IIS Celebrates 10th Anniversary
2001 was a year no one will ever forget— Apple introduced the iPod, the Harry Potter film franchise hit theaters, and Wikipedia revolutionized online information sharing. But here at I Imagine, we remember 2001 for a different reason.
2001 was the year our agency was born. Following the collapse of internet consulting company marchFIRST, friends and former coworkers Alena Tsimis and Olga Weiss found themselves unemployed and in need of a next step. The two joined forces to start their own full-service marketing agency— I Imagine Studio. Born out of necessity, the agency was founded without any prior plans or preparation, and initially relied on referrals from friends and family to secure clients.
I Imagine made its first home in Northwestern University’s Technology Innovation Center, otherwise known as ‘the Incubator.’ The first two years in business were a learning process. Establishing an accounting system, implementing a legal structure, accommodating difficult clients and balancing project efficiency and quality were all tasks Alena and Olga had to master on the road to building a successful start–up. The journey was far from easy. Those first few years consisted of long nights and weekends spent working to make ends meet.
However, the early years were not without their victories. In 2002, I Imagine acquired an important client in Lifeway Foods, a leading manufacturer of organic kefir and dairy products that remains a client today. Shortly thereafter, the agency won the business of Salton Brands and worked to develop their online presence. Later, when Salton was acquired by Applica, I Imagine worked to market the George Foreman Grill and SpaceMaker brands.
In 2003, I Imagine extended its presence to the West Coast, opening an office in Los Angeles. The new location allowed the agency to acquire business in the entertainment industry, and I Imagine has since worked with celebrities such as Pee-wee Herman and Laila Ali, among others.
In 2008, I Imagine finally settled into its niche— corporate social responsibility. When Alena and Olga realized that the majority of the agency’s clientele shared the common goal of improving quality of life, they decided to focus their time and resources on more such companies. Today, I Imagine is proud to represent a host of companies committed to bettering the lives, communities and environments around them. From Rotary International’s humanitarian efforts to Midtown Athletic Club’s focus on health and community, I Imagine clients have found a host of unique ways to do well by doing good.
From the very beginning, I Imagine has dedicated considerable time and energy to helping nonprofit organizations. In the first year of business, the agency took on its first non-profit client, the Emergency Fund for Needy People. In the following years, I Imagine made a commitment to donate 20% of its time to pro-bono causes and education, working with organizations such as Rotary International, La Rabia Children’s Hospital, American Jewish Committee, the Meritas Family of Schools, and Homeless Connections, among others. Most recently, the agency collaborated with Rotary International to build engaging microsites for their ‘This Close’ and ‘Kick Polio Out of Africa’ campaigns, aimed at heightening global awareness of polio eradication.
The past ten years have been an exciting ride for all of us here at I Imagine, and after a decade, we remain as passionate as ever about building meaningful and engaging brand experiences and making the world a better place, one marketing campaign at a time.
The I Imagine team would like to thank our clients for entrusting us with your brands. We are grateful for your faith and support. We would also like to recognize our employees and partners— thank you for going above and beyond to help us reach this important milestone.
Here’s to another decade of marketing and making the world a better place.