The Evolution of the Agency! My Years in Growing a Business

Before I entered the advertising industry, I was a marketing director. This meant agencies pitched their ideas to me, and I was charged with deciding which one was worthy of our business. During my time on the other side of the table, I started noticing some serious issues with most of the companies pitching to us. High turnover rates, profit-driven business practices, and low morale seemed to be the norm in the advertising world. I felt agencies had it wrong, so I set out to try and break the monotony.  

Over the last twenty years, I’ve successfully built two successful advertising companies that I structured differently from traditional agencies. In April 2008, I founded my current agency, Fingerpaint. At the core of the company is the “revolutionary” idea that if you take care of your people, they will in turn take care of your clients. And let me tell you, our results speak for themselves. 

Fingerpaint was founded in the midst of the economic downturn. With determination and years of entrepreneurial experience under my belt, we managed to grow as a company even when the economy was struggling. Within a year we were an enthusiastic team of fifteen ready to take the ad world by storm. Then, Fingerpaint was faced with one of the greatest challenges a new agency can experience. Our biggest client (two-thirds of our business) had to drop us due to circumstances that were out of our control. I didn’t know what we were going to do.

I made the unconventional decision to not lay off anyone. I scrambled to find work for us to stay afloat, and while they weren’t the most glamorous projects we could’ve been doing, they allowed us to keep every single one of our employees. To this day, I’m proud to say that in my over 20 years as a CEO I haven’t laid off a single person. 

We don’t simply fire people if the account they’re working on gets cut. We are dedicated to the success of our people above everything﹘ even the success of our clients. This unwavering commitment to our team is what makes Fingerpaint stand out among other agencies. We believe that by creating a culture of empathy, respect, and empowerment we will always be able to bring more to the table. With such a stellar workplace reputation, some of the best talent in the industry wants to work for us.

With our team growing stronger with every new hire, our clients are the ones who ultimately benefit. Although we’re not driven by profits, we’ve managed to grow by 30-40% every year. Our employees are happy with their jobs and in turn produce top tier work. Our clients are happy with their results. Everyone wins.


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