As I wrap up my last week at de Novo before retiring and starting a new chapter, I am feeling nostalgic.
Thirteen years ago, I had an idea for a marketing firm that took a slightly alternative approach to marketing on behalf of our (then nonexistent) clients. I wanted to bring big ideas, experiential marketing and an approach that focused on the clients' needs, not our own.
Thinking back on those first few years—working in a closet-sized office with one desk, painting the wall in our office six times until we got the exact right shade of red, growing our team from just one person to eighteen, and meeting with hundreds of potential clients, listening to their challenges and bringing them creative, strategic solutions—reminds me why all this seemed like a good idea in the first place.
While I'm excited for my next adventure, it's impossible not to reflect on all I'm going to miss.
^Winning awards was great and all, but working alongside this team was even better.
First and foremost, I feel nostalgic for all the people over the years who really built de Novo. I'm so thankful for our wonderful team of brainy bandits, past and present, who bring their talents, fresh ideas and solid work ethic with them into our big, open office each day. Our cool culture, progressive brand, continually-improving processes and our creative projects would not exist without the amazing people who care about this company as much as I do.
I'm grateful to our clients, without whom this would simply be an expensive hobby. Throughout the years, we've been so lucky to work with client partners from many industries, political affiliations, educational institutions and communities who have challenged us, caused us to rethink our strategies and policies, and demanded that we produce work that neither of us imagined was possible.
^Cocktail hour—the most important appointment on any boss's calendar.
I'm thankful to Seth and Doug, our husbands, who spent far too many "social" events listening to Jen and I talk about work. Our friends, too, who either introduced us to someone we were interested in working with, advised us on an aspect of our growing business, or were just there to listen.
^Owning a business has taught me a lesson in fearlessness I hope to pass onto to my daughter.
I'm thrilled that our daughters grew up watching their moms run a successful business—what an example to set for young minds! And how fortunate that I worked in an environment that provided flexibility when my daughter was young. I didn't miss an assembly, a snow day or a concert because we created a business that put people first.
^ It's been a blast, thanks to this crazy woman.
Oh, and one more thing: I'm grateful for my business partner and friend, Jen. From the moment she joined de Novo in 2008, she's always said, "When we work together, it's like gas on a fire." She's right. By working together, de Novo has grown and thrived. We've surpassed every single goal I set when I started, and I'm so glad she'll be there to continue on with de Novo and take it to new heights.
Thank you—to everyone reading this—for your part in building de Novo. It was a dream, turned reality, that still feels like a dream!