Dear Friends, Clients, Spoolers, Villagers…
Well, I guess it’s another year in the books. Not sure I have fully processed 2021 (or 2020 if I’m being honest) but out with the old and let’s gently usher in the new (shhh, don’t piss it off!).
While 2021 certainly had its share of challenges, pains and hurdles, it also provided many great and happy moments, too (which I’m working with my therapist to focus on- optimism: what a concept!).
So with hope and happiness in mind, here are some things from the past year that bring a big smile to my face:
We’ve added many new people to our team and I honest to goodness care and adore each and every person at Spool so much. I don’t think I’ve ever worked at a company with so many good (like, REALLY, REALLY GOOD!) people.
This year Spool worked with our friend, Lindsay Levin (5 stars, would recommend!), who helped us shape our mission and our values and I think that’s a big reason why we’ve landed with so many good people. We’re clearer than ever in who we as a company are and the values we expect everyone at Spool to live every day.
Without further ado…
At Spool our mission is simple: To be the leading people-first agency, for both employees and clients as we grow and invest in brands and companies that make our homes, communities and planet better for all.
We live and work by our values:
1. AUTHENTICITY: We take time to build trust and connection among everyone we work with—clients, partners and teams. It makes for a better day-to-day working experience and it vastly improves business results.
2. CURIOSITY: We question everything. We ask questions of each other and our clients in order to understand, to push ideas forward, to create connections and to make our work and our days more impactful.
3. AGILITY: We create, pivot and adapt to what each person and each project needs. Our ability to think critically and be nimble is one of our secret weapons.
4. IMPACT: Without positive impact, none of this means anything. Impact is why we work. We aim to be a positive force in the world and our communities. Our work, all of it, will contribute to that end in one way or another.
In addition to new faces on the Spool team, I’m equally thrilled and proud of the amazing clients we’ve added in 2021 as well as the existing clients we’ve continued to grow with. We launched six new brands, we opened new grocery stores and concepts, we helped clients with growth and scale and we have partnered with new nonprofit organizations that are making our communities better for all.
We also got a brand spankin’ new office in Downtown Chicago and we HOPE that 2022 will be the year we get to use it more (but only when it’s safe to do so!). We’re also launching a brand spankin’ new website soon in 2022, so keep an eye out (as the one who built our existing site, this is VERY exciting for me!).
In 2021 Spool was named the fastest-growing agency by a leading industry outlet and we realized the goal of becoming investors as part of Silicon Road Ventures’ $31 million fund. We’re a marketing and growth partner, yes, but we also have dreams anchored around innovation and building and we’re hoping to do much more of this in 2022.
And finally, I guess the thing I am most proud of as I look back to 2021 is that I have lived each day through the lens and intention of making my mom proud.
She’s not with us anymore but constantly thinking about her, especially in how she worked and the way she led, has made me so much better than I ever would have been without that filter. She was tough but fair. She didn’t suffer any fools. She used her voice and her privilege for those without and she raised everyone around who knew her (and to know her was to love her). As more time passes from when she was alive and I could pick up the phone to call her, I have learned to hear her voice, to channel how she led and to be better because of who she was and who she expected others to be. That is a gift and Spool would not be who and what it is today without it.
With that, I wish you all much love, light, health and the opportunity to rest and take care of yourself. I thank you all for the roles each of you have played in my life and at Spool. I hope that 2022 allows us to connect and I look forward to whenever that happens next.