Meet Samantha Edwards, who turned her passion for telling stories about individuals into prosperous creative agency. Find out why it`s important to be rebellious in design and why it`s okay to start business in Chinatown.

When she was a child, Samantha Edwards spent her pocket money on her own piece of soap or toilet paper instead of sweets or toys. Since her childhood, she has been chasing independency and later – “financial responsibility”. When she was 15, she started working as a papergirl in a company that made flyers for local nightclubs. There she`s first shown her unique taste for design. She was brave enough to tell her employer that flyer`s graphic design, in her opinion, was garbage. And she could have done it better. So, she did.

Some years later, after finishing university, she found herself as as designer at GQ. After that she worked in several other agencies in New York. Samantha noticed that her vision of creativity didn`t match the vision, that the industry had. Something was missing. Eventually, Edwards found the way out: she opened her own creative agency with her own rules and mission. Meet  The Charles – “more than an agency”, driven by individuality.  

 

Something the industry was lacking in

What made Samantha Edwards launch her own creative agency? Obviously, her passion for telling stories about individuals. In 2011 Samantha decided to tell stories together with her brother Aaron. They founded and run The Charles from two bedroom apartment. After hiring a new team member the office moved to a living room. Then The Charles occupied the bigger space in Chinatown (by the way, which didn`t even have windows).

Nowadays The Charles is based in a cool office. That`s not the only cool thing in their arsenal. Samantha Edwards and her team work with Ferrari, Bacardi, Bloomberg Media, Ellen Tracy, Cartier and Estee Laude (the list is much longer). Storytelling and rebelliousness is what makes an agency stand out from its peers. And commitment to clients and creativity of The Charles is what attracts well-known brands and stars.

 

A little more about rebellion…

The Charles made a lot of projects, that actually break the grid structure. They give their clients something they`d never expected to be given. The team believes that it`s important to be rebellious and design. For example, they created low tech designs for Bloomberg media – innovative company, focused on new technology. The displayed message reminded of old days with old school computers. And that rebellious design worked! “I think our clients respect and appreciate us because we’re not trying to give them something that’s completely, like abhorrent in shock value, but rather showing them that this is what they want and this is what they thought they didn’t want, but they actually want it. You didn’t want it, but it actually we made you want it”,- Samantha explained in one of her interviews.

 

Ideology of The Charles

We`ve all heard this catch phrase: Work Hard. Play Hard”. Not all of us really do. But for Samantha`s team this phrase is a key to success. They combine team building events with honest work and customer orientation.

In The Charles “People inspire people”. That`s why Samantha is so passionate about telling real stories about individuals. When one deals with creativity, he or she deals with stories, coming from amazing people. And, finally, it`s impossible not to mention “younger, rebellious spirit of the The Charles” – their digital quarterly journal written by Samantha`s team. This journal is so to say a voice of The Charles online. And it also tells about personalities!

Edwards believes, that good management and accuracy are the keys to success in business. Orderliness is a must, espesially in creative industry. Apart from creative team and awesome creators, every creative agency needs a good lawyer and an honest accountant as well.

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