25 Years: From Image Quest to Knoodle

May 29, 2024 | Events & Celebrations, Spotlight, Women's Business

When we first opened, we were Image Quest, then finally in 2004 we settled and stayed with Knoodle. As my first client reminds me, it could have been worse. We almost chose the name, Platypus 7. But it was taken by a company that peddled explicit sexual content for a living…

My first client, Fulton Homes, remains my largest client. This is probably my luckiest break in business. I have worked with countless other businesses including CBS Radio, Farnsworth Sunland Springs, Empire Communities, United Cerebral Palsy, Arizona Kidney Foundation, Jani-King, Cal-Am Resorts, Wildhorse Pass Development Authority, and Fountain Hills Festivals.

It’s interesting that I never aspired to be a business owner. I just didn’t fit in corporate America anymore. The pay was good. The ethics were bad. I soon learned that I wanted to be in control of what I promised (and delivered) to my clients.

It’s been a long road made possible by a dose of optimism and a pint of luck. There were years that we made so much money, we celebrated by taking the entire staff to Italy for New Years Eve. There were also years that I personally funded the company to keep it running.

When I look at all that I have learned since 1999, I can see all my mistakes were my biggest learning opportunities.
This includes hiring in anticipation of accounts coming in, bringing in a superstar (twice), adding an unfit partner, hiring business development directors that left with the clients and opening an office in San Diego. All disasters that resulted in a better perspective.

Since we opened, we have seen 911, the stock market crash of 2008, a ten-year recession, a Pandemic and runaway inflation. And yet it seems impossible that 25 years have passed.

I have learned…

To not take myself too seriously.
To not spend more than I make.
To not show up at a new client presentation without a video.
To give more, laugh more and eat less.
To hire slowly.
To remember clients buy strategy not creative.
To always keep my word, no matter what.
To begin training the next CEO long before my exit.
To enjoy life.
To speak Italian.
To run and enjoy it.
To give back.
To reflect on how lucky I am to celebrate my 25th anniversary.

About the Author

Rosaria Cain, CEO of Phoenix Advertising Agency Knoodle, founded the agency with Fulton Homes in 1999. The agency is built on in-house disciplines that include cause marketing, creative, video production, public relations, and digital marketing.