Q+A: Emily Heyward of Red Antler
Red Antler is a DUMBO-based branding consultancy firm that specializes in start-ups and new ventures and has a client list that includes companies like Casper, Vevo, and Birchbox. We spoke with founding partner Emily Heyward to learn more.
Can you tell me a little bit about the origins of Red Antler?
We were started in 2007, we’re turning 8 this month, and all three founders - me, JB Osborne and Simon Endres - all of us have backgrounds in traditional advertising but we saw an opportunity to take what we had learned working with big global brands and apply it to helping people launch new things. From day one our focus has been working with early stage startups and new ventures and helping them figure out how to become who they want to be and how to grow.
What kind of work do you do?
We call ourselves a branding company but we do much much more than just brand identity. We see the entire experience of a company through the lens of brand. We offer a full suite of services that includes digital, packaging, and content. Every place that a brand appears and connects with people we want to be helping to influence that experience.
As someone who both owns your own business and works with new business owners, do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Make sure that you’re solving a real problem. I see a lot of people who want to start a business just to start a business, but if you haven’t identified a real problem in the world, you’re not going to succeed.
Is there a story behind your name?
We wanted a name that stands for growth because that’s the number one benefit that we can offer our clients. Antlers have the fastest growing cells in the animal kingdom and we liked the visual behind that.
DUMBO is the greatest place in the world! When we moved to DUMBO, everyone said we were nuts to move to Brooklyn, that our clients would never want to come here, that it would make us seem less legitimate, but we have never regretted that move. DUMBO is such an incredible community and it’s grown a ton since we got here. We love it. I think that there’s an amazing vibe, an amazing energy, and there’s all sorts of creative companies doing amazing things. Our team loves coming here every day. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else!
Do you have any favorite spots in DUMBO?
We love Atrium! We go there a lot for brunch and had our Christmas party there. Brooklyn Bridge Park is obviously so beautiful, it feels like you’re in a different world. And I’m going to give a shout out to Dewey’s!