For the team at Koi-Fly Creative, 2019 was full of growth and gratitude. As we sat down and reflected on the past year (and decade!), we realized how proud we should be of all of our accomplishments and thankful for the individuals who helped us get there.
Check out below to see a little bit of how we’ve grown (both literally and figuratively), our new client adventures, and more.
We Found Some Amazing Talent.
With our growing list of services and projects, it was imperative that we give our clients the most prepared and skilled team possible — and that meant growth.
So we added three new key players to our core team: Alexis Brown, Senior Producer; Carter McFadden, Marketing Coordinator; and Erin Versaggi, Associate Producer. All three contribute to various avenues of storytelling Koi-Fly Creative offers its clients.
We’ve Moved HQ!
From our humble office space beginnings 4 years ago at the Koi-Fly founders’ home to now, it’s pretty incredible to see how far we’ve come. When our team started to expand, we moved into a little office space in downtown West Chester, PA, With a little TLC and a designer’s eye (*cough* KF CEO, Stacey Grant), we made the space home base for a beautiful 3 years. Then a few months ago, with an even bigger team expansion, it was time to move again. So in our office hunt, we surveyed our coworkers asking them what their ideal work environment looked like so we can apply it to our new office. The consensus was a beautiful not too hot, not too cold… but just right.
In our new office, we developed cozy pods with half walls for privacy but quick access if needed. These spaces, even though technically open to noise from the rest of the coworkers, allows (with the help of good headphones) for more deep thinking and concentration. These will be custom, individual spaces – decorated any way the Koi-Flyer would like to increase a sense of ownership. These pods will also have abundant wall space to hang calendars, notes, or maybe a good ole’ Elon University pennant. *Go Phoenix!*
In addition to the pods, we also developed a collaborative space in the middle filled with the big reclaimed wood desks from our old office. One of our favorite parts of this space is the natural light and gigantic windows. Natural light has been known to increase energy and wellness. We’ll get a ton of the three of these bad boys!
To beat the noise, we built a small, two-person soundproof booth to take calls or conduct sensitive meetings. Whether you need to take a private phone call or a conference call with a client, you won’t distract the rest of the office and the office won’t have to keep their voices down to avoid distracting you.
When anyone just needs to take a breather, we also constructed a living room/kitchen area for casual conversations and brainstorming.
Finally, we built a big, collaborative meeting area with massive whiteboards and a flat-screen monitor to present projects to clients. This way, we won’t have to take over someone’s desk when guests come to visit.
See the final product below!
Koi-Fly Creative’s culture supports not just strengths and passions in the office but out of the office as well — and in this case, it was WAY out of the office. When newly hired Carter McFadden posed her dream of taking a month to backpack the California High Sierras with Outward Bound, the executive team and managers at Koi-Fly couldn’t help but support her. In September, Carter packed her bag and made her way out west, knowing her position at Koi-Fly would be waiting for her.
Going on a post-grad trip before diving into a career was very important to me. My dad explored the California High Sierra Wilderness backpacking, rock climbing and mountaineering with Outward Bound when he was my age, and I had the opportunity to do the same for 30 days in September.
I felt so passionate and determined to do this trip, and when I pitched it to Koi-Fly they were nothing less than 100% supportive. (Even after I mentioned I wouldn’t have my cell phone or any means of communication.) Having a company support an employee in their wild passions outside of work is rare, and I can’t thank Koi-Fly enough for letting me explore mine.
This year has been an exciting one for the whole Koi-Fly Creative team but it’s been an especially warm one for Founder and CEO, Stacey Grant. First, Stacey was recognized by her Alma Mater, University of Delaware, receiving the Blue Hen 17&43 Award. It honors the most promising new ventures and fastest growing companies founded or led by our students and alumni, inspired by the university’s traditions of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Stacey also won the Woman Business Owner award from NAWBO Philadelphia Center for Advancing Entrepreneurs for her entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic contributions. Read more about her nomination below!
STACEY GRANT WINS NAWBO’S 2019 WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER AWARD
The founder and CEO of acclaimed production agency, Koi-Fly Creative, receives the Woman Business Owner award from NAWBO Philadelphia Center for Advancing Entrepreneurs for her entrepreneurial spirit and philanthropic contributions.
