As of this May, it’s been 15 years (and two names, three locations, twelve employees, 20 states, and thousands of projects) since we started our agency. Here’s a brief-ish story of all it all happened.
Setting the Stage
Back in the (very) late 90s, Upswing’s founders Josh Whitcomb and Chris Fink were just a couple of college kids listening to K-Ci & JoJo and producing a campus TV show at their small college in St. Paul, MN.
After graduation, they went their separate ways — Josh straight into the workforce and Chris off to Nashville to kill some time before heading to grad school. They vowed if they were ever in the same city again, they’d try and start their own video company.
In 2006, Chris ditched his fledgling career as a TV sports reporter and moved back to Minnesota to marry his high school girlfriend. By that time, Josh had moved his way up the ladder doing marketing communications for several organizations, culminating at the Federal Reserve Bank. Newly reunited, Chris and Josh decided to fulfill their destiny — to make a living creating videos.
Upswing Creative Is Born (Kind Of)
For the first seven years, Upswing was just a nights-and-weekends thing — and for the first 12 years, Upswing wasn’t actually Upswing. It was 651media, a completely unimaginative combination of 1. the area code from the city where the two founders met and 2. the fact that their business was … in media.
At the start, Josh and Chris were doing everything — running the business and doing all the creative stuff: concepting, scripting, shooting video, editing, motion graphics, the works. They reached out to people in their networks, and somewhat surprisingly, a few of them were kind enough to pay money for videos.
As they started building a client base, the side hustle became more of side all-out-sprint. To keep up with business, Chris went full-time in 2012 — and Josh followed suit a year and a half later.
Expanding Our Scope
As clients brought them in on projects, working alongside other creative agencies, they noticed a trend: the messaging they developed for videos found its way into their clients’ other collateral — leaving Josh and Chris equal parts flattered and annoyed. Once they got over themselves, they realized something that should’ve been obvious: great messaging and creative transcends the medium.
Over the next few years, clients continued to ask our upstart organization to expand beyond video production, but stubbornly, we resisted (for a little while longer, at least). In 2018, we quietly began offering expanded services, and in 2019, we went public with our transformation from a video production company to a creative agency, complete with a refreshed brand: Upswing Creative.
Upswing Creative Today
As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, it’s been fun to see how our agency has evolved. We provide creative services — including positioning, content strategy, design, branding, copy, and video — to some of the most integral industrial and essential brands in the world.
Find Your Message with Upswing Creative
We’ve talked a lot about our past. But to be honest, we’re more excited about the present. Why? Because we finally get to meet you. Yes, you, the web surfer with a great taste in blog posts. You’ve been kind enough to read our story — and now we want to hear yours.
Reach out to us today to learn more about how our team can complement your marketing goals and deliver the thoughtful, meaningful creative you deserve. You can also connect with us for more info on our services, our past projects, and what you can expect from our future partnership. Let’s make something great, together.