Writing a New Chapter in the 88 Creative Story

New Year, new you. While I can’t say my diet and exercise routines have improved since January 1st, I can say a lot has changed at 88 Creative. I’m thrilled to share that 88 Creative is now officially its own company (legally we’re 88C Group Inc.).

Maybe you knew we were owned by another company, maybe you didn’t, but trust me when I say this is a really exciting time for us. To understand a bit more about the 88 Creative journey I thought I’d share the story of how we got here.

The 88 Creative story

Every small business has a great story, and 88 Creative is no different – but it doesn’t have a very typical agency origin story. It all started a few years ago at BuzzBuzzHome, a real estate startup that showcases new construction projects in Canada and the U.S. Matt and Cliff, BBH’s founders, launched the company in 2009 and used social media to grow the community and attract potential homebuyers to their website. They were great at social media – engaging, funny, and focused on building a real community. So much so that their clients, residential and commercial real estate developers, started asking them to handle their ongoing social media management.

Being enterprising entrepreneurs of course they said yes, and what started as a part-time project for existing BuzzBuzzHome employees quickly grew into a viable business opportunity that required full-time hires, including our Creative Director Gabriella Rackoff. That business was first named SoMeDev (Social Media Development), and in the spring of 2013 was renamed 88 Creative (after the company’s first office in Cliff’s home at 88 Dupont St).

I met Matt and Cliff through my role at startup Sprouter and the events we held for the startup community. They approached me to join the team and really grow 88 Creative as its own brand, and I officially started in July 2013. Since then the agency has grown in so many ways – we’ve grown to 11 people; we added a PR practice; we’ve changed from just focused on real estate to specializing in consumer tech and lifestyle brands (although we still do work with real estate clients, including a couple who have been clients since day 1); we’ve moved to a new office at Spadina & Adelaide; and we’ve grown the 88 Creative brand through media mentions, speaking engagements, campaigns like Agency or Porn, and lots of great client work.

The Next Chapter

As we moved away from solely working with real estate clients to working with brands in the travel, pet food, and technology space, we realized it didn’t really make sense to stay under the BuzzBuzzHome umbrella. It could be confusing for clients, and while there were synergies between the two companies, both of us had big growth plans that made more sense as separate companies. Hence the move to 88C Group Inc.

While we’re now a separate legal entity, some things are staying the same. We’re continuing to share office space, and the team stays the same.

I’m so proud when I think about everything our team has accomplished in the past few years. Our goal for the next few years is simple: build a reputation as a best-in-class Toronto agency for marketing strategy and execution, work with brands we respect (and who have really awesome products/services), and build a team of talented and cool people who genuinely like each other (and like what they do).

Thanks to Matt and Cliff for building the foundation of 88 Creative; to our team (regardless of how long you’ve been on the team – you’re all so awesome); and of course to our clients who trust us with their work every day. To the next five years!

Erin Bury is 88 Creative’s Managing Director. You can follow her on Twitter.