Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Rachel Scott Everett and Brian Gibson. Photography for the series is by award-winning Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency; and Michelle Torres for hair and makeup.
Rachel and Brian, please tell us a bit about yourselves.
I’m Rachel Scott Everett, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Art & Copy, of Richmond-based EVERGIB, a nomadic creative studio specializing in strategically led advertising and branding.
After graduating from the VCU Brandcenter, I worked at ad agencies like Deutsch, McCann and Cramer-Krasselt, initially as an art director, before switching to copywriting, and eventually became a hybrid creative director.
Career highlights include writing the Get Your Fash’On slogan for Old Navy, developing the Love Revolution campaign for Kohl’s featuring Lenny Kravitz, and of course, starting EVERGIB with my partner in work and life, Brian Gibson.
I began my agency experience as an art director at a scrappy startup and later, moved on to more boutique firms. After working in LA and New York, and taking a combined two-year backpacking sabbatical around the world, Rachel and I were hired on as a team at a luxury and lifestyle agency in Las Vegas where we headed up the global launch for Baha Mar, a $3.5B resort in the Bahamas.
After that, we made the decision to start our own studio. Currently, we work directly with companies and with ad agencies on brand launches, ad campaigns, and everything in between.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
Rachel: Since 2016, I’ve lent my advertising and branding skills to raise awareness of, and advocate for, women’s rights and social equality through organizations like Women’s March and most recently, for pro-choice movements with Planned Parenthood and Black Feminist Future. Additionally, EVERGIB helped launch VoteEqualityUS, a national grassroots campaign advocating to enshrine the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. Constitution. We’re continually looking for ways to leverage our creative expertise in activism – specifically for equal rights, the environment, science, and gun control.
Brian: While we enjoy collaborating with people all over, it’s particularly rewarding to work with local and regional businesses, especially non-profits. We’ve provided creative services to help homeless veterans, promote the arts, and build community. Some of our non-profit clients include VPM, Virginia’s largest NPR/PBS affiliate; Startup Virginia, an innovation hub for high-growth startups; and Richmond Ballet, The State Ballet of Virginia. We’re very intentional about partnering with brands we believe in.
What are the things you are most proud of?
Rachel: I’m proud that Brian and I took the leap to venture out on our own and grateful that our business survived during the pandemic. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but ideal for those up for adventure. Throughout life and work, we’ve tended to take risks – from driving cross-country after grad school (with no jobs lined up) to leaving secure positions at ad agencies to go travel (not once, but three times). This year marks EVERGIB’s seventh anniversary, and Brian and I are celebrating 22 years together. We got to this point through hard work, relentless determination, and a commitment to try and create a life with purpose, passion and humility.
Brian: I’ll add that it’s really rewarding to choose the projects we work on. In addition to non-profits, we have a niche in travel and hospitality. Working in this space doesn’t feel like work. EVERGIB has opened up opportunities to us that we may not have had otherwise. Some projects of ours have allowed us to island hop in the Caribbean, participate in a tribal festival in Kenya, trek for gorillas in Uganda, and explore the East Cape of Baja, Mexico.
Who are your personal role models?
Rachel: While I didn’t know him personally, I have to say my travel hero Anthony Bourdain. I loved his rebellious attitude, insatiable curiosity (and appetite) and unwavering empathy. Tony understood humanity at its deepest level and showed us we have more in common than we realize in a very understated way. To this day, I feel his absence in our world, but his approach to travel, food and people remains with me.
Brian: I generally look up to those who have a specific skill or trade they’ve been honing for years. Seeing a true craftsperson in action is really inspiring – it could be an artist, carpenter, chef or brewmaster – anyone who is meticulous about, and takes pride in, what they create.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
Rachel: For us, the most helpful advice has come from other creative entrepreneurs willing to share their experiences. Hearing stories and being able to talk openly and honestly about the challenges, as well as the opportunities, has been incredibly insightful.
Brian: Now that we’ve been in business for a while, we try to offer up the same – though admittedly, we’re still figuring things out as we go like everyone else. In a world that seems to increasingly devalue the importance of creativity, we in the creative community really do need to stick together.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Rachel: Do more of what you love with the people you enjoy being with. That may not always be possible, but if you start making decisions with that in mind on a daily basis, it will likely lead to a happier, more fulfilling life.
Brian: I’d say to adapt with the times. All professional fields require this to a certain degree, but especially ours. As an art director/designer, I’ve enjoyed evolving my toolset to include UX, learning to code for the web and designing with Figma.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
Rachel: I’ve got a lot of salsa music and a pretty killer playlist from when I took up pandemic roller skating… Xanadu anyone?
Brian: I tend to listen to jazz, bossa nova and maybe some Radiohead while I work – otherwise, it’s progressive and science-y podcasts.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Rachel: Here in Richmond, it’s Conejo – and not just because they’re our client. They have awesome mezcal cocktails and antojitos – they even mill their own heirloom corn and flour tortillas in-house.
Brian: Runner up is Commercial Taphouse – a neighborhood pub conveniently located around the corner from us. It’s got everything you need: good people, great food and delicious craft beer.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
Rachel: Traveling inspires us and ultimately makes our work better so we’re glad that remote working is becoming more of the norm, rather than the exception.
Brian: Yeah, we’ve been on Zoom since 2015 – guess we were ahead of our time.