5 + 8
An advertising, branding and creative strategy agency in Houston, Texas

Words + Internet

Merry Christmas from the Thirteens

Dear Friends and Family,

As the year comes to a close, it’s time for us to take a look at all that has happened in 2017 for our family in Houston. Let’s call us, the Thirteens. It may be cliché to call the people you work with family, but to me, it feels like family. I actually call everyone (excluding my partner) in the office, “the kids.” I know, I know, I am only 36. But, look at in “work years.” If I was ‘born’ in 2003 with my first job out of college, that makes me 14 today – that sounds about right – which makes most of my team, career-wise, small children.

And, what about this partner? What the heck has this Jeff guy been up to anyway? Well, the simplest way he fits into the family is as an old-school dad (yeah, I know what that makes me). He works a lot and actually goes to a different office several days a week. He has devoted all his energy to a supremely valuable and mutually-beneficial relationship with our largest client. He gets up everyday, climbs in his trucks and has a long commute to work at a big, fancy office. He loves what he does and does a damn good job. He’s funny, and kind, and our relationship is founded in respect and honesty. Having a partner is not easy, and before we started this family, I thought I might be better as a single mom. I have been wrong. He’s a sounding board, a best friend, and he holds me accountable if I get too philosophical. He’s an old-school dad.

The oldest, Gabriel, has really come into his own this year. We were worried about all that time he spent with his memes and his Reddits. Well, they led to us creating a new role at the agency of Social Media Manager for Gabe. He is motivated, informed and making a difference for our clients in a big way. Ask him about what he does and he’ll tell you all about. Just make sure you have 40 minutes.

I think Linda is our second oldest? I can’t keep these kids straight. Oh man, this one may be a “kid” but she is wise beyond her years. When we hired her, she had no experience and was afraid to even call a client. But, in under two years she has become the yin to my yang. When I am crazy, she is calm. When a client is confused, she provides clarity. When the kids fight, she finds a solution. She is a big kid now, and I couldn’t do it without her.

Our middle child, Sarah, single-handedly disproves the concept that millennials lack work ethic. Super Sarah does the work of 10 designers. And, she does it at a perfecting level I have literally never seen before. She will never accept good enough. When I try and tell her, “I think it’s fine,” she looks at me as if I am speaking in Webdings. At 25, Sarah (and her design counterpart, Paulina, 24) are responsible for what you see when you see 5 + 8. That’s everything when what you see, is what we sell.

Which brings me to Paulina, our first kid. She was only 20 when we hired her as our first intern in 2013. When I was 20, I was… an idiot. She was working to help pay her way through school. We have watched her grow from a sheepish student to a tattooed-vegan with a fire in her belly. And, for all her talent and hard work, I think her biggest contribution to this family is her heart. I just wish she’d use some of that heart to rinse out her crusty oatmeal bowls.

The newest and youngest kid to enter the fray is Madeleine. Six months ago, another agency owner met Madeleine and emailed me, “I just met a girl who you need to talk to.” Well, she has fit in exceedingly well. Almost, eerily well, like she was here the whole time. She checked all the talent and personality boxes right away, but Madeleine’s most remarkable attribute is her confidence. She is smart and insightful and talented and she knows it. You got a problem with that? We don’t. She’s what the future of this family will look like.

And, then there’s mom. I get on just fine. I’ve got my podcasts, my Wednesday night soccer club, and my actual family – love you, girls! I try and stay busy and up with current events. How crazy has 2017 been? Did you all hear Jennifer Garber and Matt Damon’s friend are getting a divorce? She was so pretty and nice in that 13 going to 30 movie a few years ago. I tell ya, this country is going right in the toilet.

Still reading? I think is the longest blog I have ever written. Which isn’t long by blog standards, but I don’t like writing a lot of words. Except when it’s about my work family. Man, I really, actually love my work family. It’s weird, but cool. Which is exactly how I’d describe us – weird, but cool.

That about wraps up 2017 for the Thirteens. We’re excited about what 2018 will bring! Hopefully another chance to find love for that sweet Jenny Garber.

Love, mom

Adam FaustComment