Newcomer Long brings creative instincts to branding firm JLB
Jordan Long has handled publicity for the eccentric fashion designer Betsy Johnson, contributed her musings to a plethora of local publications and devoted countless weekends to her “picking” obsession that helps curate an antique booth at Gaslamp Antiques in Nashville.
Now, the Williamson County native is channeling those creative instincts at JLB, the branding firm that’s had roots in downtown Franklin for the past 10 years. Since January, Long has acted as the company’s full-time client liaison and the community mouthpiece for JLB – the one who’s with each business or individual from start to finish.
“JLB needed a person to be its communication channel, to handle requests and walk through each step with clients,” Long said. “In the past, Julian [Bibb, owner] hired me to do freelance writing work for publications like Southern Exposure Magazine and The Nashville Scene. He knew I was creative and had a high level of organization, so when the job opened up, I was thrilled to be a consideration.”
When Julian Bibb IV – whose family has had a long-time presence in the Franklin community – launched the company in 2004, he envisioned a one-stop shop for integrated communications aid. Today, JLB offers web and logo design services, collateral material development, email marketing and more. But Bibb didn’t hire Long for her design skills – he brought her on board because of her communications background and journalistic instincts.
“I’ve always been a creative person, but Mary [Plummer, the team’s lead developer] has begun to teach me how to code and the technical side of the job so that I can help build and maintain certain website components,” she said. “Julian approached me because he saw a need for a more structured and linear communication line, both internally and externally. It’s perfect because whatever I’ve done, I’ve always wanted to communicate on a professional level with people.”
JLB has more than 50 clients – ranging from Star Physical Therapy and the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County to Hard Bargain Association and Franklin Synergy Bank – on an annual basis, usually in rotating stages. If Jordan is the company-appointed “Jane of all trades,” then Vice President Micah Jones is the “maestro,” the one who makes the brand come to life. He’s been with JLB for nearly eight years and knows the company’s mission, inside and out.
Long said he’s the one that continues to mold and maintain the firm’s philosophy through his work.
“We have many corporate clients who don’t want to be seen that way. We do a good job of taking businesses, large and small, and changing a previous perception,” she said. “Micah is so good at his job because at the end of the day, he creates a perfect balance between executing something he’s proud of and creating the look the client is aiming for.”
She’s only been with JLB for a few months, but Long said she already sees a palpable affinity for the company’s six employees to hyper-local clients. She contributes it to both to the employees’ backgrounds – nearly all were born and bred in Williamson County – and the familial environment that Bibb established from the get-go.
“We love Franklin because it represents us. This is a very relaxed, creative space that fosters a collaborative environment. Julian made a point to create it that way,” she said. “It extends to our people too. Julian’s wife, Debra, keeps our books and Stacey [Perry, JLB’s Project Manager] and I have history from Brentwood Academy. Everyone I work with has quickly become so very important to me and I think that translates into the work we do.”
But what Long said really keeps the JLB motor running is its backbone and founder, Bibb.
“I really respect him as a boss,” she said. “Julian has built an honest reputation for our company, and he’s a very professional and fair man. I think that’s a huge thing, and that people recognize the importance in that. That’s what sets us apart.”
For more information about JLB and its employees, go to www.jlbworks.com or visit its location at 223 Fourth Avenue North in downtown Franklin.
Posted on: 3/26/2013