WEST CHESTER, PA (November 13, 2019) – Koi-Fly Creative (Koi-Fly) founder and CEO, Stacey Grant, has just been awarded NAWBO Philadelphia Center for Advancing Entrepreneurs’ prestigious Women Business Owner (WBO) award… [READ MORE]
Featured Podcast Guest Star
Stacey was featured on numerous podcasts this year as discussing topics ranging from video marketing to purpose-driven brands. Click the podcast button to listen to her episodes below!
Storytelling Panel Series
Koi-Fly Creative sponsored two compelling panel events focusing on diverse perspectives when it comes to visual storytelling. Moderated by Stacey Grant, the panels each took insights from thought leaders in marketing, entrepreneurship, social media, photography, PR, and even restauranteurship. Check out the recaps below!
We all learned new, intriguing details from the expert panel at the Harnessing the Power of Digital Media Panel. The diverse perspectives and deep, unparalleled digital media experience of the panelists allowed moderator and Founder + CEO of Koi-Fly Creative, Stacey Grant, the opportunity to dig into the most thought-provoking questions surrounding the topic… [READ MORE]
Since the rise of Instagram and its hyper-visual scrolling feeds, visual media has become vital in a brand’s marketing strategy. Navigating the content funnel from ideation to amplification can be a big undertaking for many companies. So we decided to invite our network to have a discussion around it at our most recent panel Mastering the Art of Visual Storytelling… [READ MORE]
After a stringent interview and application process, Stacey was accepted into Chief Clubhouse, a club for women at the VP and C-levels only. At Chief, each member is assigned to a small peer group with regular meetings designed to help her become the best leader possible. Chief offers C-suite execs opportunities across industries, focused career coaching sessions, and networking events.
There’s also access to 3 clubhouses – 2 in Manhattan and one being built in Los Angelos, a speaker series (including women like Tina Fey, Amal Clooney, Gayle King and Gina Davis) and business workshops. In only 7 months Chief has more than 1,500 members representing more than 1,000 companies including Apple, Nike, WeWork, Lyft, Amazon, and Instagram. Another 7,000 women are on a waitlist. Stacey is excited to see what business benefits arise as a result of this opportunity.
EO Accelerator Program
In October, Stacey was accepted into the selective Accelerator program of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the catalyst that enables first-stage entrepreneurs to catapult business to the next level – more than $1 million in sales
The EO Accelerator Program will help Stacey and the Koi-Fly team learn from and connect to some of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.
Summer Internship Project
Throughout the internship program, Koi-Fly Creative acts as a catalyst between two elements: students who need expert mentorship and resources to fulfill their passions and a community-focused non-profit. To us, it isn’t just about giving students workshops on marketing and video production to increase their confidence in the industry; but it’s using mentorship as a vehicle to pay it forward to a deserving non-profit with a story to tell. By partnering students with a nonprofit, they receive a hands-on chance to apply their new found skills behind the camera while supporting a great cause.
This summer, we invited students in the program to create their own mini “agency,” each owning specific roles mirroring the roles at Koi-Fly Creative. Their task was to create a full marketing plan and promotional video for their own client. This year, the client was Chester County Futures.
Check out the final video below!
Inspired by the internship program, Koi-Fly Creative officially launched its own experiential learning program, Fresh Filmmakers. Fresh Filmmakers is a philanthropic program designed to provide underserved youth with access to mentorship, tools, resources and opportunities across the film industry.
Partnering with Chester County Futures, the two organizations collaborated to offer a curriculum that covers visual storytelling through the lens of concepting, budgeting, art direction, client relations, logistics, scripting, storyboarding, camera equipment and lighting basics over the course of a semester. At the end of the semester, the students will pay it forward by creating a pro-bono video for a philanthropic partner of Koi-Fly’s — which was recently announced to be Covenant House of Pennsylvania.
The video is currently in post-production so make sure to keep an eye out for its release and follow Fresh Filmmakers on Instagram HERE!
Now Offering Content Marketing Strategy
You asked, we listened.
In 2019, Koi-Fly Creative hired some amazing talent and launched its marketing department, supporting clients with consultation, content marketing strategy and planning, and branding.
