Today we’d like to introduce you to Teddy Heidt.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Teddy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my professional career working for the Walt Disney Company in Detroit, MI. After spending roughly 2 years with the brand, I moved to Chicago to pursue my passion of working in the food and beverage industry. I enrolled in a Baking and Pastry program at Le Cordon Bleu in early 2013. While there, I discovered my entrepreneurial spirit and launched a small catering company, RP Catering & Events, with my now fiancé, Ryan. We ran the company for a little over a year (and we were both featured in separate episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen on The Food Network).
Following my stint in culinary school and catering, I joined Protein Bar Restaurants in their HQ office and assisted with brand marketing, social media, and catering. At the time, Protein Bar only had three locations and, during my time there, grew to 20 units and three markets. With almost four years of incredible marketing experience under my belt, I decided in late 2016 that the time had come to take the leap and once more indulge my entrepreneurial side.
Immediately after leaving Protein Bar, I began freelancing for several clients on all things digital marketing (social media, content creation, and more). During this time I recognized two things: 1) many brands are looking for an affordable and more authentic partner than a traditional marketing agency when it comes to handling social media and digital marketing and 2) many of the freelancing “job boards” and directories I interacted with were too restrictive. That’s when the idea hit me: creating a collaborative community of freelancers, each specializing in a unique area related to digital marketing, that work for a shared family of clients and provide authentic, engaging digital content for a much lower cost than a traditional agency.
And, at that moment, The Gauge Collective was born. We are now a team of 8 creative freelancers assisting clients in food and beverage, retail, CPG, tech, real estate, and more. We are the #AntiAgency, challenging the traditional digital marketing space and cutting through the noise with powerhouse, individualized content.
Has it been a smooth road?
Is there such a thing as a smooth road? I’ll be honest – I’ve been lucky and privileged to work with amazing people and grow within a connected, professional environment. But that will only get you so far – it takes dedication, grit, sacrifice, and discomfort to turn a vision into a reality. I feel like I face my fears on a regular basis and am constantly faced with instances that challenge me creatively, professionally, and personally. There are days when I’m physically exhausted, burnt out, or intimidated by a certain situation – but that is when I remind myself of the incredible work my team is doing, the opportunity I’ve created for other freelancers to flex their creative muscle, and the impact we are making for our clients every minute of every day.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Gauge Collective is an all-in-one social media, digital marketing, and branding #AntiAgency. We are a team of creative freelancers – each specializing in their own category (creative, SEO, email marketing, photography, videography, graphic design, and more) and supporting an ever-growing list of clients, big and small. I am most proud of the opportunity we have been able to provide to freelancers and our ability to support them in growing their own portfolios and business.
What sets us apart? Aside from the content we create, our ability to truly work alongside our clients as a partner, and not just a third party agency or contractor, is truly unique.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Chicago is an incredible city with opportunities for everyone. We’ve found success in supporting many start-up and small businesses define their digital message in a way that is true to them. I’d say if you are looking to start a company, Chicago is the perfect backdrop – it’s rich with a variety of industries and has an incredible support system of entrepreneurs who are always willing to provide mentorship and guidance for those just starting out.
- Address: 1412 W. Morse Suite 4a Chicago, IL 60626
- Website: www.thegaugecollective.com
- Phone: 773-340-2135
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thegaugecollective
- Facebook: N/A
- Twitter: @gaugecollective
Teddy Heidt, Kimberly Rensburg