Treebird at 6: Iron and Candy

 
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Six years into the entrepreneurial experiment that launched in an East Atlanta kitchen one spring morning, we suppose it’s almost time to stop calling what we do an experiment. Though we aren’t the type to call anything business as usual, because there’s little sense of usual about our day-to-day work. And we like it that way.

The traditional gifts associated with six year anniversaries are, perhaps fittingly in our case, iron and candy. We have grown strong over the years, resilient, able to both weather the slings and arrows of small business ownership and offer unwavering support to our clients. As strong as iron is, it can also easily rust, and we’re ever vigilant in preventing the harmful oxidation of our process, product, and value.

Interesting word, value. These many years in, we’ve come to see value as a triumvirate of sorts. First and foremost, the only reason we exist is to provide value to our clients. Value in the form of listening to them and understanding their situation, their story, their hopes, and their anxieties. Value in using that knowledge to spark inspiring new ideas that solve their problems and open up new opportunities. And value in freshly communicating their unique brand promise not to the whole wide world, but to the audiences most ready to hear it. 

Of course, we wouldn’t be much value to our clients at all if we didn’t find value in our own lives and our work. There’s a lot of talk these days about balance, and that’s part of the secret to our survival, if not success. Whether it’s through yoga or hikes through the woods or reading a book, sketching an illustration, or cooking a meal, sometimes it’s in going away that we come back most fresh, ready, and inspired to take on the next big idea. Our work is rewarding precisely because we find intrinsic value in it, and to be able to see the bigger picture, we need to be in the right frame of mind.

Together, valuing our clients and ourselves combine to valuing relationships big and small, long and short, messy and clean, rewarding and disappointing. It’s the kaleidoscope of experiences, all wrought and rendered through relationships, that is the grand prismatic spring of our working lives. All of Treebird, from day one to day 2,190, has been defined by finding value in our relationships—among ourselves, with our clients, and ultimately with our clients’ clients.

And no, we didn’t forget about candy. The sweetest thing of year six has been our newfound commitment to nose-to-tail branding. To best meet the needs of our clients and weld even stronger, iron-clad relationships, we’ve added social media partnerships to our list of offerings. The world runs increasingly on social, and we realized that no matter how elegant a branding solution we could conceive, if we didn’t continually follow through and reinforce the brand with an unwavering and consistent social presence, the impact of our partnership would be diluted and diminished.

 Nothing is promised in this wild world in which we find ourselves. All the more reason to add value, be yourself, spread good will, do good work, and make the next day better than the last. That’s been our M.O. for six years and counting. We thank all of you who have taken the leap with us, as we surely would have fallen long ago had it not been for you.

But it’s been so fun so far, so let’s keep flying a little while longer.

Jaci Lund