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The Origin of the Name

It was a cool fall morning in Denver, CO when Jenny Cross and her best friend* began dreaming of starting the greatest Christmas Card Company the world has ever known.

They were two people, with two very different areas of artistic talent who wanted to use their gifts to make the holidays a little brighter.

Two styles. Two people. Two tones.

Add to all of that, one very available domain name, and you’ve got yourself a company name.

Christmas Comes But Once a Year

As it happened, they should have named the company TwoFold because that’s what their problems were.

They quickly realized their world-beating business idea had two major gaps:

  1. Christmas only happens once a year.
  2. No one (except 2 family members) bought any of their Christmas cards.

And so as the holiday season came and went, their wonderful .png files filled with sugar plums, and “Christ is born!” taglines appeared to be destined for that little icon that says “Trash” on your Apple desktop.

The Wife’s Website

So life went on, Christmas card sales remained at 2 (are you seeing a theme yet?), and no one quit their day-jobs.

That was until Jenny agreed to make a website for a friend's wife—a friend** who happened to own a digital marketing agency.

Had Jenny ever made a website before?

Well…sort of…but who has time for such minor details when a friend needs a website. Amiright?

Let’s just say, many things were learned in the making of the aforementioned website. Skills were developed and pixels were meticulously (and sometimes forcibly) put in their place with great effort. Google was consulted frequently, and all the time Jenny spent learning Adobe Flash in 7th grade DID NOT HELP AT ALL on this particular project.

In the end, the client was happy, Jenny was surprised that he was, and for the first time ever a check had been written out to “TwoTone Creative.”

(we would have framed it, but we really needed the money)

And as it happens sometimes in life, that website wasn’t really a website at all. It was an audition to be the white-label website developer, graphic designer, and copywriter for that digital marketing agency.

The lesson: Sometimes God hands you a business model when you say “yes” to an opportunity. At TwoTone we call that being resourceful.

Then vs. Now

The rest of the story is mostly a blur of projects and fancy-schmancy workspaces that included but were not limited to: an apartment, a basement, a warehouse, and a sub-leased former doula consultation office.

Through it all TwoTone has remained committed to three principles that we learned from that very first website project:

  1. Relational - we make friends and we help friends.
  2. Resourceful - we say “yes” and we figure things out.
  3. Remarkable - we do wow-worthy work—whatever it takes.

And now we apply those three core values to the harmonizing of two things that our clients need most from us, but are awful hard to come by in this world:

Strategic Marketing + Creative Design

^From our church friends to our multi-million dollar business clients, and everyone in between, they all need beautiful work that serves a purpose.

That’s why we still exist and that’s what we are built to provide.


*Rebekah Ely and her husband now own a FANTASTIC outdoor store in New Glarus, WI called Pioneer Valley Outdoor. The town is awesome, they are awesome, and if you rent an e-bike from them or buy some sweet outdoor gear while you're there, you’ll be awesome too.

**Mike & Holly Worley now lead Spark Discipleship, a ministry focused on helping the pre-married and newly married build purposeful marriages that lasts a lifetime. They are a go-to for marriage advice, and their biblical resources are solid.


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