It is with great pleasure that I sit down to share my thoughts as we celebrate Owl’s Head Solutions’ ten-year anniversary. Where to begin the daunting task of summing up a decade and an entity that has so profoundly shaped my life—and that, in turn, has been so profoundly shaped by my life!
It has been a thrilling, fulfilling, hectic, beautiful, scary, challenging, and joyous ride. The highs have been high, and the lows have been low. Some days I thought I couldn’t go on; some days, I marveled at my good fortune.
But as part of these reflections, perhaps I should start at the beginning with a bit of history.
Owl’s Head Solutions was born when it was time to expand my first company, Think Greene Creative, which was exclusively a design studio. I knew we needed a software development division to stay competitive and grow in the increasingly digital world. This was in the early 2010s, and every designer had to decide to remain print-only or take the leap into digital. While many were digging in their heels and staying as print “purists,” I knew it was time to embrace digital storytelling.
How serendipitous that I happened to be married to Scott Rackliff, a brilliant software engineer who was willing to jump off this cliff with me. That’s when we morphed Think Greene into Owl’s Head, with the emphasis on solutions of all kinds. Our little two-person shop—plus a cat—now had both design and development in-house.
In addition to offering clients Scott’s expertise in all things digital, it was amazing—and comforting—to have someone to help me run all aspects of the business—bookkeeping, legal, taxes, marketing, sales, operations, IT, and HR—while I designed feverishly twelve hours a day. As we shared all these tasks, and with Scott’s remarkable development skills, we were now set up to grow.
And grow we did. Organically. Every year for the past ten years, we have been able to add to our team, each time bringing in experienced talent who expanded our capabilities and helped push us to the next level. Sometimes that growth required more leaps of faith, but we have managed to grow without bringing in outside investors. The shop remains ours.
So here we are, a decade in. As I look back on some of our work, even I am impressed. We have worked with some of the largest PR agencies on the planet—EDELMAN, bcw Global, Evoke KYNE—as their go-to resource when their in-house team is overtaxed. We’ve also white-labeled ourselves for several others who don’t have their own in-house creative.
We’ve worked with global research agencies—the CDC, the Population Council, EngenderHealth, RTI International—to disseminate crucial health data and create accessible visual stories. These projects have involved multiple stakeholders, intricate chains of command, and the ability to work across departments, agencies, and borders. Even many of our larger, older competitors cannot excel on this complex playing field. In our ten years, we have also worked alongside biotech giants, including Impel NeuroPharma, iTeos, and Blueprint Medicines, to launch or relaunch initial brands, transition from private to public status, or advance their pipelines and clinical trials.
How does a team this size get to work for such massive, high-profile clients? Only one reason: we have the BEST team in the business. Each of them is an A-gamer, and I am beyond proud that they have chosen to work with us. I give myself credit for having a nose for outstanding talent and for the type of person who thrives in a close-knit, ultra-dedicated environment such as ours. Our team shows up every day, ready to give their best, to collaborate, learn and grow, and to respect each other in the process. Our team has supported me through agency growing pains, childbirth, the death of my father, and they continue to do so during this worldwide pandemic. We have always been a virtual agency, but there are challenges with that, and we are more grateful than ever these days to be completely comfortable collaborating from anywhere.
Owl’s Head has become my family, with all the excitement of new additions, the pain of loss, the good times, the hard times, and everything in between. And ten years in, I can honestly say that I still love showing up to greet them in the morning, in the studio or on a screen.
So, this look back and look ahead is really a love letter to all of you who make Owl’s Head what it is, to those who have honored me by coming on this crazy, daunting, exciting, incredible journey. Here’s to the next ten years, which I know will be even better. I am filled with hope, anticipation, and joy as I ponder the road ahead. How glorious it will be to celebrate with those who will be part of our twentieth-anniversary story in 2032!
A toast to our team, past and present—and future. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.