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Jan 12, 2023

How to Start, Run, Grow and Close an Agency

Stuart Thursby

About this video


After spending a decade working in a wild mix of agencies, Stuart started Stack Creative in 2018. After 4 years of ups and downs (ranging from barely being able to pay himself to a 2-year hot streak during COVID) and a range of work rooted in the web but grew to include advertising creative and branding, all with a rockstar team of 10-15 mixed between full-timers and (mostly) contractors – he decided to shut the shop down in 2022 to focus on making a bigger impact without wearing every hat. This talk is aimed at those thinking about starting their own thing – the wins, the losses, the things learned, the best resources and the "two big questions" Stuart kept asking himself at every key juncture: why am I doing this? And how/how else could that be accomplished?


Stuart Thursby

Stuart is a Creative Director with an Art Direction and Design bent, with a breadth and depth of experience building and leading multi-disciplinary teams alongside rolling up my sleeves and getting the creative work done. From 2018-2022, he was the Founder and Creative Director of Stack Creative, his own boutique agency. Their work spanned websites, branding, and advertising creative, with key clients including the Jane Goodall Institute, Mars-Wrigley, Algoma University, World Vision, Save the Children, IC Savings and many more. He started Stack after stints both full-time and freelance at various levels at some of the best shops around: BBDO, Cossette, DARE, DDB, Edelman, FCB/SIX, T4G, Teehan+Lax and Trajectory (and a few more in Canada and Germany as well). Stuart has been named one of Canada’s top Creative Directors and Designers by Strategy, judged the Applied Arts Awards, New York Festivals and Marketing Awards and taught visual and UX design at Humber College and RED Academy. His awards shelf includes statues, plaques and pencils from the ADCs, Cannes, Caples, D&ADs, Marketing Awards, One Show and Webby’s alongside a host of other global shows.