The creative industry is the force behind everything that is sold. From packaging to marketing, products are enhanced by the work of creatives to present an appealing experience to the public. Men have long since dominated this space perpetuating a limited perspective of the human experience.
The time has come for women to take the reins and to form a more representative landscape. Meet the co-founders of the Eddie collective, a creative agency formed by four women with commanding skill sets. Head of Marketing Anna Sian, Executive Producer Amy Kanagaki, Head of PR & Communications Elisa Richardson, and Creative Director Jean Shim banded together to form the Eddie agency seeking to change the narrative. The group aims to “[create] moments, connections and ultimately, [impact] how people feel.”
The all-female team fosters a camaraderie among female creatives that is rarely seen or encouraged. We learn more from the talented quartet about how they are redefining what it means to be a creative agency today.
Eddie is made up of women from diverse professional backgrounds. What did you see missing in those creative fields, and how do you see Eddie as a new approach? In other words, why did you guys start Eddie?
There’s so much missing from the fields we’ve worked in that starting Eddie wasn’t as much a choice as it was a necessity for us. The fact that women control 80 percent or so of consumer spending, yet only 3 percent of creative directors are female, is enough to make us want to enter the conversation in a bold way to help improve the way brands speak to their customers. It’s not just about being an agency/collective that represents women and POC – we don’t need to be defined that way. We want to be noticed for the quality of our work, first and foremost.
On a personal level, we started Eddie because we all worked well together while at VSCO and wanted to keep it going on our own terms. We’re a perfect blend of styles and experience (Marketing, PR, Creative Direction & Production), and we’re all in an agreement that we are tired of the game and just want to make cool shit that is real and meaningful.
Why was it important for you to create an all-female creative collective?
We all felt that it wasn’t until later into our adult lives that we met other women who were endlessly supportive and actually celebrated our personal and professional victories. There’s this profound energy that comes from a group of females that have each others’ back. Eddie was lucky to organically find that and form into this collective. Our hope is that by creating a supportive space ourselves it will have a larger effect onto our creative network.
“It’s not just about being an agency/collective that represents women and POC – we don’t need to be defined that way. We want to be noticed for the quality of our work, first and foremost.”
What does Eddie mean at a larger scale? How would you describe Eddie’s vision?
Eddie means the freedom to think big and differently every day. We never had a written-out vision and don’t want to limit ourselves because vision is something that evolves as you grow. But for now, Eddie is about our desire to create cool things and move the needle for our clients creatively. We want to keep working with diverse and inspiring people to produce a wide range of projects and keep having fun building Eddie’s brand.
What do you hope to achieve through Eddie?
We hope to create work that connects with people on an emotional level. We also want to blur the line between what has traditionally been considered an agency and what it means to be a creative collective – we are treating Eddie itself as a client and working to build its own brand story.
“There’s this profound energy that comes from a group of females that have each others’ back.”
How would you describe today’s fashion and arts landscape in terms of representing females and minorities?
In response to the direct attacks on women and POCs by the new American administration, we’ve seen a surge of marketing campaigns representing marginalized groups. It’s unfortunate that some brands are using these empowerment movements for marketing tactics, but whether or not brands jump on a bandwagon, the silver lining is that people are now paying more attention to those who are underrepresented. We’re fortunate to live in this moment where people actually give a shit about each other and are coming together to express how they’re feeling.
- Zarah Cheng
- Image Credit