I know you’re wondering it. We get the question a lot: “where does the name Stout Heart come from?” Stout-hearted is an old English expression used to describe someone who is courageous, or brave-hearted. You may have heard the adage “be of stout heart.” Stout-heartedness is a requisite part of being the kind of company that we aim to be.

I founded Stout Heart in 2015, after determining that I wanted more from my career. The transition from working for agencies to starting a brand new business in a competitive field was a scary one, especially as a woman in an industry primarily led by men. But I had a vision for a new kind of agency. Making this vision a reality took time, energy, stress, and most of all—courage, not only from me, but also from the people who joined the team early on knowing what they were signing up for.

The second layer of our name revolves around the kind of agency we strive to be (more about our services here if you’re interested). It’s easy for marketing agencies to fall into the habit of saying yes to clients. Of course we all want our clients to be happy. At Stout Heart, we love to please our clients, but more than that, we want to make their brands shine–and that can sometimes mean saying no. Our clients hire us for our expertise, and it would be a shame to deprive them of it because we feel the need to agree with them about everything! We’re the agency that will tell you if we think you’re missing the mark. Isn’t that why you hired us?

It can be scary, but in order to do our job as well as we possibly can, we need to be prepared to have tough conversations with the people who pay our bills. We ask clients to put their trust in our hands, to come to us with a problem and allow us to solve it. We’ve got this.

Being a stout-hearted marketing agency also means staying true to our values. We volunteer or discount our time working for causes that we believe in. We make sure to only accept clients whose values align with our own. Sometimes this even means turning a potential client away. This can mean making less money–more scary stuff. But that’s just part of who we’ve decided to be.

It’s a scary world out there, but Stout Heart is standing fast.