This year, our agency will celebrate 15 years in business. Around the beginning of April is our actual anniversary; April 2000 is when we set up shop to service our first two clients. We had a vision, a plan and a team. A brand new agency in a new neighborhood, which is now Des Moines’ East Village filled with condos and apartments, unique shops, restaurants and bars. In April 2000, it was only a vision, made up of neglected, empty buildings. Now it’s one of the vibrant elements that put Des Moines atop Forbes magazine’s list of “America’s Best Cities for Young Professionals.”
Some businesspeople in Des Moines had a crazy vision to transform a rundown part of town near the state Capitol building into a trendy social district. And in just 15 years, what it’s done for the city’s downtown is incredible. The vision was a critical element, but it took the work of many to make it a reality.
Fifteen years ago, everything about Two Rivers Marketing — from the business itself to where we conducted business — was a vision. Now, Des Moines is on several lists because of its progressive work and social environment, and Two Rivers Marketing is on Outside magazine’s list of the top 100 “Best Places to Work.” Our own list of clients has evolved as well, to include the best brands any agency engaged in business-to-business marketing communications could ask for.
For a while, when someone commented on our agency’s growth, I’d say, “We have been very lucky.” That actually wasn’t accurate at all. Thinking about it more, the results of our hard work and dedication have far outweighed anything we’ve gained by chance. And that makes it even more rewarding — realizing what can be done with proper planning, dedication and hard work. Des Moines has done it; once a mediocre small city, it is now an exciting destination for young professionals. Our clients do it every day. Most were started by inventors and entrepreneurs with a vision … which grew into a business … and then a market-leading, multimillion-dollar corporation that provides thousands of jobs and serves several communities. All the result of hard work and strategic direction.
And we’re not finished with our own vision. We want Two Rivers Marketing to be the best place to work, not just in the top 100. We want Des Moines to continue to be the best city for young professionals (and we want those top young professionals to want to work here). And we want to continue helping our clients be the best in their industries.
Vision. Planning. Hard work and dedication. Surrounding yourself with the right people and clients. A lot can happen in 15 years. Every day on my way to work, I think about what the East Village of Des Moines looked like in April 2000 when we invited our first clients in for a tour. There were more vacant spaces than occupied ones. Thankfully, those clients could see the vision for the neighborhood, and most importantly, for our agency. And they believed in how hard we would work for their business, on their business and in their business.