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Celebrating a Decade of Passion, Partnership, and Progress: LONDONmiddlebury's 10-Year Journey


LONDONmiddlebury Founders Ashley Sandy and Phil Schuman

Ten years ago, I found myself in a role perfect for me: working with the Vermont Council on World Affairs to promote my favorite product, the state of Vermont, to U.S. Department of State Program Officers. It was during this time that I realized I could create my dream job by helping other businesses and organizations effectively brand and market their favorite products, too! With this newfound clarity and timely opportunities, I took the leap and co-founded LONDONmiddlebury with my then colleague, Phil Schuman, in 2014.

As I reflect on the past decade, it's clear that our passion for helping others tell their unique stories, combined with our ability to identify and fill a gap in the market, has paved the way for LONDONmiddlebury's continued growth. My personal journey has been one of out-of-the-gate confidence to extreme survival mode, then overcoming imposter syndrome during periods of growth, and finally finding a steady rhythm while achieving personal milestones like marriage and starting a family. Through this company, I’ve experienced the lowest of lows and the highest of highs (literally, on the roof of Africa). 

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Climbing and summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro with a client, Local Moshi Adventures.
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Our journey began in a cozy 400-square-foot shared office, graciously hosted by the incredible team at White and Burke. In those early days, we focused primarily on marketing strategy, developing campaign plans, analyzing metrics, establishing messaging, and guiding big-picture approaches. While Phil and I had different visions for our entrepreneurial journeys and parted ways early on, it didn’t slow the company’s momentum for growth, and Phil remains a trusted strategic partner today.  

As our client base grew, so did our team and our expertise. Matt was promoted from life partner to business partner in 2016, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without him. We quickly realized the importance of linking strategy and execution under one roof, and thus began our evolution into a full-service agency. From those humble beginnings and a few cross town moves to accommodate our growing team, LONDONmiddlebury has grown into a thriving firm with a team of six passionate professionals in an old mill building on the Winooski River that fosters creativity and collaboration.

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       Our second office (and second home) at 20 Kimball Ave in South Burlington.

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Cleaning up and building out our current office in Winooski.

Along the way, we had the pleasure of welcoming talented individuals who have become an integral part of our success. One thing that's always been important to me is having an in-person team. While we have the pleasure of doing impactful work remotely with our clients around the globe and close to home, we couldn’t do it without our tight-knit team dynamics and relationships. And our team members choose to work with us because we value the power of in-person collaboration and the strong company culture it builds.

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As our team has grown, so too has our ability to achieve a better work-life balance. Gone are the days of burning the midnight oil – a milestone we celebrated when the janitorial staff questioned where we’d been!

Over the years, we evolved to tackle projects from every angle, offering a comprehensive suite of services that includes branding, web design, digital ads, and more. Our 360-degree approach meets our clients where they’re at and considers their communication channels, target audiences, and goals to develop impactful brand messaging, design engaging websites, and craft multifaceted communication strategies. This holistic "Thinkers and Doers" philosophy allows us to combine critical thinking with proactive execution, producing the highest caliber marketing outcomes.

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Our growth and evolution is fueled by the trust and support of our incredible clients. We have the privilege of working with a diverse range of businesses and organizations, from local startups to global enterprises. Each partnership brings new challenges and opportunities, pushing us to continuously refine our skills and expand our offerings to meet their unique needs.

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One of the most significant milestones in our journey was navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the face of a rapidly changing landscape, we were able to adapt quickly, leveraging our expertise in digital marketing to help our clients pivot and thrive. This experience reinforced the importance of our agile, client-centric approach and solidified our commitment to being a reliable partner in times of uncertainty.

As we celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we're proud of the strong relationships we've built with our clients and the impact we've made in their success. Our clients often remark on the depth and breadth of our services, with one noting, "People just think of branding and promo material when they think of a firm, but LONDONmiddlebury does so much more than that. While designing and executing the full marketing ecosystem, they explain the mechanics, operations, and logistics behind it all. They will tell you what you need before you even realize you need it, fostering valuable, long-term partnerships."

This approach has earned us trust with our clients, with one graciously sharing, "The LONDONmiddlebury team is a dream to work with. They take the time to truly understand your business and brand goals first. They also understand that pivots happen, and take a long-term mindset to brand partnerships."

Looking ahead, I’m excited to leverage our newly acquired WBENC certification to form even larger-scale relationships while continuing to nurture the careers of those new to the marketing industry. We remain committed to empowering small businesses by making professional marketing accessible through grants and subsidized services. As consumer behaviors evolve, we're ready to help our clients navigate the changing landscape and connect with their customers in meaningful ways.

To aspiring young entrepreneurs looking to start their own marketing firm, my advice is simple: it's not just about the marketing tactics. It's about the ecosystem and everyone and everything that's a part of it. Understand that purchase decisions are becoming social decisions, and companies are losing control of the conversation. Your role is to help your clients deliver 'social decisions' and the 'opinions of others.' Become an expert in this area to set yourself apart from other firms.

If you're looking for a marketing partner who is passionate, dedicated, and committed to your success, we'd love to chat. Let's work together to bring your vision to life and create marketing that makes a difference.

Thank you for being a part of our story. Here's to the next 10 years of passion, partnership, and progress!


With gratitude,


Founder and CEO, LONDONmiddlebury