We had the good fortune of connecting with Russ Perry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Russ, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea came from trying to scratch my own itch in business. I was consulting, and was having a hard time finding creative help for my clients that was affordable, scalable, and fast. So, I set out to create it myself. I found some team members and started testing the processes of how this concept would work. Initially, it was pretty under the radar — my clients didn’t even realize how we were completing their design work. From there, I realized that it was a seamless, easy process, and began testing how I could scale it to other teams, entrepreneurs, and marketers. Design Pickle was born. The name comes from my love of pickles, and, well, because the domain was available. There really wasn’t a complex branding strategy around that decision, but it seems to work!
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Design Pickle is a flat-rate creative services company. That means we help businesses find a workforce to achieve creativity — whether that is graphic design, illustrations, or otherwise — and we deliver that inside of a subscription model. We call this a subscription workforce. The subscription workforce describes an easier way to find creative help; it removes the barriers and commitments that often come with hiring an agency or an in-house employee. When you sign up and start submitting design requests, you start seeing the work back the next day, and sometimes within the same day (depending on your plan). We can create whatever you need for your business.
I’m most excited about our culture, and the culture we help bring to our clients’ businesses. Our core values are paramount — from hiring to how we operate, these values guide us in every single business decision. Friendly is one of the most important values to highlight here. If you’re a customer, you’re going to get a friendly creative on your account. Yes, the designs might get off track — that’s the nature of the creative process. At the end of the day, though, your designated creative is there as a genuine team member that can help you and create for you. This is a personalized, relationship-focused experience unlike any other service online. We’re really proud of this. I think we got to where we are through the radical commitment to doing what I said we were going to do from the start. Both from the sales and marketing promise of our business, which is flat-rate creatives (you pay one price per month, no matter how much you use us), to the strategic plans inside our business, like investments we’re going to make in our team.
The success of any creative business person or entrepreneur lies in their ability to not only cast a vision, but to also do the work required to actually achieve the vision. We’ve faced a lot of challenges along the way. At Design Pickle, we’re not trying to solve anything too complicated, which often makes it overwhelming to focus. By that, I mean we want to do anything and everything — our ultimate vision is to provide all types of creative services, from copywriting to photography. At this point, though, we don’t have the resources to add those types of services. We always have to balance where we want to go and the energy it takes to get there with understanding where we are today. We overcome this through relentless planning and time management, which is also something I attribute my personal growth and success to. My calendar is insane — I plan every day out from the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep. It may seem over the top, but for me, this is critical to making my vision a reality — there is no time to waste.
Our vision is to change lives through creativity. Not only for our clients, but for our team inside Design Pickle, as well. We have almost 500 global team members, and for them, this is an actual career. We have very little turnover; our team lives and breathes pickles (metaphorically speaking). It’s because we invest in them. We provide training and resources. We provide things they wouldn’t necessarily access on their own. We look at how this vision applies internally, then look externally to apply it and figure out how we can make sure our clients have a consistently top-notch experience.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Here are the 8 things I would do with a visitor, in no particular order: 1. Eat in Old Town: I love finding hole-in-the-wall spots or places that are lesser known and unique to Scottsdale. 2. Go to the Design Pickle Headquarters: I love to show off the office — we have a gym, we have a hot tub, we have a lot of creative things here. 3. Hard Workout or Hike: I just tried F45 — it’s like a dance party workout. It’s fantastic. 4. Eat in Phoenix: I love the restaurants down there. 5. Mega Sunrise Hike: It doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s not Camelback Mountain — it gets too crowded. Pinnacle Peak is a great one. 6. Go to Sedona: Check it out for a day or two. Enough said! 7. Go to Gracie’s Tax Bar: I personally don’t drink, but I love taking people there because it’s my sister’s bar! 8. Roka Akor for Dinner: This Japanese steakhouse is one of my favorites, and one I will actually recommend.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout is to my Design Pickle team and family. This is a group of over 500 individuals who show up every single day with a purpose. They are why we’re all here; everything we’ve achieved is a direct result of their effort and impact. I cast a vision and set a direction, but every single person has worked hard day and night to help these visions become realities. A lot of them have sacrificed so much to be here. They’ve poured their blood, sweat, and tears into growing the company — sometimes even literal blood! They deserve all of the recognition and credit.