Foster creativity

Ellen Homb
2-Story Creative Ltd.
Industry: Marketing and public relations
Employees: 10

As Ellen Homb, owner of 2-Story Creative, a marketing communications firm in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point, celebrates 20 years of owning her own business, she offers her thoughts on what it takes to be creative.


“A lot of people ask me, ‘How do you keep your creatives creative?’ I have a very simple answer: ‘I get out of their way.’ I don’t micromanage. I let them do their jobs. I support them with coffee, free lunches and the occasional happy hour(s).

“I try to ensure that we have a good work environment, with flexibility, humor and friendliness. I encourage my staff to get involved in the community. To join clubs and committees. And to leave at 5 p.m. as often as possible. We work hard at the office – fast and efficiently, which means very few late night and weekend hours. I believe that to truly be ‘creative,’ we need to be active participants in life outside the office. Our life experiences become inspiration to new campaigns and fresh ideas – and help pave the way for them to be developed and presented.

“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all butterflies and sunshine. Everyone is accountable to 2-Story and our clients. Our job isn’t just to be ‘creative.’ Our job is to provide effective solutions to problems or challenges. Our job is to look at our clients’ products or services from the target audience’s perspective – and help them stand out from the competition. We deliver quantifiable results. We change perception, increase awareness and impact behavior. We make the mundane interesting. The unheard-of heard. And the choice clear. And I firmly attest it takes creativity to do so.”

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