April 8, 2021 by Carley Alspaw in Agency

Ten Years: Ten Questions & Ten Answers

Have we mentioned we turned ten?

Well, we did. This year marks Tegan’s tenth anniversary as a digital marketing agency, and we’ll be celebrating until… an undecided date. Our first decade brought incredible growth, forged new partnerships, and saw the coming and going of questionable hairstyles and some moody Spotify lists. We’ve gathered a team that loves the digital marketing world and loves a good meme, so we don’t have too much to complain about.

For the sake of ten year nostalgia, the team got together to reminisce on our time at Tegan. Let’s start from the very beginning.

🦸🏻‍♂️ Aaron! Our founder, principal, and fearless leader.  What made you start Tegan?
I left a national marketing role in 2011. Simply put, they were moving my department to CA and I didn’t want to move. I began interviewing for a full-time gig, but revisited old daydreams of starting my own agency. Around the same time, I went on a two-week hiking trip to Machu Picchu in Peru with my dad. The trip was amazing, and in one way or another, it gave me the clarity and drive I needed to go full force with Tegan.

💙 Why Tegan? Why not Fegan?
As far as the Tegan name, it kind of started with some learnings from my second week at Nokia. Right after starting, they sent me to some digital marketing training in London. While there, a consultant went over the concept that all of a company’s digital efforts fall into Owned (website), Earned (PR), Bought (media) and Shared (social). I liked that concept and wanted to incorporate it into the name and/or logo. One of the meanings of the name Tegan is “poet,” which led me to “rhythm”, which led me to “balanced”. So the name and four part logo represent the idea of helping to keep our client’s digital marketing efforts balanced, optimizing and adjusting to maintain the right rhythm for their business.

🌿 Morgan Hornung joined the team in 2016 as the second official employee of Tegan. She’s the definition of an OG. Morgan, what was your first year like?
My first year at Tegan included a lot of growth – for both us as a business and professionally on my end. Our team was small and our “office” was incredibly hot. The huge windows were great for scenery, but not so great for AC in Texas. Our neighbors were potentially drug dealers and we really liked the color green. Things only went up from there. Thank goodness.

🐕 John Herrington joined in 2016 as VP Client Services. He’s also our resident Bachelor expert. John, what’s been the biggest surprise working at Tegan?
We’re almost entirely referral based, which is refreshing more than anything. It takes out a lot of the stress that comes with wrapping up a project well. I’ve worked in shops where we kept our heads on a swivel, halfway focused on the assignment at hand, halfway anxiously making moves for the future. At Tegan, we are intentional with who and how we work. We are careful to take our time with clients. And naturally, when we take care of our clients, they take care of us. Turns out that Golden Rule still means something.

Account Manager Laura Ritchie has been rolling tide on the team since 2018. She’s worked on projects with everyone from railway experts to social rights activists. She never thought she’d be an expert on…
Types of marina storage. Ask me what you want to know about boats. I don’t own one, but oddly enough, I’m your girl. I’ve also become proficient in railway lines, railway cars and most things railway in general. If you ever need someone on your random trivia team, hit me up. But with each industry we’ve entered, I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet and spend time with field experts and lifelong advocates. Sharing conversations with people from all walks of life, with all sorts of passions and dreams, has been incredible. Sure, I’ve learned weird facts, but I’ve also learned a lot about people outside of my circle, and how to engage with any and everyone across the Zoom screen.

🎨 Ryan jumped on board last year as the UI/UX designer. We asked him about his design process.
My first step is to learn everything I can about the problem. I try to know the ins and outs of what our clients are hoping to communicate. From here to the finish line is a lot of thinking, a lot of coffee, and another round of heavy thinking. Once an idea appears, the real fun starts. Adrenaline kicks in and I hustle to execute the details. Give or take a week’s worth of Starbucks, and a finished product is off to the client for review. This is the part where I cross my fingers.

🎁 Carley joined the same day as Ryan, and serves as Brand Communications. Carley, what’s the best part of your job?
I’ve loved playing a part in celebrating our team and our clients. Tegan is all about a culture of kindness, which makes my job ridiculously fun. We believe in singing big on birthdays, high-fiving on anniversaries and oohing over all the cute baby pics. Most notable delivery so far has to be the guy dressed as Big Foot that showed up at Morgan’s door (sorry, not sorry, Morgan).

🍭 We ended 2020 on a high note by adding Jacey to the team. She’s been killing it as an Account Executive since day one. We asked her about her biggest ‘a-ha’ moments so far.
For starters, in almost every conversation for the first few weeks I had to google what a phrase or acronym meant. There are A LOT of acronyms.  Also, EVERYTHING can be organized into a folder of some kind. I mean everything. Like when in doubt, put something into a DB (dropbox) folder and organize. Lastly, being the youngest on the team means that you won’t understand some of the references to older pop culture, just look it up and pretend like you do. Google is my best friend.

💥 Kelsey joined the team toward the end of 2020 as an Account Director. Tell us about your new role, and your hopes for year one with Tegan.
I am incredibly excited to be joining such a rockstar team as an Account Director! I’m coming aboard to help continue leading the charge of producing the best work possible for our clients. I’ll be hands on with developing strategic opportunities, business deep dives, and oversee projects ranging from website development to traditional print pieces. My hopes for year one is to keep pushing. Tegan is an agency that doesn’t settle for status quo with the work they do for their clients. I hope to play an active role in continuing to push our work and doing the best.

🔮 And back to John. What do you see for the next ten years?
Flying cars. But seriously, over the next 10 years I see the traditional model of full-service agencies shifting. Brands will want to work with smart partners that can craft their story in digital first, and then apply it to the other mediums. Who knows what all we’ll be known for at that point, but I’d bet it’ll be built on a digital foundation.

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