Responses from Chief Executive Anson Sowby
How has your company evolved since it was founded?
We started the company myopically focused on doing one thing extremely well. We were all about television and digital commercials, and all in entertainment. Clients asked for more and we slowly built teams that could handle social media, digital development, out-of-home and retail design, and pushed into toys, alcohol, video games, and educational products.
BUSINESS: Advertising agency
TWO-YEAR REVENUE GROWTH: 1,290 percent
2015 REVENUE: $6.3 million
How has the company been funded?
Credit cards and great clients. Plain and simple. We were extremely fortunate to work with incredible brands during our first 24 months in business and those brands allowed us to quickly hire and grow. I sold my condo to fund some very senior hires.
What did you do to achieve this rate of growth?
(Co-founder Philip Khosid and I) hired a lot of people way smarter than the two of us. We would be nothing without the incredible and diverse group of men and women that work with us, and we’re constantly blown away by what they can do.
Who were your key advisers in the process?
Our incredible wives not only supported us but have continued to be key advisers in their own way. Additionally, we brought on key L.A. business leaders like Tom Bernthal, founder of Kelton Global, and became a part of organizations like Young Presidents Organization.
How did you manage the growing workload?
We’ve been very lucky to attract an incredible senior team of marketing veterans to join us from major L.A. ad agencies and Southern California brands. That’s really been the key as I often joke that we’re the oldest young agency out there; many of our core team have 20-plus years of experience. We quadrupled our office space in our second year.
What were the biggest obstacles hindering your growth and how did you overcome them?
We put a lot of effort into marketing ourselves, which has attracted a lot of big brands. But big brands don’t always want to work with young companies. It’s required us yelling and screaming about the massive brands that have chosen us.
Is there still room to grow in your current market or will you seek to expand into new areas?
As we’ve grown from being first focused on video creative to now being full-service creative, we’ll continue to deliberately go after the brands that are the right fit for us.
How do you manage expectations going forward?
It’s hard enough to start a company from scratch so we set out to simply only work with clients that we gelled with and brands that we like.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I often feel that I made every nearly mistake possible with my first company before successfully exiting via a sale. This time around I’ve grown some perspective as evidenced by the gray hairs in my beard. Many of the decisions this time around have been aided by the dumb, or should I say necessary, decisions that I made the first go-around.
How has your location in the L.A. area played into your company’s growth?
Being based in the heart of a rapidly changing and improving Hollywood is a huge part of our success. With over 20 new hotel projects being built in Hollywood, as well as major corporate offices for brands such as Netflix, Viacom, and BuzzFeed, this is the perfect location for us. It’s literally a crossroads of worldwide business and culture.
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