Nellie Kim & Chris Hirsch, Co-Creative Directors at The Creative Dept., San Francisco

If you could attribute another person or life event to your success, who or what would it be and why?

Meeting each other 18 years ago. It kickstarted everything that brought us to where we are today. As a young creative team, we immediately shared a drive and passion for creating great work and a combined understanding of when we needed to keep pushing. This was critical as we grew into our roles as Partners/Executive Creative Directors in charge of an entire agency, and is even more relevant now as we get back to working as a creative team again in our very own endeavor, The Creative Dept. 

What is the number one quality you look for in talent?

Obviously, great creative thinking, accountability, and sincere passion are essential qualities when seeking out any talent. But on top of that, we always gravitate towards individuals who are just genuinely good people as well. You’re in the trenches together under some very trying circumstances. So you want people that you actually like to be around. Whether they make you laugh or have a unique way of looking at the world, ask yourself, would you want to sit next to this person on a 6-hour flight? It’s incredible how fast that question can clear up a debate over a hire.

Best career advice?

Getting great work done is going to hurt a little bit. We learned this very early on. You’re going to hear “no” a lot. You’ll have to grind some ideas out. Sometimes pivot, and push those ideas back up the hill. But the more pushback you get, the better the chance you’re onto something great. If they’re saying it can’t be done, that’s probably because no one has done it before. And isn’t that what we’re supposed to be shooting for in the first place?


By Sasha The Mensch