Not sure what you were doing over the past holiday season, but we got sucked into a handful of those “Decade in Review” T.V. shows and magazine articles. (Probably better than last year when we binged “Married at First Sight” for five days straight.)

Boy howdy were there some changes in the 2010s! (Technically “boy howdy” was like a 1950s thing, but whatever.) Paraphrasing one of the great lines we read: Every significant leap forward felt like it would be the last advance, yet the absolute opposite has been true. Every major “improvement” is merely a step and not the end.

Anyway, this isn’t a post about technology. These decade retrospectives got us thinking about the decade that was at Farinella — our robust list of clients (some became decade long partnerships, some we failed during the engagement) and cohorts, the work we delivered, and the fun that we had across the board.

We also made a pivot in 2012, rebranding from F.W.I.W. Creative to Farinella, and establishing a new logo and identity. You can read more about that decision at this blog post. Spoiler alert: We’re evolving again. Look for that news very shortly.

The Clients

We worked with some fantastic people and companies throughout the decade. It’s easy to point to Williams-Sonoma (our 13-year run ended with them in 2014 after a corporate restructure), The North Face, Lucasfilm, Akamai, and Microsoft. After all, those are big names that everyone knows.

We had just as much fun helping local and regional businesses like Biro & Sons, Sebastopol Guest House, Bigham Taylor Roofing, 32TEN Studios, and California Retail Hardware Association. Seeing how conscientious and active marketing directly impacts a company’s bottom line is quite a reward.

Mixed in with positive client experiences were some tough ones, where we failed for one reason or another. We’ve done our best to try to make those things right, but sometimes that’s not possible. The names of those companies won’t be listed, but the lessons we learned will be:

  • Be transparent at all times
  • The client’s name is on the work, not ours… Listen to them
  • Be clear about schedules and timelines
  • Get approval for every budget item
  • Don’t overpromise and under-deliver

We’ve done our best to implement changes at our agency to avoid these mistakes. We’ll never be perfect, of course, but we’re doing our best not to repeat those errors.

The Work

We came into the 2010s focused on content creation and delivery, mainly based on David Farinella’s experience as a journalist. That meant we were producing print and email newsletters, copy for websites, white and topic papers, and paid media articles. We learned a lot about a lot of different things, and it furthered our passion for being a generalist in this hyper-specialized world.

Thanks to some great referrals and the random cold call, we started working with companies that were looking for more well-rounded efforts. We studied and experimented with advertising, social media, building websites, and creating brands. All in all, the 2010s were the decade where we went from a one-person shop to a well-rounded consortium of big thinkers and ass-kickers.

In the middle of the decade, we got called in to help a company redefine its look, voice, and approach to all things marketing and communications. It turned out to be one of the most significant projects in our agency’s history and ended up with us standing on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as Everi’s C.E.O. rang the opening bell. Read all about that project in our Portfolio. BTdubs, while this was an AWFUL day for the stock market it was an amazing day for our team and our now dear friends at Everi.

 

The Future

We’re heading into the 2020s with some fascinating and exciting work. Our current roster of clients feel like true partners and we’re learning a ton from them. We’ve also grown our team and have a crew that believes in doing good work with humility and dedication. We’re more dedicated than ever to learning from our past mistakes and keeping an eye on how we’re doing.

We’re optimistic about the future of the agency and the opportunities on the horizon.

Here’s to a fantastic decade. May you find success and peace. And, we hope our paths will cross soon.