We are a new breed of consultancy that leverages purpose-driven strategy and storytelling to grow your business and social impact.

Business in Service to a Thriving Planet

Heart&Soul Branding was founded on the belief that conventional business can heal the world. When people build and run companies from their highest values and purpose, it delivers profitability to stakeholders, meaningful work to employees, and positive social change to our culture.

Business as healer is generative in nature.  It brings into fulfillment a thriving planet. This is the true purpose of business, the founding principle.  Purpose is not a lofty, touchy-feely dream, it’s a proven business strategy that delivers positive results on every level (see how). All of us can experience well-being, financial health, and a sense of meaning through our work. 

What if your business, your life, your legacy, could do that?

 What would that mean to you, your family, executive team, investors, and customers?

Whether you’re a beauty brand that wants to help women find self-acceptance, or a tech firm that wants to understand how to meaningfully connect with audiences, our promise is to help you discover your unique purpose, position your brand around it, and tell your story so you and your business can rally millions and remake the world.

Success in any endeavor depends on the degree to which it is an expression of your true self.
— Ralph Marston

Michael Freund
Filmmaker, Storyteller

Michele Gough
Chief of Strategy & Storytelling

Meet Michele

Born and raised in England. Michele has been a published author and fashion journalist, an entrepreneur who founded several start-ups, and a business leader who, as head of consumer marketing helped grow Smashbox Cosmetics into a half billion-dollar enterprise securing a successful acquisition by Estee Lauder Companies in 2010.

Michele has also been an enthusiastic student and teacher of human potential workshops, and more recently an advocate of horses and understanding the role they can play in human development. 

In 2011, at the height of her career with Smashbox, Michele quit. She had become disillusioned with the outdated and unsustainable beliefs in business, and after the passing of a dear friend found herself asking deeper questions about her own life, purpose and legacy.

At the same time she met an ex-racehorse horse named Romeo who, like Michele, was burned out from an exhausting professional career. Recognizing a kindred spirit in Romeo she bought him and devoted herself to understanding how to be in relationship with her horse without whips, bits, spurs, and traditional control-based training. She sought a deeper, more authentic bond, and trained with a woman who lived with wild horses. Here she discovered the true nature of the horse and how to speak his language, to connect from the heart.

Michele moved Romeo to live with a herd of 30 horses at a 100-acre horse sanctuary in Northern California. She spent the next two years immersed in nature observing the herd. It was here, in deep communion with the natural world, she began to fully realize the connectedness and interdependency of all things. Michele had a revelation that if business operated under the same holistic principles as nature, as the herd, to build stable, healthy and sustainable systems, our planet and everyone on it would thrive. It would begin with business leaders operating from the heart; their highest purpose and values, and then establishing a new narrative for brand engagement based upon these beliefs. Business had a new purpose and so did Michele. 

In 2012, Michele founded Heart&Soul Branding and since then has worked with brands helping them discover their purpose, articulate their story, and develop engagement strategies that drive growth for the bottom line and the world at large.


Meet Michael

Born in Vienna, Austria.  Michael spent a year at Oxford University studying politics and philosophy (this was when his hair started to fall out) before moving to NYC to begin his career in TV commercial production.

In 2007 he moved to LA to complete an MFA in Broadcast Cinema at Art Center Collect of Design. Here he won top awards and after graduating in 2009 got to work with some of the greats in advertising.

A serious back injury in 2010 forced Michael to get honest. His work took a new direction and authenticity became the key theme. Two years later a near death motorcycle accident prompted spiritual growth and a commitment to telling stories that move the heart and soul by showing the true nature of humanity, and the positive impact we can have on the world.

As a lead filmmaker for X-Prize, a global enterprise that offers millions of dollars to solve the world’s greatest problems, Michael has produced, shot and edited, numerous brand films that engage and inspire incredible stories of global change that benefit human kind. His moving films have become the centerpiece of X-prize’s marketing strategy.

The hair lost in Oxford never grew back, however these days you'll find him compensating for that by sporting a grizzly man beard.

Michael is about to give birth to his most meaningful creation to date, his first child.


We are a compassionate, caring group of individuals that support each other, our clients and our partners. We focus on listening rather than responding, and seek to understand rather than just be understood. We practice staying connected to our hearts as much as our heads. Touching hearts and changing lives is why we are here.  



We believe in transparency. We bring our personal selves into our business and we share ideas, thoughts, beliefs, successes, and failures. We are open, honest and accountable.  We encourage everyone to show up and let themselves be seen. We are all unique and individual, and when you set yourself free to express who you are you give others permission to do the same. 



We regularly stop and are grateful for our circumstances, for the beauty around us and within. 






We understand that every living thing is interdependent; there is no separation. Because we feel this deep within we are aware that every action we take, positive and negative, affects the bigger picture and so we try to stay conscious and awake, and do things that make the world a better place.  



  We take time to slow down and reflect in nature because this is where higher level thinking and ideas that move the needle come from. Connecting to our inner life helps us stay connected to our greater purpose and to ourselves. It is an act of care for our souls and the world at large. 



We love what we do and we are committed to having a whole lot of fun doing it.