Fingerpaint is an independent, full-service marketing agency dedicated to defying the typical client-agency relationship. Founded by Ed Mitzen in 2008, the agency currently serves over 40 national and international accounts, including several agency of record engagements across a broad spectrum of industries, including education, entertainment, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, real estate and travel and tourism. The firm specializes in brand development, strategic planning, digital and multichannel marketing, audio and video production and public relations.
Fingerpaint is employee-owned and driven, with the philosophy of “no offices, no titles, no egos.” This unfettered approach is combined with a commitment to uncommon collaboration between the team and its clients, making Fingerpaint as unique as the name itself. This bold, irreverent thinking has helped turn this agency into a marketing powerhouse.
BusinessInterviews.com: What inspired you to launch your business?
Ed Mitzen: I wanted to be in control of my own destiny. Having watched other people start their businesses, I felt that if I had a solid idea, I could out-work anyone. While I always knew I wouldn’t be the smartest guy in the room, I also knew my business wouldn’t fail due to a lack of effort.
BusinessInterviews.com: Do you have any recent success stories that you’d like to share with our readers?
Ed Mitzen: Fingerpaint recently won a large $8 million dollar annual account. And I had absolutely nothing to do with it, except having the courage to hire a super smart, incredibly passionate team. I love this as an example of a success story, not because of the dollar volume, but because the team identified the opportunity, won the business, and are now managing the business.
BusinessInterviews.com: What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Ed Mitzen: Continuing to find the best and brightest potential employees is a constant challenge. But because we are a people business (and 80% of our costs are employee-related), it’s worth the effort. We interview and screen a ton of candidates before pulling the trigger on an offer.
BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
Ed Mitzen: Growth. We are growing like a weed, across all three of our offices around the country. It’s incredibly exciting to see the dream come to life.
BusinessInterviews.com: Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
Ed Mitzen: My former Father-in-Law, Ed Little, was a very successful entrepreneur. He was incredibly inspiring to me, not only in how to do the basic things when starting a company, but also giving me positive encouragement and advice during the inevitable tough times early on when launching a business.
BusinessInterviews.com: How do your competitors view you?
Ed Mitzen: I believe they view us as a hungry, scrappy, entrepreneurial company that is doing great work by recruiting the best and brightest in the marketing industry.
BusinessInterviews.com: What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you?
Ed Mitzen: Don’t open up a sports bar because you like to go to sports bars. You must know the industry you’re entering before trying to launch a new company in that world. Pay your dues. Meet as many people as you can. Learn from them. And when you do start your company, no one will have the same drive as you do to make it work. It’s your baby.
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