A native Texan who studied design in Paris and advertising at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, Melanie Barti always had her heart in San Francisco, which she saw as a creative hot spot. She moved there to launch her ad career, and now, 11 years later, her latest gig is at independent Hive, as associate creative director.
"I keep thinking someone will tell me I have to leave," Barti joked. "I really love San Francisco."
Barti, 38, an alumnus of Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, has most recently been freelancing for shops including Hive. An art director by training, she will work in collaboration with founder DeeAnn Budney and creative director David Knox at Hive, a small shop with only a handful of employees that works with numerous freelancers.
Hive is coming off a good year, having picked up accounts including Gymboree, Salmon Bay Expositions and Les Concierges without reviews. In her new role, Barti said she will work on "everything that comes through the door." She figures to fit in well at the animal-friendly agency, adding her cattle dog mix Gracie to a menagerie that on any given day already includes two dogs, two cats and a bird.
Armed with a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Texas Christian University, Barti first went to work at dGWB in Santa Ana, Calif., where she worked on clients including Quicksilver and Vans. Asked about her favorite work, she cites an outdoor campaign by BSSP for Millers Outpost that used the line, "It's a free country. Dress accordingly."
Barti's husband, Michael Barti, is a copywriter at crosstown shop Publicis & Hal Riney. The two met at an industry event several years ago and now share their love of cooking by making elaborate meals a weekend event.