2023 was a big year for Amenable.
Sure, it’s possible that every year feels like “a big year” when you’re in it, but here we are, closing 2023 as a different team than we started it with—in more ways than one. Today, we’re looking back at all that happened at Amenable in 2023.
When our tiny little team (of three) set out as Anna Montgomery & Co over two years ago, we provided very limited services, mostly for graphic design and communications work. But each year since then has brought a little more clarity and focus as we try to answer the question, “what do we do?” This year, we finally have an answer.
Amenable is a branding and creation firm. Not only do we situate much of what we do around holistic brand work, but as we’ve clarified our own mission, we’re learning to lean more into the second half of that description as well. What exactly does this mean? Our vision strategist, Brice, puts it this way:
“There’s two parts: we literally make stuff, but it is more than that. There’s a corresponding abstract reading—we are trying to facilitate a culture of Creation or a kind of abundance. Our goal is to be in the weeds with people and working with the intimacy of tending a garden.”
As our vision for our work expanded, it also became clear that we had outgrown our old name, both in terms of its use and its accuracy. With an expanding roster of team members (more on that below) and our desire for a name that speaks to the quality of the work more than those involved, we knew we needed a change.
That led to Amenable.
It’s a name that works for us the way we want to work for our clients. On the surface level, the word means being agreeable and open to new ideas, which is something we want to emphasize as the start of true collaboration. We enter each project with the belief that our clients are the experts when it comes to their own mission or vision—we’re only the experts at helping them prove it.
Another characteristic we want to bring to our work is depth, so our name has more to it than its surface meaning if you look at its constituent words.
“Amen” reminds us of the God-invoking conviction we hope to bring to each project. Regardless of whether we’re working with churches and ministries or non-faith-based organizations, each project has the restorative weight of prayer behind it. Every project is worthy of our full attention and intention.
Likewise, the second embedded word, “Enable” highlights the end goal of our work. We aren’t merely contractors who will design a logo or make a website for clients before heading our separate ways. Instead, we are professionals who can provide both the material and immaterial resources needed for clients to do their own work better. We will never do a project that doesn’t empower a client to be more self-sufficient.
The last word you might notice is “Able,” and you might wonder how we’re able to do all of this.
Well, it’s a pretty simple answer.
We’re so grateful for our team—past, present, and future. Since our founding, we’ve been doubling our revenue, resources, and capacity, which is an exciting pace for a small business start-up. However, we wouldn’t be able to do this without our incredible (growing!) team.
In 2023, we said goodbye to two wonderful team members. Debbie, a Client Strategist, was entering a new season with three cute grandkids and wanted to be able to enjoy it more fully. Meanwhile, our Creative Director, Amanda, had an exciting opportunity to focus on her work for a nonprofit. While we wish they could have stayed forever, we’re so excited for both of them!
On the bright side, we brought four people onto our team in 2023—Rachel (Project & Relationship Manager), Kyra (Junior Designer & Strategist), Jess (Graphic Designer & Strategist), and Joe (Content Strategist). We were also joined by four interns—Ella, Vanessa, Alysea, & Molly—specializing in writing, design, and social media strategy!
Through rapid growth in 2023, we’ve seen how healthily growing a team isn’t always about numbers. Sure, in some cases, a bigger team gets more done. But by finding the right people—sometimes slowly—we’re able to do more work that also better reflects the diverse skills and experiences of a well-rounded team.
And we can’t forget—we gained two cute future team members! Brooks (Abigail’s son) was born in January and Shepherd (Emma’s son) in December.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—our clients make our world go ‘round.
This year, we moved away from specializing in a certain industry or type of organization. Instead, we began to focus on finding mission-driven people and supporting their context-specific needs, whether that is in churches, nonprofits, or small businesses. By adopting this approach, our work is more fruitful and we get to have a far-reaching impact that isn’t limited by geography or industry.
Some of those clients included party planners, burgeoning bands, mental health summer camps, mission-minded ministries, and a slew of others. There’s too many to list here, but if you’re interested in learning more about our clients or the projects we undertook this year, the case studies page on our website is a great place to start.
Whether we were building brands, designing websites, or reporting on organizational health, our mission remained the same.
At the end of 2023, it feels like 2024 could lead anywhere, but we hope it leads to working with a chef on a restaurant brand. We don’t have any plans, but it’s definitely on the vision board.
Most importantly, we want to continue doing what we do best—building relationships with people so that they can do work that matters. We want to enable people to bring their work to full fruition, and we want them to feel confident in their ability to do so.
We’re ready to get to work.