It was the turn of the last century. Jana and Luke Soiseth were working at the Midwest’s most respected and beloved brand identity firm, Yamamoto-Moss. It was like a family – a very extended family of 120 or so men, women, kids, designers, writers, researchers, account execs, account reps, project managers, traffic liaisons, Hideki, Miranda and not a few creative directors. There was absolutely no reason to leave except that they wanted to go back to working with small to mid-sized businesses, they wanted to have more control over the creative, and they apparently wanted to trade in the posh offices, Herman Miller chairs, hydraulic adjustable desks and best technology available, for a tiny back bedroom with a couple of crap computers in a St. Paul apartment.
But it was all good. They slowly built a clientele of great businesses, meaningful nonprofits, exciting start-ups and restaurants, lots of restaurants. The business grew. They added staff – great staff! People who care as much as they do about the clients, the quality of the work, and the creativity that sets them apart from lesser firms. They moved to University Avenue in St. Paul, then Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis, then Grand Avenue in St. Paul. They jumped the river over and over, gathering up clients like Johnny Appleseed sowed apple trees.
And now it is today. And they’re still here. With a brand new website! (That took almost two years to make live – two years, mind you, from a firm that designs and builds websites! – but only because of their incredible dedication to their beloved clients and an absolute unwillingness to put their own work in front of their customers.) They still don’t have Herman Miller chairs, but if they did, their customers would know exactly who paid for those over-priced butt slings. No, they’ve kept those simple Minnesota values. In fact, when they began way back at the turn of the century, they used to say about themselves, “Big Agency Talent. Small Firm Sensibilities,” which they still could, and in fact, they just did.