For over 10 years, I’d been telling my wife that I wanted to start my own advertising agency. All of those conversations, up to that point had ended with a discussion of the very scary and very real financial risks involved. I remember the last conversation we had on the subject because it ended differently than the hundreds we had before. We were in the car and I was driving. Emily looked over at me and said, “Why don’t you stop talking about it and start an agency.”
That was it. A few days later, Emily and I left on a trip to San Francisco that we had planned months before. We stayed at the amazing Clift Hotel and between visiting wineries in Napa, eating amazing food, and taking walks through Muir Woods, I wrote the business plan for Crawford Branding in the hotel lobby.
There was one problem with the business plan, though. I absolutely hated the name, Crawford Branding. While trying to come up with a better name for the company, I reread “To Kill a Mockingbird” and remembered how much I had really wanted to name my daughter Scout. I lost that battle with the Mrs., but I could still name the business Scout, couldn’t I?
So Crawford Branding changed to Scout Branding and I resigned from a perfectly good job. The next weekend, I went to buy office supplies, a fax machine (‘memba them?), a new laptop, and a printer. I was ready for day one.
On September 6, 2006, Scout Branding Company, LLC became a real thing. It felt ridiculous calling Scout a company at that point, mostly due to the fact that it was based at my house in a spare room decked out with pink flowery wallpaper.
“We” had zero clients and I was honoring the non-compete from my previous job. Shortly after that, I got a meeting with Children’s Hospital in Birmingham (now Children’s of Alabama). That was Scout’s first client and I’m happy to say that we have maintained a strong relationship with Children’s ever since that day.
I am thankful for the clients that have trusted us to do important work for their companies and organizations, the very talented people that work at Scout, and all of the talented Scout Alumni out there. Thank you for 10 great years, and here’s to 10 more!
A special thank you to Emily for all the love and encouragement over the years, and to my awesome kids, Ian and Natalie for all of their help, patience, love and support.