She started as an intern at little word studio in the fall of 2020 and soon became a permanent member of the team. Previously, she was a marketing intern at Cover 3, a restaurant chain in Texas. Gabrielle graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and a minor in Business. She is adept at photography and editing images for social media, as well as designing and creating content for social, the web and print. At little word studio, she focuses on assisting real estate clients, including top executives, brokerages agents, and software companies.

Haven Snively

Copywriting & Social Media Specialist

Haven Snively is a communications, social media, and digital marketing professional who brings creativity and passion into every project. Starting as an intern for little word studio in the winter of 2020, Haven quickly worked her way into projects with numerous businesses developing content, social media, branding and more. Haven previously worked as a social media intern for a local coffee shop in Columbia, SC and began taking on client work within the area shortly after. Haven graduated from the University of South Carolina in December of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and a minor in English. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Mass Communications with a focus on Strategic Communications Management from UofSC, as well. With skills ranging from photography and design to creative writing and web development, Haven shows expertise in a variety of abilities and is constantly looking to improve her skillset when it comes to all things communications.



Cooper is a rescue lab from Southern California who enjoys loudly chewing on bones during Zoom meetings and sleeping for the rest of the day. He has no writing skills whatsoever but he wants you to know he is a very good boy.

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