By: Nathan Williams
From Don Draper (Mad Men) to Larry Tate (Bewitched), and Ron Richardson (Mr. Mom), the stereotypical ad agency experience has been portrayed as a ruthless business that has little regard for employees which seem to be expendable based on narcissistic whim, or the occasional poorly cast spell. And sometimes, there’s truth in that. This business is known for chewing people up and spitting them out. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
When I founded Baseline Creative in 2006 I wanted something different. A place for people to feel appreciated and cared for, a place people would like to come spend the day. We would do good work for good clients and take care of our people. When I started, I literally worked out of my home. Our small staff would meet there around my kitchen table with laptops to work. Clients would come to my house for meetings and sit around the same kitchen table. Sometimes I would have made fresh bread for all to enjoy.
A couple of years ago, my wife walked out into the kitchen in the morning with clients in the living room and staff in the kitchen and as she poured her coffee she said, “It’s time for a new office.” She was right. We were growing and didn’t have room for all we needed to do in my house anymore. It was the right decision, but I didn’t want to lose the culture of home and hospitality that we had built.
If home is where the heart is then part of my heart lies in the historic Dockum building at 110 N. Hillside. In our space we have an open air environment with lots of gorgeous natural light. We still greet each other and visitors enthusiastically. We still laugh hard and work hard. We still break bread together.
In 2015 we were voted one of Wichita’s Best Places to Work by the Wichita Business Journal and I am humbled by that honor. I don’t think being in this business and being good to people are diametrically opposed and I’ve built a business on just that. Baseline Creative isn’t just my business, it’s an extension of my family. Our clients, our staff, our neighbors, even the work we produce, all have a special place in my heart. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop in and say hi. There will probably be homemade cinnamon rolls and fresh coffee but you can count on genuine smiles and people who are glad to see you. And this, my friends, is success.
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