Artisan Believes In Inspiring Better Lives

Discover, Science of Story September 18, 2016

Artisan Believes In Inspiring Better Lives

Andy Swindler
Conscious businesses prosper through purpose-driven people-first practices, but many still struggle to tell their courageous stories. I help connect the dots.

During our first discussions with Bejan Douraghy, founder of the innovative creative staffing agency called Artisan, we were impressed with his passion for improving the lives of the artists his company represents. We encouraged him to consider his company’s deeper purpose and so, the next time we met, he told me their Why was inspiring better lives. Let me tell you exactly how he does just that.


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From the beginning, Bejan and his team have shown a deep commitment to caring for their talent. When Bejan started his agency in 1988, it was one of the first creative staffing agencies dedicated to helping freelance graphic designers, art directors, photographers and illustrator find employment in large firms. These jobs provided them with a stable paycheck as well as health and retirement benefits.

Within a few years, Bejan could see that the marketplace was rapidly moving toward a freelance economy and whisking freelance artists into the world of today where 34% of the entire workforce is made up of freelance contractors. And while it’s true that freelancers enjoy flexibility in their work schedule and independence, those freedoms come at a cost for those who no longer have health or retirement benefits. Bejan realized that losing stability and benefits put his artists at risk.

So once again Bejan stepped out ahead of the industry and did something for artists that no one else was doing. He provided a much needed safety net. Although his goal has always been to attract and retain the best talent, Bejan knew that freelance work can be isolating and he wanted his artists to feel that they were part of his team and to receive the same benefits his employees received.

Long before the government got involved with healthcare, Artisan began offering health benefits directly to its talent. While they were at it, they added benefits like life insurance, a 401(k) plan and profit sharing, which was pretty much unheard of in the industry. Bejan’s innovative ideas have made it possible for his freelance talent to gain access to benefits that had historically only been found in salaried positions in the corporate world.

Artisan has effectively bridged the gap between the new world of independent flexible workforce empowered by technology and not constrained by distance, with the security and convenience of the traditional corporate job. There are many who try to copy this model, but none has succeeded.

If you’re wondering whether this dedication to supporting their artistic talent has affected Artisan’s success, take a look some of the accolades they’ve received. Artisan consistently wins industry awards and is ranked amongst the top 2% staffing agencies in the US. And they’ve expanded into eight locations nationwide, representing a multitude of designers, art directors, writers, web designers and developers, multimedia producers, videographers and basically anything it the digital, creative and marketing space.

Now you can see why inspiring better lives is such a good fit for Artisan. We’ve told many stories about companies that have found their Why and are using their higher purpose to ignite and share their passions to create value for all their stakeholders. All great stories. All great companies. But Artisan puts a different spin on their story because their stakeholders include thousands of skilled professionals in a wide variety of fields scattered throughout the nation. These artists could easily have been ignored or forgotten, but because of Bejan and Artisan’s passion for inspiring better lives, they aren’t.

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