Our industry has evolved a great deal in the years since the very first days of Olive & Company. And we’ve evolved along with it. But, no matter how our team changes and adapts, our origin story will remain a key component of our DNA.
We opened our doors in 2003, but the story started years before. On the staff of a University newspaper where our founders first met. Rob and Tom forged a bond over a shared passion for exceptional design and its ability to inform, delight, and persuade. This passion continued to connect them as they went their separate ways, learning and growing with each step along the path that would eventually lead them to Olive & Company.
In the weeks leading up to the big idea that would become our agency, both Rob and Tom had begun feeling unfulfilled in their current positions. They both longed to be in a place where they could make an impact with their work. To lead clients toward success and growth as a true marketing partner.
Primed with this desire to start helping organizations achieve their objectives in a meaningful way, Tom jumped on board the moment Rob suggested they start an agency of their own. One that would be wholly dedicated to bringing creative expertise, smart design, integrated strategy, and measurable results to organizations in need of marketing solutions.
The objectives were clear. Rob and Tom had even outlined them on a cliched bar napkin for good measure. Now, all they needed was a name. One that would represent who we were and where we were headed.
The partners outlined some loose criteria—a few friendly rules that would guide the naming process.
Rule number one was that their own names would have no place on the shingle. No Haskin Keekly or Thomas Robert or TKRH Agency. Their vision was to create a collaborative environment that prized ideas and solutions, not job titles. The thought was that their names emblazoned on the door would undermine inclusive, creative expression.
Rule number two was that the name had to be unpretentious. No buzzwords. No technical terms. No jargon. Nothing too complex or unapproachable. Just a short, simple, and inviting word or phrase.
The final rule was driven by our design roots. The name would need to lend itself to a unique aesthetic with interesting letter forms or something that would allow us to play with color.
One sunny afternoon, with the final rule in place, our fearless leaders set to work brainstorming the perfect name. As daylight began to wane, surrounded by remnants of abandoned names, Rob and Tom were ready to table the discussion for another day when Rob’s spirited Shih Tzu strolled through the living room. In her wake she left a trail of inspiring puppy paw prints, and, our name. Olive. Perfect. That’s right. Our namesake is a fiery little dog.
The “& Company” quickly fell into place when they revisited rule number one. If our agency was to serve our clients in every aspect of their marketing, it would be a team effort. The “& Company” represented the many talents and backgrounds that would form this team.
To this day, the story of our beginnings and our name reflects one of our favorite (paraphrased) quotes from the Roman philosopher Seneca: inspiration and results are what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Would Olive & Company be the vibrant agency it is today without the guidelines and objectives Rob and Tom put in place from the very beginning? Maybe. But we believe preparation, strategy, and guideposts that define desired end goals paired with inspired creative are what lead to results, growth, success.
It worked for us. It worked for the clients we’ve served since 2003. And we’ll put it to work for you.