Carrie Rengers

Hexcode Designs moves to Center Point building downtown

Hexcode Designs owners Chrissy Robben and Marisa VanSkiver have gone from not liking each other to starting a business together to now opening their first office.

They’re in 700 square feet at the Center Point building at the southeast corner of Douglas and Main.

“We’ve joked that we’ll be the only owners of a company that share a corner office,” VanSkiver says, “… because otherwise we’d just be in each other’s office all the time.”

Hexcode is a branding firm that offers services for everything from business cards to websites, social media to print pieces and store signage.

“We offer all of it to … keep your brand protected,” Robben says.

The term hexcode means the “code that you tell the browser to display the color of your website,” VanSkiver says. “It was a good marriage of what we do.”

That’s because Robben is a designer who loves pink, from the various shades of pink hair she sports to the pink walls she chose for the office.

VanSkiver, a web developer, loves purple and blue, from the purple in her hair to the blue walls she chose for some other walls in the office.

The colors are visible from the glass front of their new space.

“The building’s mostly engineers, so they’re going to get scared, probably,” VanSkiver says.

Stephanie Wise of John T. Arnold Associates, which is also in the building, handled the deal.

It was Wise who guided Robben and VanSkiver into a space that will fit their company’s long-term needs. They’re looking at hiring at least by early in the new year.

Robben and Van Skiver met at another company and separately began freelancing, almost as hobbies, while still there.

They then began doing projects where they needed each other’s help, and they decided to partner.

In October, they purchased B2H Marketing Group, formerly KC Creative Advertising, a company where Robben once worked.

“That’s where it kind of went from hobby to more real,” VanSkiver says. “I never thought that freelancing would turn into owning a company. My dreams were small.”

She says she and Robben specialize in finding what makes other companies special and then making sure their branding translates that.

“Marketing has become so personalized,” VanSkiver says. “People want to know who they’re working with.”

Robben says they “constantly research” algorithms for how to get their clients the most attention online.

“A lot of people get really focused on being the number one search result on Google,” VanSkiver says.

She says they sometimes think that “if I just give you two weeks and a lot of money” it’ll happen.

“You used to be able to game that system,” Van Skiver says.

These days, she says she and Robben counsel clients on growing more like Hexcode has.

“As long as you’re putting out good content, and you’re answering your customers’ questions, it’ll kind of come organically. It’s just a longer strategy.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers