On September 30, 2005, seven companies received their business licenses in the city of Richmond. 16 years later, Madison and Main, LLC is the only one left standing. I am extremely humbled by this fact and proud of the people that helped us get to this point. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all new business ventures fail in the first five years. By the tenth year, only one-third of those businesses remain.
Happy Birthday to us! It is hard to believe that we’ve been around for 16 years already. I was a young, brash, brown-haired boy of 37 when I started Madison+Main. Since that time, I’ve gained more than a few grey hairs. Some of the best days of my life and some of the worst days of my life have been as a business owner. The best days have outweighed the bad days 99 to one. Too many highlights to mention, but here are a few…
2005: I signed a six-month agreement with the Richmond Economic Development Authority, renting the smallest office in the Advantech Business Incubator. They charged my credit card on the fifth of each month. Wythken Printing and Vera’s Fine Jewelers both took a chance on us and hired us. They are still with us 16 years later.
2006: Thanks to signing three clients in the first three months of the year, we were able to extend our lease to the end of 2006 and I was able to hire three full-time employees.
2007: We expanded our offices and moved into half of the fourth floor of Advantech, doubling from three to six employees. Molly Quarles (now Whitfield) joined our team.
2008: Madison+Main signed our first million dollar contract. To celebrate our third birthday, I took the gang to the Virginia State Fair.
2009: Madison+Main lost our first million dollar contract. (This is when I started getting grey hairs.) Richmond Ad Club honored me as Ad Person of The Year.
2010: We moved out of the business “incubator” and into a “real office” at 1313 Main Street across the hall from the talented team at Style Weekly.
2011: We won the Rotary International Public Relations award, and launched a “reverse RFP” where we gathered with agency partners to provide more than $200,000 in pro bono services to Comfort Zone Camp.
2012: The Greater Chamber of Richmond named us the Business of the Year and we won the HYPE Workplace Award. The trophy was a bubblegum ball machine.
2013: We raised funds for MS. We did the Harlem Shake for MS.
2014: We moved again, buying the historic Douglas Baird House on the corner of First and Cary and turned it into Madison+Main Worldwide HQ.
2015: We won eight Telly Awards for some big, bold work.
2016: In addition to several local and national awards for PR, we won the International Advertising Association award for mobile advertising.
2017: The team survived Sr. Graphic Designer Erin Rebmann’s spoiled milk extravaganza. Creativity at its finest.
2018: We won a Richmond Ad Show Cannonball for our Southern Goodman “Indoor Weather Report” commercial.
2019: Richmond Ad Club named our President Molly Whitfield Ad Person of The Year.
2020: We hired seven new Madison+Main-iacs and survived a global pandemic.
2021: I took the whole gang to the Virginia State Fair again. The twelfth time in 13 years. (COVID-19 ruined our perfect streak).
As we enter our 17th year, we have 24 talented team members and 39 awesome clients. We are blessed. We are grateful. And we still believe that #BoldBrandsWin.