Our Team


Rutger Bruining

Founder and CEO rutger@

Rutger graduated with a degree in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam and in 2004 started working as a strategy consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton. Three years later he moved to New York for an MBA at Columbia University, after which he became Investment Director at Arle Capital (formerly Candover) in London. In 2013 he quit his job in private equity to focus on his love for history and stories: he founded Story Terrace. Rutger likes sports and travelling; on the top of his wish list are Australia and Uganda.

Giles Schippers


Marketing Expert & Creative Director with 10 years agency and client-side background plus 5 years startup and UX/product experience. I have an eye for design and connect strategic dots – build great teams, develop and launch products and brands. The first half of my career was creative and included writing for a national newspaper, radio producer, photographer and agency art director at BBDO. As I was curious about the bigger picture and strategy I did an MBA and moved into marketing roles for e.g. Getty Images and at Rem Koolhaas’ OMA. Being entrepreneurial I started developing digital products for clients and co-founded ecommerce startup SonicEditions.com.

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Robert Desmond

Chief Technology Officer robert@

Using his 15 years of coding experience on a range of projects spanning front- and back-end, he is always looking for the next challenge to improve our customer experience. Robert has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge. Following graduation he spent a couple of years at Softwire, a leading London-based software consultancy, before turning freelance. Robert enjoys cycling and travelling and is currently documenting his ride from London to Auschwitz in a Story Book.

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Laura Duane

VP Sales and Operations laura@

Laura is a New York transplant to Los Angeles, and is never going back. She has her BA in Religion from Columbia University–which is what happens when you don’t think through that whole “life after college” thing–and her MBA in Corporate Finance from NYU–which is what happens when you eventually realize you have a BA in Religion. She worked in book publishing for seven years, at a talent management firm for two, and is now very happy to be a member of the Story Terrace team.

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Theo Brainin

Marketing Director & Product Manager theo@

Theo’s primary responsibilities at Story Terrace include beard topiary and coffee bean adjudication. On the side, he lends a strategic and articulate perspective to Story Terrace’s product development, product marketing and design, contributing a journalistic nous gained working with broadcasters including BBC Newsnight, as well as print publications. Theo holds a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and a Masters degree in Political Theory, both from Oxford University; as well as a Graduate Diploma in Law.


Louise Summerling

UK Managing Editor louise@

After graduating in 2010 with a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, Louise spent a couple of years in New Zealand – where she lived in a van in someone’s garden – and Australia, returning home in 2013 via Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and southern China. This was followed by a stint working at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, which is where her love of people and their stories was born. She then spent a year getting lost among the dreaming spires while working at Oxford University Press, before arriving in London to develop her skills as an editor at Macmillan. She joined Story Terrace in 2017, where she works closely with customers and writers to bring people’s stories to life.


Heather Hughes

Sales & Customer Relations Manager heather@

Heather was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. She studied Communications and Art History at the University of Calgary, but soon found a way to blend her passion for travel and love for the arts. She left Canada to pursue a career as an art auctioneer, and for five years she sailed around the world conducting live art auctions aboard luxury cruise liners. Eventually a life on solid land beckoned and she settled in her father’s birthplace of London. As our Sales Manager, she helps our clients realise their dream of capturing their life stories.

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