The Arland Group is a boutique creative agency. We want to ask you an important question. Would you rather work with people who want to work with you? Or, would you rather work with people, who work for people, who make them work with you?

Wisdom Comes With Age, Hopefully

by Kathy Black

25 May, 2012

In the St. Louis office, part of the decor and charm is the Inspiration Wall. The concept is rather simple, find something that inspires you and hang it on the wall. Our wall consists of magazine articles, photos and some of the branding and advertising projects that The Arland Group has been responsible for. Most of what hangs on our Inspiration Wall is compliments of Keith. Megan and I need to step up our game.

My inspiration, that has yet to make it to the wall, is actually a quote from my grandfather. He said to me last July 25th, “You hear a billion words a day and they all run together and most of them don’t mean anything.” I sat there and took it all in. He was just talking out loud really, as if I wasn’t even in the room. He and I sat there together with no one else in the house, as he ate the McDonald’s that I had just brought for him and it dawned on me that there sat a man that has lived a lifetime spanning from the Great Depression to Facebook, Twitter and texting. And he was right, so many words, so little meaning just like that, the wisdom of a grandfather was being shared with me and he didn’t even realize it, but I did.

Understanding the truth in that statement comes only with time and age. Learning that the person that is always doing the talking isn’t the person that knows the most is a life lesson, that if learned early, can save us from a lot of frustration. Those people will at times grab attention, because they usually demand it, and try to keep the focus on themselves by making noise. Being quiet, composed and poised are traits that are harder to come by. Most people want to associate with those that actually mean what they say and say what they mean.

Without even realizing it, we adopt this principal every day at The Arland Group. It’s one of the reasons that I genuinely enjoy being part of this team. Wasting words and telling people what they want to hear isn’t who we are. We’re a company that produces quality work and being proud of how we conduct business will always be at the center of what we do. It’s nice to know that my addition to the Inspiration Wall will serve as a great reminder of this.

When the DIY model does not work

by Keith Seiz

13 October, 2011

I’ve always been proud to say I’ve started something. In my first career as the editor of a trade publication, I was most proud of the fact that I started a successful conference. In the last six years of many successes at The Arland Group, I am most proud of the fact that we took the chance in the first place. We started something. And we did it in a Do It Yourself (DIY) fashion.

The DIY model has paid huge dividends for our creative firm throughout its existence. In the beginning, doing it ourselves allowed us to streamline costs and develop our own models and processes for running an agency that were based on logic, not what other agencies were doing or alleged “best practices.”

Today, the DIY model brings us closer to clients. Despite our growth, we still insist on eliminating the gap between our creative team and our customers. How? By foregoing the traditional account executive model and insisting that all TAG Teamers are creative and versed in account management and sales. Taking this approach, we have built a great team of all-arounders in a DIY model.

But the DIY model is not always the best approach. We recently opened an office in St. Louis on Washington Ave. (recently named one of the top 10 streets in America!), and instead of moving into a space that was move-in ready, we leased a space that we could make our own. But instead of hiring professionals to transform the space into what we wanted, we decided to follow the DIY model.

Terrible decision. Balancing the daily workload of running a successful, growing agency is difficult enough, but combined with painting walls, installing new floors and buying furniture, it’s a burden I wish upon no one.

In the end, our office will be outstanding and it will be something I’m very proud of. But right now, as we slowly make our sparse accommodations a home away from home, I wish this once, I would have taken a different approach than the DIY model.

We’ll continue to post pics as the office becomes more complete and stay tuned for more info on our Open House!