After nine years in business, a local branding agency has spawned a sister startup.
Shockoe Bottom firm Yogg has launched Karv, a spinoff that will focus specifically on branding for small businesses. The offshoot launched in February with the opening of a leased space in Scott’s Addition at 3119 W. Moore St.
Yogg owner Adam Mead said Karv will allow his larger firm to focus on larger clients while serving a small business segment that he previously referred to other agencies.
“There are so many people that I just don’t think we would have been able to serve with Yogg, because of how the model is headed, so I wanted to have another option for people,” Mead said. “It’s not taking what Yogg does and scaling it down; it’s a different approach – much more streamlined, very design focused, but still strategic.”
Mead has hired Hillary Severson, a VCU grad who previously interned at Yogg, as Karv’s full-time account manager. She staffs the office that shares a building with wedding and event rental suppliers Paisley & Jade and Glint Events.
While Yogg’s Shockoe Bottom space at 117 N. 20th St. has room to spare for Karv, Mead said it was important to have some distance between the companies. Plus, he was already leasing the Scott’s Addition space for his photography business, Land of Adam.
“Financially, it made more sense, and I want to make sure people understand we’re two different companies – two different processes, two different intentions,” he said.
Mead also noted he has one year left on his Shockoe Bottom lease and may consider relocating, possibly to Scott’s Addition.
Since launching Feb. 1, Karv has secured three clients on top of two that it started out with, including two out-of-town orthodontists and a merchant group. Mead said his target for this year is as many as 24 clients.
Mead declined to disclose the startup cost for Karv, describing the cost as less than other ventures. He said he started Yogg in 2007 with $600, though he said Karv is being built in a more strategic and business-minded way.
Yogg has since grown to its current workforce of seven, placing last year on Richmond BizSense’s rankings of the area’s fastest-growing companies with less than $1 million in annual revenue. Clients have included Strangeways Brewing, the Richmond Kickers and Bank of Virginia.
As for the name, Mead said he came up with Yogg while playing around with words that he thought could be declared from a mountaintop, which he associates with the agency’s goal of clarity. Karv, derived from “carve,” is a similarly invented word, which Mead said is meant to evoke hand-crafted brand strategies and “carving one’s own path.”
For a company that strives for clarity, Mead said about Yogg, “It’s funny that it’s the most unclear name.”