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In Venice, California sits a creative design agency 13 strong that boasts a motto of “all things good,” and lives by those words daily. They “never miss happy hour,” have an “ever growing collection of garden gnomes,” and are visited on the reg by a pack of lovely pooches. They are Clever Creative, and they would love to work with you.
Firm: Clever Creative
Principal(s): Shannon Gabor
Staff Members: 13
Notable Clients: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bro. Consumer Products, Ironman, Outward Hound, Mattel
Back in 2005, Shannon Gabor and her team started Clever Creative with the values of “solid design and collaboration.” The creative design agency’s clients began as toy and entertainment companies, including Mattel and Warner Bros (both for which they still work). Today, the firm has over 20 clients and has expanded their reach to lifestyle and educational brands with hopes of finding travel and restaurant partners in the near future.
The team recently launched their newest initiative, the Clever Kids Workshop. Born seven years ago in one of Gabor’s many Moleskine idea sketchbooks, the Clever Kids Workshop was her idea for giving back to the community.
“Growing up, I personally had little exposure to creative professionals,” she told me, “and [I] thought how cool it would be if kids could learn more about what opportunities there are for creative professionals.” Clever Creative has partnered with Yoobi to offer all-inclusive workshops for local students. Taught by their own design professionals, the workshops are a place for “kids who love to create, dream, draw, craft and write” to learn all about creative design. All of the proceeds earned by the workshops are donated directly to local schools’ Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs).
Clever Kids isn’t the only way Clever Creative lives by their “all things good” philosophy. As a thank you to their clients, the firm is currently working on a unique gift they like to call the Clever CrEATive Cookbook. The firm has been gathering family recipes, cooking them up, staging the photography, creating the layouts, crafting the pages and copywriting the work—all in-house. This is Clever’s “most ambitious and personal season promotional mailer,” and they believe it will “showcase the breadth” of their motley talents. The cookbook comes not only with recipes, but also DIY projects and housing tips.
When I asked Shannon Gabor what her hopes for Clever Creative’s future are, her words rang true to the firm’s credo.
“To continue to be true to our agency culture, continue to value our talented team and continue to nurture happy clients with work that gets noticed.” The firm has a client return rate of 85% with some that have been loyal for over seven years. “My hope is that our agency grows in talent and offerings to meet the needs of our clients’ businesses as we have since we opened our doors, allowing us to work deeper with their brands and [support] more touch points of their everyday creative needs.”
Clever Creative plans to continue doing what they do best: “[We] make brands move. We make brands laugh. We make brands shine. True brand ‘nerds,’ we live the brands we love.”
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