After spending years working for others, a trio of local graphic and communication specialists decided the time had come to call their own shots and formed The Creative Agency LLC.
Company owners David Brodt, 33, of Dupont, Joseph Zielinski, 33, of Wilkes-Barre, and Kelly Franks, 35, of Mountain Top, each bring a certain skill set to the company that provides identity, print and web design services to local businesses and national corporations. They have a combined 30 years of design, marketing and sales experience.
Explaining what the new company is and does takes some time. Its goal is to make businesses stand out from competitors and to create multi-layered plans to do just that.
Brodt is quick to note what the company isn't.
"We are not an advertising agency," he said. "We build relationships with our clients and creatively position their company to the customer. We are artists that are skilled in communication."
Brodt and Zielinski met while the two were graphic design program students at Allied Medical and Technical Institute in Scranton. Eventually the two worked together at a local company they declined to identify. Franks, who has a background in banking and radio sales and marketing, did some freelance projects with Zielinski and when the idea of a new company was brought up, she knew she wanted in.
But where to locate?
They considered Old Forge, Scranton and Clarks Summit before settling on the Innovation Center @ Wilkes-Barre, managed by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry. They open for business Tuesday in Suite 227.
It's a place Zielinski knew well since he worked at one of the incubator's biggest success stories, Pepperjam.
The Innovation Center has been the home for several local startups, some of whom have gone on to larger facilities and some that have been purchased by larger companies, such as Pepperjam, which is now owned by eBay.
Pepperjam started out with two desks in the center's second-floor office space, the same floor The Creative Agency will be located on in a 430-square-foot space.
Franks said the location, along South Main Street just off Public Square, is ideal, the rent reasonable and the assistance and support the center provides was icing on the cake.
Chamber President Bill Moore said companies like The Creative Agency are perfect for the incubator.
"The Innovation Center was put together exactly for this sort of company, small startup firms wanting to locate in downtown Wilkes-Barre," he said.
He said once the firm moves in next week the center will be at 98 percent capacity. He noted that while there is a plan for a second Innovation Center nearby on the former Blum Brothers clothing store lot on South Main, the chamber is still into all options to make sure it has the best location. A decision will be made in the next six to eight weeks, he added.