Click below to ask us how we can help your 2020 business goals!
Koi-Fly Creative’s genesis came from the love of video production. But as we grew, we found a consistent need from our clients for marketing strategy. Both Stacey and I had a background in the ad agency world so we decided to give our clients what they truly needed.
Officially a Government Contractor
Koi-Fly is excited to announce we’re officially offering marketing and video production services as a government contractor. It gives us great pride to have already offered these services to organizations that give back to the American people.
Philadelphia Magazine x Ford
Philadelphia Magazine came to Koi-Fly with a unique perspective: they wanted to tell the stories of women in our region who are doing extraordinary work in their industries. When working with a publisher like Philly Mag, the projects don’t end with the creative. We get to see how viewers engage with the content and react to what we have produced.
Philly Mag’s client, Ford Motors, was looking to connect with that female audience on a hyper-local level and show women that Ford is not just for men. Koi-Fly worked with Philly Mag to bring this story to life through video that would live on phillymag.com and on the featured women’s social media platforms.
We followed blogger Lindsey Schuster, illustrator and visual director Dallas Shaw, interior designer Kate Rohrer, and DIY expert Monica Mangin as they gracefully balanced life as CEOs and entrepreneurs. Our subjects drove the newest Ford cars to help them get around safely and efficiently.
Saxbys Experiential Learning Program
Saxbys has been a staple of Philadelphia since 2005. From the beginning, CEO Nick Bayer knew that the brand would be more than just coffee. So in 2015, Bayer launched the Saxbys Experiential Learning Program, dedicated to helping students learn about entrepreneurship by running their own Saxbys cafes as Student CEOs (SCEOs) on their college campuses.
Koi-Fly created a video to highlight the SCEO program at Saxbys and how they strive to be a “community serving their community.” Through personal interviews with Nick Bayer, SCEOs, and Saxbys employees, the brand’s why, value, and philanthropic message is visually conveyed through curated visual storytelling.
Boyds Philadelphia TV Commercial
Boyds Philadelphia needed a unique and eye-catching way to advertise the launch of their new spring and summer line of custom suits by Atelier Munro. Koi-Fly’s team captured the sophisticated detail of the SS19 line, as well as a quick peek into the modern Philadelphia store.
Boyds was also able to use the footage in their showroom, displayed on vertical TVs.
Professional Vertical Video is Here
It’s official – vertical video is in. The stats are astounding and are continuing to rise day by day. Out of all of today’s smartphone owners, 94 percent hold their phones vertically whether it’s for texting, calling, banking, scrolling through news feeds and more.
The reason so many brands and social platforms are jumping on the vertical bandwagon is because they want their viewers to stay engaged with their content as long as possible. Instagram is a key player in this new phenomenon. Instagram’s newest feature, IGTV, allows any user to post video content up to 10 minutes long, and up to one hour long for larger or certified accounts.
Raw, unedited vertical video has it’s benefits but if you want to keep up the quality of your brand, it’s time to take it up a notch. We did this for lifestyle clothing brand Live Life Nice. Check out how we approached the challenges and opportunities vertical video gave our marketers and editors through this Instagram Story series.
Let’s get nerdy for a second.
This year, Koi-Fly Creative invested in a new camera. Newly added to our arsenal is the RED Gemini. For flexibility in any situation, GEMINI is RED’s highest sensitivity sensor to date and offers significantly increased performance in low-light settings and improved performance in shadows. A DSMC2 GEMINI is capable of data write speeds of 300 MB/s, and can simultaneously record in REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR/HD.
2019 was the year of trends. Creating content around trending topics is proven to increase visibility and engagement, so we decided to develop a series to make your content planning easier. In the beginning of the year, we introduced Trend Better, a monthly video series showcasing the top trends we see in pop culture and media so you can make cool content around it. Check out our playlist below!
The saying goes, “Never look back.” Yet looking back provides inspiration for the future and excitement for what’s to come in the roaring 20s.
Stay tuned on our social media for the final edits for Fresh Filmmakers!
Facebook: Koi-Fly Creative
YouTube: Koi-Fly Creative
LinkedIn: Koi-Fly Creative
Fresh Filmmakers Instagram: @fresh_filmmakers