After seven years in business, we took a look around and realized that, as a company, we’d matured. We were still small and nimble, but we weren’t by any means a startup.
We felt like after nearly 50 dog-years of talking to hundreds of folks, building custom software, learning from and collaborating with clients, lots of trial and error, and getting better all the while, that we developed a clearer idea of:
- what we do well
- what makes us different
- the kinds of clients with whom we work best, and
- who we want to be and work with moving forward.
Perhaps most importantly, we gained a better understanding of how we work, and how it drives our core philosophy that great products are discovered, not designed.
So, with a better handle on who we were, we set out on a path to grow the company and help even more people.
To get there, we recognized some things about Ecstatic Labs that needed addressing. First, the concept of “Labs” in our name was dated and, locally, a little crowded. The name also had admittedly low brand recognition because we’ve spent the first few years relying on word of mouth, rather than any strategic business development plan.
So, we decided to start fresh, look inside ourselves, and create a new brand. Today, Ecstatic Labs becomes Simple Thread.
Simple Thread combines our core values of simplicity and pragmatism with partnership. The idea of a thread is a metaphor for both a partnership with clients and colleagues – where many strands twist together to become collectively better– and a unique story, which we believe is at the heart of every project and client.
Also, the domain was available, which didn’t suck either.
We feel our best is yet to come, and we’d like you to come along for the ride.
A word of thanks to those who paved the way.
For those who have known us as Ecstatic Labs – clients, friends, our staff and families, colleagues, and everyone in the Central Virginia and Charlottesville technology communities – we want to say thanks for your support over the last seven years. We really could not have done it without all of you!
Late last year when we hired our Director of New Business, Paul Schmidt, we had already started the process of rebranding, but he jumped in headfirst and has really taken the helm. He has guided us through this process, and the creation of messaging around our brand, who we are, what we do, how we do it, how we’ve helped specific companies, and why we do things the way we do. We’re tech guys, not marketing guys. So, thanks to Paul for really driving this change.
We were also smart enough to know we couldn’t reimagine our company alone, and partnered with Richmond’s Randall Branding to help us navigate the process. We brought them in at square one and they helped us with market research, our messaging platform, name, tagline, logo, icon, website design, brand standards, typography, art direction, document and presentation templates, business cards, and so much more!
We even had them develop our website. Yes, we could have easily handled this in house, but we were busy working with our awesome customers, and the Randall team is really freakin’ good at what they do!
We especially want to thank our team at Randall Branding:
- Brent McCormick. He is our lead Designer, and was chiefly responsible for Simple Thread’s look and feel. Brent took the time to listen to us and translate everything he heard into a brand that captures exactly the tone and personality we wanted. He patiently heard our thoughts throughout, and when he thought we were strategically or creatively off base, he wasn’t afraid to gently and politely let us know.
- Kate Fallon. Kate is our Account Manager, and kept communication flowing between our two teams. Always positive and business-first, she kept our team on track and organized.
- Carsen Young. Carsen is the developer who built SimpleThread.com from Brent’s designs. He took the time to customize the back end of the WordPress CMS to make managing the content of the site even easier.
- Jennifer Barbin. Jennifer is Randall’s VP/Director of Strategy & Engagement and helped us through forming our partnership with the Randall team.
And also thanks to Jesse Randall, who is of course the President and CEO. While always available, he allowed his team to do what they do so well.
We think they crushed it, and we couldn’t be happier with the results or the partnership. Thanks, team.
We also want to thank Craig Anderson Photography, who is responsible for the gorgeous photography you see here on SimpleThread.com and on forthcoming materials. Craig and his team put in the time to understand the brand and not only captured it visually, but they were fun and easy to work with.
And finally, we want to thank Jeff Kelley of KelleyUS.com. Jeff and his team put a writer’s touch on our messaging, including our case studies and website content, and made sure that we’re saying things in the right way. He shares our belief that language is most elegant and effective when it’s simple and easy to understand, and he nailed it.
We couldn’t be more excited to bring you Simple Thread. We look forward to reaching out, chatting more, and doing more of what we love: Building beautiful software through collaboration with you.
Let’s get started.