Southside Creative: 10 Years In Business

Gray Gill

If you've ever moved, then you know that the process of packing up often unpacks a lot of memories. That's what Ronelle Sellers experienced recently as Southside Creative, the marketing and branding studio she founded, prepared to relocate to a new office space.

The move was only across the parking lot from the historic train depot they shared for years with HHM CPAs, to a more front and center locale on Market Street. The team did not have far to go, but Sellers couldn't help but reflect on how far Southside had come over the past 10+ years.

After leading the internal marketing department at HHM, creating several successful campaigns and buzzworthy community events, Sellers saw an opportunity to expand and create a full-fledged agency. In May of 2007, Southside Creative officially launched.

“Initially, we intended to only offer marketing and public relations services,” Sellers says. “But within the first few weeks, we quickly saw people needed assistance with branding and website design as well.” 

It’s interesting to consider the digital and technological shifts that have coincided with Southside Creative’s evolution as an agency. The now ubiquitous iPhone landed in our palms in 2007, just a few months prior to Southside Creative arriving on the scene. Back then, designers did not have to think about whether a website would look good on mobile, whereas now that is an absolute necessity. Southside Creative also watched Facebook go from an online platform for college students to one of the most lucrative marketing tools for businesses today.

Southside Creative has stayed sharp by adapting their branding and design services to new mediums, and implementing innovative marketing strategies. One of their first projects was a direct mail campaign for Fletcher Bright Realty. Fast forward to 2018, and Southside can now run multiple email marketing campaigns for clients simultaneously. In addition to their branding chops, they now have the ability to create high definition video and photography, multi-platform public relations and social media campaigns, search engine optimization tactics, and much more. All of this progression has allowed Southside Creative to go from working with primarily local clients to working with businesses across the southeast and all the way to the West Coast in Oregon.

Fueling this growth is a close-knit group of designers, photographers, writers, and marketers. In 2018, Sellers finally feels as though she has everyone in the right seats.

“We've had some amazing folks work here over the years who have helped us take another giant step along the path. But it is the team we have now who will take us the furthest. This is the first time every seat has been filled with exactly the right person,” Sellers says. She also appreciates the continued business relationship with HHM. It’s the perfect right brain/left brain balance.

Now, Southside Creative’s two art directors Casey Yoshida and Kacie Yates have designed the perfect place for the team to flourish. They helped create a bright and modern work space that shows no signs of its former life as a Regions Bank drive-through location. For both Yoshida and Yates, being creative is a lifestyle.

“We didn’t just want our portfolio to speak to our abilities,” Yoshida says. “We want where we work to be a reflection of who we are and what our brand philosophy is.”

Celebrating a ten-year anniversary in 2017 was a proud achievement for Sellers and her team. They've gone through many changes over the years and witnessed rapid advancements in technology and digital media. But by continuing to refine their strategy, they’ve consistently been able to produce strong rebrands for their clients.

Ten years from now, there is no telling what marketing will look like, but however it evolves, Southside Creative will most likely have a good grasp on it.  

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