The first year of FIG and Pastures of Plenty Farm.
FIG is a proudly unconventional communications agency built on inspiration, innovation and dashes of rebellion. We have values like “Being real,” “Resourcefulness,” and “Joy” in our DNA.
Founder Sylvia R Tawse, a wearer of many hats — writer, mother, cook, activist, wife of organic farmer, marketer, former restaurant owner and English school teacher — had a vision of a marketing firm that could fill the gap between the organic industry, retailers and the media with meaningful and compelling communications and educational events.
But what to name this specialist service agency? It had to have a food-centric name. It needed to symbolize a different approach from the agency norm. And, it needed to connect to culture, both agriculture and the art of living culturally – one taste at a time. These thoughts led to cocktail napkin musings and to the classic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fruit -the fig. The fig is unique, rare, chock-full of lore and symbolism and sublime when enjoyed at its peak ripeness. It also harkened back to the fig tree orchards in central California where Sylvia grew up. By scribbling anagrams of ‘FIG’ as the agency name, Fresh Ideas Group, was born in 1995 with Sylvia and colleague Lisa Bell as partners.
FIG’s inaugural client was fittingly the Organic Trade Association. FIG launched and managed the "Keep Organic Organic" public awareness campaign, which resulted in the highest number of letters received by the USDA in its history, all 280,000+ of them lobbying for high-integrity standards for organic at the federal level. Today, 'organic' is defined and regulated as federal law and is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. grocery industry. One might say that organic activism on a national level ‘fertilized’ FIG’s quick growth. Other pioneering clients in the early days included Horizon Organic, Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes.
In 1996, FIG secured offices on Boulder’s Pearl St. Mall and hired its first employees. National organic brands jumped on the FIG bandwagon such as R.W. Knudsen Family, Santa Cruz Organic and Applegate Farms and nonprofit leaders, as well, such as The Rodale Institute. Smart, straight talk about new CPG products and the issues behind those products became a FIG signature.
In 2012, FIG introduced its formal digital services division, DigiFIG and pioneered strategic planning and demographic research by introducing the Intelligent Insights Summary. As believers in true storytelling in any channel, the digital division was created to amplify client content and news to help clients connect to their preferred audiences every day.
Community and environmental stewardship continue to be a guiding compass for the agency. FIG ‘walks its talk’ with sustainability always top of mind. The FIG offices are built from green materials—right down to the recycled Herman Miller work stations (rescued en route to the landfill) and include a much loved central kitchen as the heart of the office.
Today, the agency continues to represent leading national CPG brands and organizations that suppport ‘the good life’ through environmental stewardship. The FIG team is composed of smart and passionate PR and marketing professionals deeply dedicated to the health of people and the planet. Oh, we like to eat well, too.