I couldn't have been more lucky to have someone introduce me to this powerful femme team. Ashley and Lyndsey left their cushy jobs to build brand and marketing messages for powerhouse brands all across the nation as their own company, We Are Rumble. As a fellow jumper-into-freelancer I asked some of the looming questions on what it's like to work together (as friends) under their OWN umbrella, how much their industry has changed, and how they're building these beautiful campaigns.
What in the world made you two decide to quit you're amazing jobs and start a company? We all know it ain't easy so what needed to change?
There were several motivating factors. At the crux of it, we wanted to be more selective about the types of projects we take on. We’re now able to pour our energy and drive into an outcome we have more control over and brands we care deeply for. We like the fact that we can be nimble with our work and problem solving. The decision making is in our hands, so we don't have to wait on change to happen, we can make it.
In your own words tell us how Rumble is changing company's lives. What are your roles?
Design evokes an immediate emotional reaction. That's what's amazing about what we do. We provide the medium from which people form feelings, opinions and memories.
We push companies to figure out who they want to be and create the means for them to express it. We find that through the process of working with a client it's a bit like a therapy session where they come out with a more solid sense of self (or sense of brand in this case).
We have seen over and over how design can directly impact product sales, distribution, customer acquisition, engagement, etc – all of which translates to a successful company. This excites us.
Ashley is the Co-Founder and Creative Director
Lyndsey is the Co-Founder and Managing Director
Together we’ve worked as counterparts for years and our complimentary strengths/weaknesses has made us a successful team.
What kind of clients are your working or have worked for? Any particular genre or across the board?
We work with a huge range of clients and industries, and we like it that way. We love diving into a subject we know little about and becoming mini subject experts. We've discovered passions we didn't know we had, and it creates for good cocktail party banter.
We work with a lot consumer products in the natural space - both emerging and established brands. We also work on tech (being in the bay area) and cannabis (because the timing and opportunity here is radical).
We just returned from EXPO west where we had 5 clients showcasing - which was very exciting.
Compared to companies like yours ten years ago what has changed in the industry that affects, now, how you do business?
I love this question. There is so much that has changed over the years which is why we’re very thoughtful and intentional in our approach.
Historically it was common for agencies to be wedded to clients with longstanding retainers and largely staffed teams. That model doesn’t work well in today’s start-up and gig economy. Emerging brands don’t have huge budgets and don’t want to be in big commitments. Companies are more comfortable working on a fee-based per project model. We love this approach as it gives us the space to keep a fresh rotation of interesting projects without having burnt-out staff on any one account. We keep our team lean and engaged so we can pass on the costs to our clients and get rid of the typical agency bloat.
Moreover young companies don’t have the budgets to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on building a brand and yet they’re the ones who need a compelling brand the most. All too often we’ve seen these start-ups (CPG and Tech alike) that have resorted to 99 designs or some low budget option because their choices are limited. We intentionally sought out to solve for this delima with accessible fee structures. There is an underserved market who deserves good creative without paying standard agency fees.
Lastly, big established brands have to work extra hard to stay current with ever changing cultural context. They need fresh ideas that can come from anywhere. Being tied to one agency for years has the trappings for your brand to grow stagnant. So we love working some of the giants who are long over due to reinvigorate the brand with some new outside thinking.
I've seen your GORGEOUS pitch decks to clients. How long does it take to build an initial idea?
Awe, thanks! Time is so elusive when it comes to design. An idea can happen in an instant and then it take time to design around it. Some things come really fast and others can take days/weeks.
We help our clients build brands, but we are also building our own. So, we practice what we preach. We work hard to build a library of case studies and assets that we can repurpose quickly and easily when we see an opportunity to pitch. But, when it comes to the creative work we deliver for clients, that process is building something from scratch so it's way more time intensive.
Are you guys hiring or are you keeping it small and quality for meow?
We are hiring! We’re always looking for talented designers to join the team. :)
Both of you lead epic lives outside of work. Do you consider work and personal separate or does it kind of mash together. AND, how do you feel about that?
Tough question. We have our friends/personal lives outside of work which are sacred gems. However I’d say there is a large blend of our work and personal lives. To start, we’re business partners who are also good friends, we have clients who become our friends, we have friends who become our clients, we have old colleagues who become clients, friends who are in the same industry who become our colleagues, and so on… it’s all one little tribe. I love this about life. I think we all prefer working with people we enjoy and it’s great to build a community that way.
Do either of you work on personal art outside of work?
Ashley: I spend time off-the-clock daydreaming about architecture and playing with interior design.
Lyndsey: My ultimate love for design comes through in interior spaces. I execute this mostly by helping friends and family and constantly evolving my home. I can't wait to build a custom space from the ground up some day.
Images, graphics and copy are such an important part of your jobs. And we've talked about how clients sometimes are aware of the work that goes into an image, a message, a color scheme. What is some advice you have for companies, perhaps, on the verge of changing their brand or starting one?
Get really clear about who you’re trying to reach and what the goals are. Once we know the target we can design specifically to them and the business objectives. If those things are not established and agreed upon by the decision-makers, a branding project can too easily turn into a battle of subjectivity. Design will always be subjective on some level, but because you might have an aversion to a color, detail or word, it doesn't mean it's wrong for the brand (unless you are building a personal brand of course). Be open to new ideas and the process. It's good to feel a little uncomfortable sometimes. That's where amazing things are born.
What's the last item you purchased?
Lyndsey: Luca’s PaPaw ointment (can’t live without it) and a Herman Miller office chair designed by yves behar
Ashley: Toys for my dogs, Kombucha (like a lot of Kombucha), and Beyonce/JayZ tix for me and Lyndz.
Work from home or office more efficient?
Home office and WeWork. Both have their time a place. There’s something wonderful about rolling from the bed to the desk in under 5 min.
Most listened to song this past month?
Lyndsey: I’ve been on a 90’s hip hop kick.
Ashley: Podcasts have been my jam lately.
Fav design or graphic? (screen shot)
This is like picking a favorite child.
Where should we be looking for examples of great design work? Magazines? websites?
How many hours on Pinterest do you spend a week?
Lyndsey: I find Pinterest to be annoying. Not that into it.
Ashley: For me it’s project-based. If I’m on the search for specific photography content, I can be lost in a black hole for hours or days. But I agree, there’s a ton of garbage that you need to sort through to find the good stuff. I prefer to look on photographer or photo rep sites as you’re guaranteed a level of quality.
Most coveted breakfast place in the city?
Lyndsey: Best Chilaquiles: Primavera @ the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Saturday
Universal Cafe in the mission.
Ashley: My kitchen table. I haven’t been out to breakfast in a very long time. We cook a lot at home and it’s nice to start the morning off with something homemade versus tackling “brunch village”.
Summer Wilson - Creative Director and Photographer of Battle Cry
Photo by John Thatcher