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8 Market Pl., Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21202
+1 410 800 0788

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Small team.
Big results.

What Works Studio is an award-winning strategic marketing consultancy whose projects have resulted in billions of impressions globally and over $111 Million in economic impact locally.

An Exceptional
Track Record.

We’re the award-winning team that created the Light City festival, What Weekly Magazine, the famous Mr. Trash Wheel and other projects that have had an enormous positive economic and cultural impact on the communities they serve. We are problem-solvers who craft creative solutions that produce both ROI and meaningful social impact.

Who We

We are focused on creating impact and empowering others to do their best work. Our branding, digital marketing, website development, video production and social media services are designed to help our clients tell their story and drive their customers to action. What Works Studio has a track record of successfully transforming brands, fueling fundraising efforts, and launching large-scale campaigns that drive substantial ROI, economic impact, and international attention.
Brooke Hall Allen
Founder and CEO
Justin Allen
Creative Strategist

What We
Stand for.

What Works Studio’s mission is to empower others. We help people and organizations better tell their stories, achieve their goals, and fulfill their purpose.

Who We
Work For.

We seek to work with organizations that are aligned with our values and employ socially-responsible practices. Our ideal client is working to empower and enrich their customers and their community. It’s important to us that our clients are running ethical businesses or nonprofits that have a net positive impact on the world.

What We

What Works Studio is a company that is built on relationships, a drive for excellence, and outside-of-the-box thinking. We have five core values that drive all of our decisions.


Truth is not ambiguous. Upholding the truth is seldom convenient. But when you choose to be in a world free from ethical uncertainties, you’re left with space to serve wholeheartedly and relate to others openly.



Creativity is an innate human practice that gives us the capacity to solve challenging problems, conceive and launch spectacular projects, and inspire others by way of unique vision, memorable experiences or deeply felt resonance that connects each of us to one another.



Excellence is not a steady state but an ongoing exercise in learning, achieving and growing to meet the highest standards we set for ourselves. It’s expressed in the quality of our services and our intent to take in new knowledge and continually improve our processes and our clients’ experience over time.



Though over time, the rhythm of the world becomes somewhat familiar and predictable, an openness to possibility and a passion for exploration can uncover revelatory perspectives and unexpected opportunities. Simply put, those who never attempt to leave the box are those who lack the curiosity to discover what lies outside the box.



Being fully present, free from the weight of the past and anxiety for the future, provides the freedom to apply your full attention to your work, hold true to your guiding principles, and execute at the highest level, both for yourself and for those that count on you.

Rave Reviews.

"Brooke led our team through the creative process, developed a beautiful logo that truly reflected our values, and delivered – on time and on budget – a beautiful website. To this day, new visitors to the site compliment her work on a regular basis."

Olga Maltseva, Warnock Foundation

"Brooke Hall Allen is not only an exemplary designer, businesswoman, and marketer, but a role model for social responsibility and community involvement in the business community."

Olga Maltseva, Warnock Foundation

"I stumbled upon your website accidentally, and thought, gee these guys are incredible. So all I wanted to say was, great work, incredible and inspiring!"

Jesse Rowe, Live.com

"Genius crew."

Heather Fields, GiveCorps

"I deeply appreciate and applaud the efforts of the Light City team to positively raise the profile of our city. I personally appreciate the profound commitment the two of you have made."

Jack Elsby

"Communications gurus!"

Doreen Bolger Director, Baltimore Museum of Art

"Brilliant logo."

Christopher Regan, THA Advisory

"What Weekly is one of the great ideas to come out of Baltimore in the last few years."

Peter Davis

"Best party of the year!"

Aaron Henkin, Producer WYPR

"It’s impossible, until it’s not. I have never seen, anywhere, a transformation of vision into reality that was such a stretch. And so fast. You two did it! And perhaps never, has our town needed what you have made real, more."

Gary Vikan, Director, The Walters Art Museum

"Just wanted to send over a lot of love and encouragement. Light City's news shone all the way to London, here in my adopted city to make me smile, and say HOORAY, FINALLY some brilliant Baltimore sunshine."

Rick Armiger

"Baltimore will forever be changed because you had vision and dedication."

Mike Galiazzo, Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland

"I just wanted to drop you a quick word of (awe-struck) thanks for Light City. We took the children Wednesday night and fell in love with Baltimore all over again. It was genius in concept and flawless in execution."

Elizabeth J. Himelfarb Hurwitz

"You and Justin gave an extraordinary gift to our city and I was just happy to be part of the moment in time."

Sarah Hemminger, Cofounder and CEO of Thread, Inc.

"You are amazing. I am so proud of what you and Justin have done and continue to do for our great City."

Jennifer Meyer, Vice President, Global Customer Operations at ZeroFOX

"You have done important and such inspiring work. Thank you for bringing Light City to fruition!"

Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood

"The website is amazing! You guys nailed it and I love, love, love it!"

Stacia Smith

"Your work is amazing!"

Amy Webb, Author and Founder of Future Today Institute

"Thank you and congratulations on the astonishing vision you've brought to reality."

Mary Duston Lidinsky

"Thank you for being the genesis of Light City. This event will change Baltimore forever."

