Small-biz marketing shop plants flag on Patterson

The CreativeMktGroup team outside their new office. Pictured from left: Natalie McNamara, Isabelle Cabral, Tara Good, Ryan Dunstan and Emily Riggan. (Photos by Jonathan Spiers)

A growing local marketing firm with a focus on small-business clients has found a new home in Richmond’s West End.

CreativeMktGroup has set up shop at 6909 Patterson Ave., subleasing space it shares with Joan Sewell’s The Style Post, a home décor and accessories maker, in a cottage-style office just east of Three Chopt Road.

Launched in 2016 by Natalie McNamara, the firm previously worked out of coworking spaces and shared offices.

McNamara said she had been looking for a place to stay put since adding four full-time employees and tripling their client base in the past year or so. With the 1,500-square-foot space already furnished and decorated with The Style Post’s creations, McNamara said it was a perfect fit for her team.

The group shares the building with The Style Post, whose home decor items adorn the space.

“We are five women, and this space absolutely rolls with the vibe of our five women,” McNamara said.

Focused on branding, digital marketing, public relations and related services for startups and small businesses in their formative years, the firm averages about 25 regular clients on top of about a dozen one-off projects at any given time, McNamara said. She said they’re on track this year to double their revenue from last year, declining to disclose dollar amounts.

Clients in need of services beyond CreativeMktGroup’s startup branding packages, which range from single-day to four-week work sessions, are referred to other area firms such as Red Orange Studio, River City Consulting and Helm & Hue, McNamara said.

“We’re helping the guys who are just trying to get to the early-stage levels of their business to get to the next level,” she said. “These small guys, they may really want a lot of brand strategy and what these agencies have to offer, but the reality is, they just can’t afford it, and they need it quick. That’s been our differentiator.”

Joining McNamara are strategist Tara Good, account managers Isabelle Cabral and Ryan Dunstan, and recent hire Emily Riggan, a brand manager on the team. All are VCU grads and most share a background in local restaurants. Good and Dunstan each worked at The Savory Grain, while Riggan was a server at the former Starlite Lounge.

Natalie McNamara (Paige Stevens Photography)

Originally from Texas, McNamara moved to Richmond while in middle school and graduated from Clover Hill High School and Radford University, where she studied marketing. She spent six years at Troutman Sanders, where she worked as marketing manager for the law firm’s local office before deciding to start her own business.

“When you’re in legal marketing, the reality is that other employers in general marketing, corporate marketing, don’t view you as the same, so you kind of get pigeon-holed into being great at legal marketing but not necessarily corporate marketing,” McNamara said. “It was a good opportunity to expand what I have the ability to do.”

McNamara has expanded the business to include networking events, including a monthly coffee gathering at Ellwood Thompson’s with different guest speakers. She said their new office also will host get-togethers for clients and the community, including an open house scheduled June 5.

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