Handsome has been working and growing out of its offices on the eastside since it began. According to Jared Royal, the Marketing and Business Development guru at the agency, Handsome has no plans to leave anytime soon.
Today, Handsome, a digital design agency that works with national and global brands to create successful digital products, sits in a renovated building located on the corner of East 6th and San Marcos Streets.
John Roescher, Handsome’s founder, said the motivation to operate out of Austin’s east side was based on a number of reasons. For one, the quality of life was simply better. The slower speed, walkability, and close proximity to other small businesses made it an obvious choice. “It was either getting a fraction of a floor in a high-rise downtown or getting a space of our own and working in a culture that’s developing,” said Roescher. “It made so much sense for us.”
While these factors played into the initial decision, Roescher said the decision has impacted the growth of the agency and its overall culture.Community engagement is an important aspect for the agency. According to Royal, that sentiment is widespread amongst the Handsome team. “Community engaged culture is matter of fact.” It’s just how things are at Handsome. He said the agency hosts parties, events, meet-ups, and talks with people in the community who are involved in multiple fields and industries.
“[Hosting] events and having people in the office, speaking face-to-face…that’s the big thing,” said Royal. Bringing people together is the most important aspect of the agency’s community engagement efforts. According to Royal, when it comes to east Austin’s changing landscape, they want to lead by example. “As you may know, [the] eastside is being gentrified very quickly,” began Royal. “Instead of being a part of the problem, we try to open our doors as often as possible to be a part of the community.” They plan to work with other businesses who are new to the eastside as well in educating them on how to be a part of the surrounding community.
The brand has come a long way since its early days when the founders used to meet at Violet Crown to discuss big decisions. Despite its growth, Roescher and Royal don’t see the brand being anywhere else. For them, the east Austin community plays an important role in the continued growth of the company.