At the Serendipity Labs Atlanta-Buckhead branch, the founder of Artistic Initiative Agency sat at a high table with the two branch managers. While the founder negotiated with the two managers, his work team and two new hires waited impatiently, sitting on the nearby couches.
On that morning of September 15, the skyline of downtown Atlanta was visible from the office’s common area, located on the 21st floor of Alliance Center. The tall buildings shone in the distance over a long tapestry of trees.
With his khaki sweater and ripped jeans, the founder projected a relaxed and youthful air as he talked with the office managers. Between jokes, he occasionally turned his head towards the window to observe the city view.
At first sight, no one could tell that the founder had worked 19 hours each day over the past weeks. His face had no dark eye bags that could evidence his lack of sleep; contrary, he was the most energetic person in the room. His laugh spread like waves through the office halls.
The past months had been equally toiling for the founder and his work team. One year and a half ago, he decided to launch his social media marketing company, Artistic Initiative. For several months, he worked by himself, doing all the copywriting, recording, and video editing from his residence in Houston, TX.
Over a year and a half, Artistic Initiative grew explosively. In less than nine months, the company surpassed the seven-figure benchmark in projected annual revenue.
Now, as the founder observed the sun reflecting on the distant skyscrapers, he was about to sign the contract to open a second office, officially expanding its operations into Atlanta.
“It’s unreal how much we have grown in such a short amount of time,” commented the founder.
Artistic initiative is a pioneer in the world of social media marketing. The company works in turning businesses, large corporations, and CEOs into social media influencers.
Today, Artistic Initiative manages the accounts of numerous renowned businesses and entrepreneurs across the United States. Now, with a team of nine people and two offices in Atlanta and Houston, the company’s growth seems to have no foreseeable end.
Even the founder struggles to wrap his mind around the immense growth of Artistic Initiative. For him, it feels like it was yesterday when he was still filming weddings for a living and recording his podcast.
Two years ago, the founder learned to film and edit blogs empirically. In 2019, he created a podcast series, which rapidly became one of Houston’s most listened to podcasts. Viewing the popularity of his program, the founder started hosting monthly events with his guests and recording them for his audience.
“I started filming the events and learned how to edit videos properly,” said the founder.
Despite the growing popularity of his podcast series, the founder had other ambitions. His goal was to create a media company of his own, which could grow to become the biggest of its kind in the entire country.
By early 2020, the founder had conceived the idea of creating his own social media marketing company. He envisioned a revolutionizing company that produces personalized content for CEOs and corporations to turn them into influencers. It was an innovative concept in social media marketing, an undertaking that would require the creation of an entirely new business model.
“I’m confident to say that no other company in the country does what we are doing,” said the founder.
In March 2020, Artistic Initiative officially came to life.
Initially, the founder established the company in his residence, where he worked by himself. At the time, Artistic Initiative managed two accounts. For the first months of the company’s existence, the founder spent several sleepless nights filming, editing, and writing.
“It was a lot of struggling and late nights,” said the founder, remembering those initial months. “During that period, I had many 24-hour days working.”
Soon, the quality and originality of the founder’s work started to catch the attention of new clients, and little by little, the company began to expand.
In April 2021, the founder decided to lease office space at the Serendipity Labs Houston branch. At this point, Artistic Initiative had incorporated three new team members, and more clients had hired the company’s services. However, despite the company’s steady growth, the founder felt fearful of taking this step.
“After signing the contract, I spent the first night inside the office, wondering if I had made the right decision,” admitted the founder.
An office was a significant financial burden at a moment when Artistic Initiative was barely breaking even. Yet, the founder believed in the future of Artistic Initiative, and acquiring an office was a needed investment to scale the company.
It would not take long for Artistic Initiative to see the fruits of its work and sacrifice.
In May, Artistic Initiative hit a decisive turning point. A list of new prominent clients contacted the founder to hire his company to manage their social media marketing. With these new accounts, the company was about to enter a phase of explosive growth.
Almost overnight, Artistic Initiative doubled its operations. The founder reinvested the value of the contracts into the company, expanding his work team and acquiring new upgraded equipment.
Long days of filming and unending nights of editing marked the following months for the founder and his team. At the Serendipity Labs offices in Houston, the Artistic Initiative team became notorious for staying after closing until late hours at night.
A growing list of business owners started to take notice of this rising startup. At this point, CNN, Forbes, Rolling Stones, People, and countless other major media outlets had featured the agency’s work.
In late August, destiny remunerated once again the arduous work of the Artistic Initiative team. In the span of a month, the company obtained contracts to manage several new accounts, many of them in Atlanta, GA.
In the snap of a finger, the company’s work tripled. With the growing list of new clients in Atlanta, the company needed a permanent team in the city. Immediately, the founder prepared to fly to Georgia with his team to start filming content for their new clients.
At the end of 2020, estimates projected that Artistic Initiative Agency would produce well above 6 figures in revenue. In less than nine months, the company obliterated the seven-figure benchmark in projected annual revenue, and its growth has not found an end since.
“A person who wants to innovate must work 100 hours a week. What takes one year to produce for the typical nine-to-fiver, an innovator does it in a matter of five months,” said the founder, reflecting on the growth of Artistic Initiative. “Also, your net worth is your network. I could not have reached this point without the guidance of my mentors.”
In recent weeks, the founder hired a team of new talented editors and copywriters to meet the demand of a growing number of accounts.
As the founder signed the contract for the rental agreement of Artistic Initiative’s new office, a new chapter opened for the company. The sleepless nights editing and typing might not be over just yet. However, the founder and his team know that the sun rises after the darkest hour.
By Juan Sebastian Restrepo
In association with Artistic Initiative Agency