Sunday, May 18, 2008
I spent the better part of July and August researching the best people to design not only SavvyAuntie.com, but the branding too. There are so many options when deciding on who will manage your design work. I looked at everyone from talented freelancers to small agencies I had come to know during my career as an interactive marketer. In the end, I decided to work with Syrup. Syrup is a boutique agency located in Tribeca, New York. I had first met Rob Holzer and Jakob Daschek, the founders of Syrup, when I worked in the beauty industry, and together we went on to win numerous awards together, including a Webby Award nomination and a Print Magazine award. I knew from the moment I agreed to meet with them just a few weeks on the job in interactive communications, that Syrup was very special. Very special indeed.
Syrup hires the most incredible talent. I have never worked with a team of more highly trained and most talented designers and Internet and brand experts in my career. I am not sure I ever will again. What's more is that Syrup is full of integrity. If they see something could be better, they will make it better. No questions asked. If I come to them with a challenge, they solve it. No questions asked. It's the integrity they have for their work that makes them unique in an industry that often looks at the clock, not the work-at-hand, to gauge commitment. When SavvyAuntie.com launches (very soon!) you will see the incredible passion and talent that went into the SavvyAuntie brand and Community. I am incredibly fortunate.
When I had a conversation with Rob in late August about working together, he believed in the project from the first minute. And I knew he was sincere. Rob knows the industry and has pretty impressive clients to prove it. Luckily for me, from the moment we agreed to work together, the Syrup team not only took on the SavvyAuntie.com project like it was part of the family, they took it on like it was another one of their top-shelf clients. I was not treated any differently than the massive media companies and conglomerates they work with. Savvy Auntie was their little engine that could.
When your agency believes in you and in your project, you're already ahead of the game. It also helped that I believe in Syrup. Our mutual support is probably one of the main reasons why we have a chance at success.
My rule of thumb about hiring agencies and consultants is to hire people smarter that myself. Sure, I bring many years of talent, skill and experience to the table. But I could not do, nor dream of doing, what the Syrup team has done for my company. Over the last eight months, we've worked incredibly closely together, creating, designing, solving and moving the needle forward. Syrup is part of the heart that beats inside my company and my dream. Rob, Jakob, Omino, Dana, Joerg, Paul, Amy, Erik, Krissy, Nate, Shannon and everyone else who has touched this project: Thank you.
On September 12, 2007, the Syrup Team - rather the SavvyAuntie.com Team - and I drank champagne to celebrate the kick-off of Savvy Auntie. It was truly one of the most amazing days of my life.
My carpet ride was about to take me on my way to designing the company of my dreams. Literally. Did I mention how lucky I was?