by Lindsay Odom
MEET THE AUTHOR: Columbia native Lindsay Odom recently received her degree in Communication from Clemson University, and is spending her summer at Endeavor’s first intern. In addition to social media responsibilities, she’s interviewing many of Endeavor’s members to learn (and share) more about marketing, agency life, entrepreneurship and what it takes to create meaningful work for clients.
Ed Forić is one of the busiest people at Endeavor. If you hang out in the Flight Deck long enough, you’ll probably get used to the sound of his flip-flops going back and forth from his office to the gym or a conference room. Before I met him, I thought he was just the guy with the cool accent. But after talking to Ed this week, I was surprised to learn that he started his career in a way that’s similar to what I’m doing now. Except, instead of Greenville, this story starts in a town north of London, England.
“I’ve always had a passion for graphic design, but the system is a little bit different in England. I graduated in three years and then took a one-year course where I learned everything about photography and print.” After that, Ed landed a paid internship with the help of a friend. “I spent a lot of time mirroring, watching and learning,” he explained.
Nine months later, he was doing some of the graphic design projects on his own while working closely with the creative director. This experience laid the foundation for Ed to start his own agency in a partnership.
In fact, Ed’s successful marketing efforts reached all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. “The opportunity to move to the U.S. came up. I interviewed with a strategic marketing firm called Launch Something, and showed them what I did back in England,” Ed explained, in disbelief that January will mark his sixth year with the company.
Launch Something’s small but mighty team specializes in website design and development, digital marketing, and online advertising. If there’s one recurring theme that I’ve learned from Endeavor members this summer, it’s that national brands hire local companies.
Currently, Launch Something works with various brands including Denny’s, RJ Rockers Brewing Company, Volkswagen, and the new WINGSPAN renovation project at the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP).
“Even though it’s a small team, the people are loyal. Few faces have come and gone, but we all know and care about the job,” Ed told me. The nice thing about a small agency is that you’re never responsible for just one client. You can do a bunch of different things. For me, I don’t like to be stuck behind a screen. I like to be face-to-face with our clients.”
One way Ed likes to get further involved is by attending networking events that inspire entrepreneurs to improve their business. “Last year, I was in Nashville for a graphic design seminar called the Brand New Conference, which I really recommend attending. Speakers from all over the world come and talk about new trends or offer advice on how to deal with difficult clients,” he said.
“You know, sometimes I feel like people preach something to their clients, but they don’t really do it themselves. So try an find an annual event, whether it’s in your city, here in Greenville, or even another country,” he advised me. “Nothing prepares you for a job. It’s one thing to read about something and see it online, but it’s different when you’re physically there. Make the effort to go to these events and learn as much as you can, because it will make you hungrier for your passion and for your personal and professional growth.”