By James Kwon
By James Kwon
As Figmints celebrates 10 years in business, we invite you to celebrate this monumental milestone with us. Take a walk with CEO and Founder James Kwon as he answers 51 questions about what led him here (and whether or not a hotdog is a sandwich).
Then, follow along our timeline to see how we’ve grown and changed over the years (including an important announcement we’ve been holding in!)
James Kwon, Figmints’ founder and CEO, pretty much always had a rep for his strategic thinking and graphic design skills. And as a natural leader and a lover of all things tech and innovation, turning his freelance business into a full-fledged creative agency wasn’t much of a leap. So, in 2011, amongst proposing to his wife, Callie, and purchasing a new home…he decided to also start what would become one of New England’s leading creative agencies.
(Want to know where the name “Figmints” came from? Check out the video.)
Figmints hired five people in its first year, and moved to a tiny office in Pawtucket. The air conditioner was loud, the lunch options were limited, and the designs were delicious.
Our first product from our internal Research & Development team – PerfectPears. A checklist management system customized for the Wedding Industry. The app may not live on, but the project led to two people getting married…seriously.
Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, we developed our proprietary Journey Line process in 2014 to help organizations tell their story in a way that truly differentiates them from their competitors. Through this process, we help our clients see what is unique about their company and uncover the story that has been laying under the surface. We start with what you do as a company, then move into how you do it and pinpoint how that’s different from your competition. The last and most important is the why you do what you do–we refer to this as the “What makes you jump out of bed in the morning and want to go to work.” Read more on our Journey Line process here.
In 2015, we released what has been our top lead capture asset to date: 51 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency. We share this because:
A. it has us pumped up and
B. it’s a good learning moment.
We closely monitor the performance of every piece of content we put out there. In fact, we closely monitor the performance of every campaign we put out there too. Then, when we see success, we use it as inspiration to help our clients produce great assets and campaigns. So, if you’re looking for your next asset concept, remember that the ‘X questions to ask when Y” formula is everyone’s best friend. You can check it out here!
After running Figmints alone for years, James was seeking a “mystical unicorn” of a partner who could help him sell, jump in on client work, lead his staff, and organize and manage the business. Through C12, a Christian CEO roundtable group (and a bit of fate), he met April Williams, founder and CEO of North Star Marketing, a traditional marketing agency she started in the late 90s. Together in 2018, the two companies merged to become Figmints and carried forward with a fresh and unified goal of integrating sales and marketing. Watch the full story here.
As our company was growing, we learned that it became harder and harder for small businesses to afford our services, and it broke our hearts to have to turn them away just because of budget. So, we created something for these businesses who needed our help–BetterSetGo, a successful and thriving subsidiary we designed specifically to offer smaller businesses digital marketing services and digital products within an attainable budget. Over the past 2 years, BetterSetGo has brought significant success to small businesses throughout the US and Internationally. BetterSetGo has surpassed expectations on over 100 projects this year and continues to thrive through inbound marketing and referrals.
Figmints has been practicing remote life once a week since we started. 2020 turned out to be one of the most difficult years for the entire world, but going remote was something we’ve been training for.
Check out the virtual games we’ve played to stay closer together.
Since the pandemic, recruiting talent has become harder than ever. We kept hearing the same stories from our clients, the process was cumbersome, time-consuming and didn’t always lead to quality candidates that would stick around. So we asked your feedback on your recruitment and hiring needs, and with the help of your input launched TrainHire, a new service that generates high quality candidates through a hiring process that’s been tested and approved (for less than the cost of hiring a recruiting agency).
It’s finally time we gave up a littleeee secret we’ve been holding in. For just about as long as we’ve been Figmints, we’ve been driven by our passion to make marketing actually work for sales. (You might’ve heard us talk about “the gap” a time or two—the part of the sales funnel where leads too often go missing). When we merged with North Star Marketing in 2018, April and her team brought with them a solution for closing that gap, which we call SalesAmp. Now, after years of optimizing and perfecting the process, we’ve decided to go all in. Come 2022, the team you know and love will become SalesAmp full-time. As for Figmints, we’ll still be here as the holding company, helping to guide the ship.
With big change comes exciting news: SalesAmp is launching a podcast in 2022! Join SalesAmp’s president, April Williams on “From Hello to Yes” as she chats successes, failures, best practices with some of the most accomplished marketing and sales practitioners. Check out some details and subscribe here!
As SalesAmp began to take on a life of its own, it was important to us that our clients still had access to top-notch web development and design services, even though they wouldn’t be part of the SalesAmp subsidiary. So, instead of sending these clients off, we decided to partner with our very own lead developer, Ian Hayes. All the years of experience he has had through Figmints, he transferred into a new Fig subsidiary, Quick Brown Fox, which offers UI/UX, websites, CTO for hire, and intensives for startups.
And just like that, you’re all caught up (thanks for coming on that ride with us!). We know you’ll have questions, so stay tuned as there’s so much more to come.
Serving you, our clients, has been our greatest honor over the past 10 years, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue this journey with you. And for those of you who we haven’t met or started working with yet, we’re beyond excited to see what the next 10 years hold for us.
We were recently featured on Agency Spotter as one of the best creative digital marketing agencies in Boston, Massachusetts.
GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards: Best Logo
My time at Figmints was not spent writing and marketing without purpose.