Well, I have met people with such a wide variety of backgrounds during my PhD, that I don't know if there is something that might be really considered orthodox. So, "unorthodox background" is not a problem by itself.
But I think there is VERY important piece of information missing here: are you applying to what area of research?
For example, I'm a Marketing PhD student. For Marketing Strategy research, your experience, knowledge, and connections outside of academia can be considered a valuable thing. After all, Marketing Strategy research typically focus on real-world problems, of real-world companies, etc. On the other hand, Consumer Behavior research typically is more focused on theoretical contributions. Of course real-world problems are still important, and the importance has been growing, but the weight is different from Marketing Strategy.
Other types of PhD, like Finance or MIS, will also have something like that probably.
So, it depends a lot on your research interests, the exact area of PhD you plan to apply to, and how you spin your story to make a convincing case for yourself.
Regardless of all that, knowing how to write and how to do research, even if it's outside of academia, should be positive. At least it shows you like this kind of thing, and you have some skills to show. But you gotta understand that writing and researching in academia is different from what you have done, don't try to sell that you know how to write an academic paper because of that, for example.