Kimberly Warren and John Cammack

"We are really impressed with how organized you and Justin are as a unit. I've worked with 4-5 social media content strategy firms, and What Works trumps them all in terms of process and organization."

Ben Smith, Homewood Interiors

“The enthusiasm of Brooke Hall, founder of Light City, is infectious."

Charu Suri, Travel Pulse

“If you are from Baltimore, this next paragraph can only be about Brooke Hall and Justin Allen, founders of Light City Baltimore. What a debt we owe these two. We should parade them through town and give them the keys to this city, for they are just two regular people who have reminded us that in Baltimore this is what two people can do. This is citizenship at its finest. Two people believed in an idea that could better their city. They badgered everyone they could to make it happen. They are Baltimore’s best.”

Jen Ronald, The Baltimore Sun

"Light City U’s Creative Innovation Conference [which was developed, programmed and hosted by Brooke Hall and Justin Allen was] one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended (and I’ve attended a LOT of conferences).”

M. Kendall Ludwig

“I appreciated their vision, their passion, and the overall concept of bringing the community together.”

Calvin G. Butler Jr., CEO of BGE

"You’re talking about two people who had an idea before its time."

John Cammack, Managing Partner of Cammack Associates LLC

"They have their fingers on the pulse of all things hot and creative in Charm City.”

The Guardian

"Your work was one of the reasons we were acquired and joined a national network of industry leaders. Our capacity to do phenomenal work has increased exponentially."

BJ Sing, CEO of EventEQ

"A rare combination of strategic thinker and creative executor… all of this has worked to shorten our sales cycle, which of course has led to better sales. I highly recommend What Works Studio."

Derek Gordon, Yield Software

"This new logo is fantastic! There was clearly both brilliance and God-driven inspiration behind it."

John Frisch, former CEO of Miles and Stockbridge and Chairman of Well for the Journey

"Brooke is awesome, often called 'my secret weapon.'"

Mike Mann

"I am starting to cry it looks so good."

David Eisele

"Brooke has boundless creative energy. She works tirelessly for clients, leveraging her deep media relationships, truly fine writing skills and strategic, big picture thinking to generate great results."

Steve Surdez

“Hall and Allen can never be accused of thinking small... They traffic in big ideas."

Baltimore Magazine

"What Works Studio is great example of how a business can be not only profitable but impactful."

Olga Brillman, Executive Director, Warnock Foundation

"Creative Genius."

Peter Hoffberger, Hoffberger Insurance Group

"Both Mr. Trash Wheel and Light City are two of the greatest stories to come out of Baltimore in recent years and neither would have been possible without What Works."

Adam Lindquist, Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore

"What Works Studio leverages the passion for community that is so prolific in Baltimore City, demonstrating that extraordinary change and growth often start with the dedication of just a few committed individuals."

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Former Mayor of Baltimore City

"No one knows or leverages 21st Century new media better."

Peter Davis

How We
Measure Success.

We measure our success through a holistic lens that takes into account the overall impact our projects have on our clients in terms of ROI as well as the impact our work on their behalf has on the world at large.

Awards And

Downtown Baltimore Award
Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
Silo Breaker Award
40 Under 40
Baltimore Business Journal
Smart CEO Cover Story
How the creative minds behind Light City and Mr. Trash Wheel are helping Baltimore shine brighter.
Innovator of the Year Award
The Daily Record
25 Women to Watch Award
The Baltimore Sun
Best of Baltimore: Light City, Best Category Buster
Baltimore Magazine
Brava Award: Top Female CEOs
Smart CEO Magazine
Creative Group of Year: Light City
Baltimore Innovation Week
Social Innovation Award
Warnock Foundation
Best of Baltimore: What Weekly, Best New ‘Zine 2013
Baltimore Magazine
Best of Baltimore: What Weekly, Best New Magazine 2012
Baltimore Magazine

About Brooke.

Brooke Hall Allen is an award-winning business leader and entrepreneur with over 15 years experience in design, marketing, branding, project management and creative direction. She is a published writer and public speaker. Brooke is the co-founder of Light City, America’s first large-scale light festival, which has already added $111 Million to the Maryland economy. She is also the co-founder of What Weekly, an independent online magazine. Select awards include “25 Women to Watch” by the Baltimore Sun, “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record, “Top Female CEO” by Smart CEO Magazine and “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal. Brooke was selected as one of only 50 Young Cultural Innovators from around the world to attend the Salzburg Global Seminar. Her work has been featured in New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, New York Magazine, and in a permanent exhibition at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She earned a BA in Liberal Arts from the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University. Brooke and Justin have two children.

About Justin.

Justin Allen is CMO/Creative Strategist at What Works Studio. He is the co-founder of Light City and What Weekly Magazine. His work has been featured in National Geographic, Discovery Channel, The Guardian, CNN, and New York Magazine. Select awards include “Innovator of the Year” by The Daily Record and “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal. His foray into marketing and design began in the entertainment industry where he produced and promoted music and events for over a decade. He has experience developing medical devices for which he holds multiple patents and has been featured in the Journal of Medical Physics. Prior to that, he was an electrical engineer contracted to organizations including NASA, NSA, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force.

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