The three founders of Shine Advertising left Lindsay, Stone & Briggs at different times last summer but found themselves at a similar point in their careers.
"You have a moment in life, [like] when you're getting married or buying a house, when it's time to move on to the next phase," said Curt Hanke, the fledgling Madison, Wis., agency's account director.
After several years of working at agencies such as LSB, Campbell Mithun and Young & Rubicam, Hanke, Mike Kriefski and Chad Bollenbach decided it was time to work for themselves.
"The bottom line is we all learned a lot [at LSB and other agencies], but we're all entrepreneurs," said Hanke, 29.
Kriefski, 35, is Shine's creative director, while Bollenbach, 31, serves as design director. The agency opened its doors without clients and now claims three, according to Hanke.
In September Shine was assigned U.S. branding duties for Elefanten, a German maker of high-end children's shoes. Elefanten is owned by Clark's in England and has U.S. offices in Port Washington, Wis. The shop has been working on a new brand identity for Elefanten, "revitalizing every point of contact with the brand," Hanke said.
Shine is also doing work for Fat Cat Digital, a San Francisco production company, and 24 Hour Plays, a New York operation that stages one-act plays written and produced in a day. Both businesses were gained through previous relationships.
The shop has formed a relationship with Starcom unit Starlink to handle media and works with local interactive shop 40Weight, Hanke said.
With a couple of other projects also in the works, Hanke said the agency is looking to hire an account executive, a copywriter and a public relations account person.
"Given the economy, the state of the world, we feel very blessed," Hanke said.