Creative Agency Purchases Building Among Antique Shops
St. Louis, MO, February 5—While Fortune 500 companies from Centene to REI are making headlines for halting plans to take on more office space, an eight-person advertising agency in South City is putting its money where its roots are.
Situated between two antique shops and across the street from The Mud House, the agency can’t imagine a better location, even if the timing seems a little strange. For three months in 2020, the entire company worked from home. In February of 2021, Darling is investing in brick and mortar that’s over a century and half years old.
“The timing is never perfect to make big decisions, but this one was relatively easy. We love the space. We love the neighborhood. And we couldn’t imagine moving anywhere else,” says Jake Edinger, creative director and founder of Darling.
The building at 2014 Cherokee was most recently a rehab project by Jeremy and Casey Miller.
“It sat right across the street from The Mud House, and we were looking for another project in the neighborhood,” recalls Jeremy Miller. “We wanted to attract a professional group to the neighborhood, and these guys seemed like a great fit.”
From there, Miller and Edinger reached a handshake agreement to rent the space as soon as the renovation was complete. “The Millers have incredible taste, and we were able to move into a new building with historic charm that was smack dab in the middle of a creative community. We lucked out.”
The following year, Darling expanded to the upstairs before raising their hand to purchase the building. “We’re in our fourth year. We’ve grown from three people to eight. And we want to do everything we can to build on the positivity we’ve felt from the neighborhood,” says Edinger.
Timing aside, the location for an advertising agency might seem odd to some.
With the name “Darling” illuminated on the historic building and surrounded by antique dealers on both sides, passersby might think they sell fixtures, artifacts or other procured items of yore. “We’ve had people wander in from time to time, trying to figure out if our furniture is for sale,” says Blake Padberg, partner and director of account services for Darling.
The building was originally built in the 1800’s and served as a blacksmith’s shop. Over the next century and a half, it held a mechanic, then a retail store before being abandoned for over a decade. When the rehab commenced, Miller’s and Edinger’s visions converged.
“Agencies tend to flock to more corporate business districts, so they can be closer to potential clients. We made the conscious decision to set up shop in a more creative environment,” says Edinger. “Our location is a true selling point for talent and a welcoming place for clients who don’t mind sneaking away from the boardroom once in a while,” says Peter Rodick, the third partner and creative director in Darling.
Rodick continues, “there’s a mix of business and residential that all feeds into a vibrant atmosphere. We have different styles of cuisine within walking distance, and a lot of artists make their homes in the neighborhood. It’s a great place to raise an agency.”
Darling Makery is a brief-to-life creative shop, specializing in brand development and campaign launch. We aim to build our own brand through a collaborative working style and a prolific, ideas-first mentality. With practice areas in travel & hospitality, healthcare, animal welfare and beer, wine & spirits, we work to make our clients the darlings of their audience.
As professionals and human beings, we value independence, accountability and fulfillment. Our office on Cherokee Street, in the heart of Antique Row, is surrounded by artists, shopkeepers, musicians, a wide variety of restaurants and most importantly, inspiration.