Why Clients Choose To Work With Us

We believe that our clients’ time is the single-most valuable recourse they have. Investing that time to do the work of an entire department is seldom an effective use of that time. However, most small businesses do not have the capacity or means to hire an entire (and experienced) marketing department. That’s where we come in!

Our clients benefit from the support of our full team of seasoned marketing, branding, and design specialists who can help elevate your company’s brand and vision. Like a professional pit crew, we step in and step up your marketing performance so you can focus on “driving” your business forward.

Our Team

Founder & CEO

Michael Erkelens

Michael Erkelens (also know as Miguel in select circles) is the founder of In House Strategy. His multicultural background and strong education allow Michael to bridge the gap between top business practices and artistic aesthetics.

Prior to raising In House Strategy, Michael was the marketing associate for a sports marketing firm based in Orange County, California. He worked across major sports leagues and developed several designs and products to improve the fan experience. Michael also worked extensively internationally across several industries. In Jakarta, Indonesia, he functioned as a marketing specialist for the renewable energy magnate, Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics. He also worked with Growers First Coffee and Axiom Coffee Ventures, participating as an executive-level translator for key investors, while capturing photographs in rural communities for key marketing efforts. For the past eight years, he has developed a strong client list and produced exceptional work as a freelance photographer. These opportunities have enhanced his strong branding eye and online marketing abilities.

Michael graduated from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business with a degree in marketing, emphasizing business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. He represented SCU in the Social Entrepreneurs’ Conference at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He also served as photo editor of the award-winning collegiate newspaper, The Santa Clara.

Personal Facts:

Michael was born and raised in Guatemala, and moved to the United States in 1996. He speaks Spanish and English fluently. He jumps at any opportunity to travel and has already reached 35 countries, with many more on his to-do list. Michael also specializes in portraiture and travel photography, and enjoys creating travel videos with his GoPro.


Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business, B.A. Marketing, 2012

Senior Brand & Marketing Strategist

Christopher Erkelens

If Christopher has a superpower, it’s his dual ability to first ask poignant questions that reveal the very heart of a person, company, or community, then finding a way to retell that story in a manner that engages and inspires the target audience. This seemingly supernatural skill is actually the result of over 15 years of developing brands and marketing strategies for B2B, B2C, and non-profits.

An adventurer by nature, Christopher loves solving complicated problems. He approaches each challenge – no matter how impossible – with what he calls cynical optimism, a philosophy that asks “Why?” in order to break down the preconceptions and prejudices that keep individuals and organizations from achieving their goals.

Christopher’s sophisticated understanding of branding and marketing strategy is augmented by his practical knowledge of tactical implementation. He also offers our clients expert-level skills in digital advertising, social media management, search engine optimization, email marketing, video production, and much, much more.

When not diving head-first into assembling a client’s identity, Christopher enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, investing in the life of his local church, or generally living the life of a hobbit.

Senior Editor

Seth Faulk

The power of the written word has intrigued Seth ever since he can remember. He entwines his passion for writing with his love for design, striving to create literal art that captures the most moving qualities of his subjects.

With a patchwork of experience in sales, real estate, and fashion, Seth’s background has enabled him to apply his writing skills across many mediums, ranging from newspapers to video to social media. Before joining IHS, he spent three years as the marketing editor for the top real estate team in America, and his work has been featured in leading publications like the Wall Street Journal and Robb Report.

When he isn’t brainstorming a video script or collaborating on a marketing campaign, Seth likes to go hiking, explore local bakeries, or better yet – stay home and get lost in a book.

Creative Lead

Shasta Kras

Blending her creative and business sensibilities into every project, Shasta creates a powerful outcome for our clients – results that aren’t just attractive, but are also meaningful and lasting. She defines our clients’ ideas and then adds layers like color choice, typography, and texture, skillfully manipulating all elements until the outcome both embraces and showcases the vision.

Shasta offers over 10 years of creative experience in branding, marketing, and graphic design for nationally recognized real estate, apparel, and print companies. With each collaboration, her accomplishments and dedication have been instrumental in pushing sales goal attainment to new heights.


Sarah Last

Building on a foundation of fervent reading, Sarah Last is a professional and versatile writer, proficient in engaging with audiences through her storytelling. She has written and published an abundance of materials spanning creative pieces, journalism, newsletters, and video scripts.

Prior to writing for IHS, Sarah held the role of copywriter for the top real estate team in America. She has also served as the team lead for the Stanford University Bookstore, where she channeled her literary knowledge to increase book sales.

Sarah attended Seton Hill University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sarah made the cross-country voyage to the Bay Area in 2014 to expand her horizons. In her free time, when she isn’t delving into novel-writing, Sarah enjoys reading, baking, and keeping in touch with family and friends back home.


Charles Barry

A San Francisco native, Charles studied journalism and photography at SF State. He served as in-house photographer at Santa Clara University for 27 years, and continues to work there on a freelance basis. That job gave him the opportunity to practice nearly every type of photography, including studio work, portraiture, photojournalism, and architectural photography.

Concentrating on high-end real estate photography for the last three years has proved an exciting new discipline for Charles.