Creativity and Authenticity at KERTIS Creative

Amber Garvey, VP at KERTIS Creative, recently sat down with me to talk about her unique agency and the services it provides to a wide array of clients. Read on to learn more about Amber’s path and about the exciting opportunities available now at KERTIS creative.

  • How did you get started in your career? Share a bit about your career journey and how you came to KERTIS.

I started my Freshman year at Indiana in 2000. I was initially interested in anthropology and archaeology, which segued into art history, and then into education. I graduated in 2004 with a BS in Visual Art education, inspired by an art teacher I had in high school who really understood how to reach students on a personal level and illuminate creative environments and processes. Though I was interested in teaching in the formal school environment, I found my way into museum education, exposing me to the idea and potential of informal learning environments. The Education school at IU prepares you to manage curriculums and classrooms, and those problem-solving skills translated well into project management roles. From museum education, I transitioned to managing an art gallery and indie record label in a creative space in Louisville, Kentucky. I grew to know a handful of folks who were developing work in authentic advertising using narrative-based film. I had no knowledge of the advertising industry, or film production work, but I came on as a project manager and producer, learning to research and develop stories. I have been with the company for 10 years, now managing and leading the team as Vice President. A willingness to explore different roles and a deep sense of curiosity have propelled my professional career and personal learnings – and continues to this day.

  • Tell me about KERTIS Creative.

KERTIS is an independent creative agency in Louisville, Kentucky, founded on the belief that human connection inspires action. We are committed to amplifying the stories of people, organizations, and brands that make our communities more livable, equitable, and interesting. We are in our 13th year, and have a team of 20+ creative folks – strategists, filmmakers, photographers, writers, designers, and curious people. Our clients include large foundations, small non-profit organizations and businesses, and values-aligned corporations.

People are affected by what we create as marketers, so we aim for accuracy and honesty over perfection. We believe that good design and resonant stories help make the world less polarized. The art of storytelling is built on imagination — not defined by fiction, but through the empathy that fills the gaps of inexperience and broadens our awareness, our perception, and our capability to be present within a narrative. Thoughtful and artistic work is a valuable and elemental part of every community. It refocuses, energizes, and informs citizens and consumers. If we can make things for folks that agree with that feeling then we collectively have a chance to move the needle.

Our team is varied, selective, strategic, and creative. We’ve purposely built a team based on the willingness or potential we see in folks OVER the direct skill they have. We are highly collaborative and energized by the combination of our individual and collective interests. We work hard, but we work to take care of ourselves and each other. We have worked to build a robust benefits plan for our team, but we also spend time each week to celebrate our wins, and time each year to retreat and set big plans and goals. We are purposefully transparent and put a ton of effort into supporting our people.

  • Tell me about the positions you’re hiring for.

We are excited to have two full-time positions open now, and two internship spots open this summer. We are looking for another Creative Content Producer, someone with an innate talent for storytelling and the ability to build content and manage projects in a creative and compelling way. We are also hiring for a new role, a PR/Marketing Manager, someone to someone to develop PR opportunities for KERTIS and our clients, and manage the brand of KERTIS (something we have been too heads down to focus on in the past, but are excited to do more of).

Our two paid internship opportunities are open for this summer. We are flexible on start and stop dates. We are looking for a Graphic Design Intern, and a Videographer & Editor Intern. Our interns are fully part of our team and work on a variety of projects. We are excited to have our interns back after a two-year covid hiatus.

To read about all of these positions, please visit www.kertiscreative.com/careers

  • How can students get connected with KERTIS? Any advice for students applying?

We love to connect with students. Most of us at KERTIS have non-traditional pathways that led us to work at a creative agency, and every day is a ‘practice’ in the work that we are aiming to do. There is no guidebook on the shelves, so we do a lot to offer support and knowledge share with those interested in pursuing this type of work. We are responsive and open if you give us a call or shoot us a message, and we can Zoom or get a coffee, etc. For those applying, we are truly open to any background, so please let us know how you think your skills and experiences might be a right fit for the role, even if it doesn’t seem like a perfect match. We might also find a spot for you down the road when another position is available, or connect you to another group that we might know of. You can reach us at sayhello@kertiscreative.com or directly to me at amber@kertiscreative.com.

Go Hoosiers!

By Natalie Techentin
Natalie Techentin Associate Director, Employer Relations