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Jane Chance and Kaytee Miller: Two creatives forge their own path, together

by | May 29, 2024

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Jane Chance and Kaytee Miller have been working in the marketing industry for over two decades. As a copy and content strategist (Jane) and art director (Kaytee), both found success within large communications firms. But within the last three years, they’ve each discovered a professional sweet spot—working contractually as a two-woman team. 

Jane and Kaytee have been tackling campaigns as a writer-and-art-director pair since August 2021, when We Are Rosie brought them together to work for IHG Hotels & Resorts. They’ve worked on global promotions, hotel brand launches, and IHG’s partnership marketing with the US Open Tennis Championship, MLS, and Live Nation, to name a few. And they’ve done it all in two different cities and time zones.

“There’s such a value in being able to find a creative partner that you gel with,” Jane says. “She and I are both really motivated and direct. We want to hit that brief first. We don’t want to read it 14 times. We want to rely on each other and our experience to get the job done.”

At the same time, both women recognize the necessity of work-life balance in this creative profession. “That like-mindedness is what makes the day-to-day work so well for us,” Kaytee says. “We can both say, ‘Okay, I’m fitting in the gym today, and then we’ll talk about marketing.’ And we both know we’re going to be better off, because that can keep [our creativity] flowing. That can happen in our world.”

It certainly couldn’t have happened in the agency world. “Not only would we not be able to leave the building to go for a workout, but we wouldn’t have that shared mindset of how we want our lives to be,” Jane says. 

Nowadays, this diligent duo has the flexibility to generate ideas on their own terms. And their versatile working style has opened up creative channels that benefit their clients. “I think that’s why they keep giving us the big projects, because whatever alchemy we’re making together is resonating with their stakeholders,” Jane says. “And at the end of the day, it’s driving revenue for the business.”

“We just feel really lucky that we’ve found each other in the industry like this,” Kaytee adds. They know that in a business dominated by enormous communications agencies, their situation is unique. The pair recently discussed the challenges facing marketers within the traditional agency model as well as the changes they’d like to see in the industry going forward.


What inspired you to choose a career in marketing?

Jane: For me, it was always about my creativity. I wanted a way to express that but also to make an impact. There is some special alchemy that happens when you can bring that creativity to life and really drive change for a brand.

Kaytee: I don’t know if my brain truly knew I was going to be in marketing when I first decided to go this route! I started as that child who wanted to be an artist, and I loved designing. So I came  from a perspective of, “Where could I take that?” And it was going into marketing and advertising. Putting an image to something that someone else can gravitate to and be inspired by.


What have you achieved that would’ve surprised your younger self?

Jane: I think the younger me would be surprised that I’m making such a great living at being a creative and enjoying it so much. I’ve had the pleasure to work on a lot of really great brands, and I’ve found longevity in an industry that’s always changing.

Kaytee: I just feel lucky that I’ve had the path that I did, and I’ve met so many incredible people along the way. It’s impressive—the expansive experiences you can have in this field. The people that you work with, the projects that you touch. 


Why did you choose the agency path?

Jane: What compelled me to want to go into advertising was that I thought it was a sexy thing to do. It was a cool industry. I thought there were cool people there. I wanted to be one of those cool people, so there was a lot of cachet. 

Kaytee: When I entered college, I knew that I didn’t want to just do advertising. I needed to have a design background. So I entered the graphic design program as an art student. And I did advertising courses on the side and worked at the college paper doing print ads. That started me on that trajectory. At the same time, I have an older sibling who worked in advertising in Kansas City. And so, I got to be an intern at one of her ad agencies as a designer, and that set my course. I was like, “This is where I want to be.” 


What motivated you to leave the agency environment?

Jane: I’ve worked at a lot of agencies. I think the joke was, “It’s been about two years, so it’s time for me to polish up my resume.” While I enjoy the vibrancy that comes with advertising schedules and timelines and expectations, I was always looking for something different. Agencies are fairly stodgy in their processes and how they approach things. They seem to have only one, very proprietary way of solving a client’s needs. And I found it a little constricting. 

Kaytee: I was a longevity person in the advertising world. I stayed at my first company for almost 10 years, and my second company for almost 10 years. Then I was laid off from my second job. I had done everything to be in a position where I was valued and an asset to the company, but they couldn’t keep me on. It’s very common for agencies to lose good people because they can’t get the headcount figured out. It’s frustrating.


Is the agency model broken?

Jane: I do think the agency model is broken. It’s that insularness. It’s funny, right? The whole nature of the business is collaborative, yet outside the walls of an agency, there’s very little collaboration in my experience. You don’t see people looking for innovative solutions from other people or other industries. That closed-off feeling is really hurting agencies right now.

Kaytee: I ran the hamster wheel of reaching my goals, always making sure I was where I needed to be to grow and keep going to the next level. And you don’t realize how “on the wheel” you are and how fast-paced your life is. You’re living and breathing that stress. You never have a moment to breathe and relish the work, because you’re never just focused on one thing. There’s always another client to make happy.


If you could change the way agencies operate, what would you change?

Jane: If I could change one thing, it would be the badge of honor that people love to wear for working really hard and really long—but really inefficiently. I think there are so many inefficiencies in the current agency model. And having it be rewarded with, “Attaboy” and “Way to stay till midnight, Jane.” That isn’t sustainable. 

Kaytee: I’m so glad you brought that up. In my early days in New York, there was a constant comparison to those around you. “Did you work past your 40 hours this week?” And you just become part of this cycle of work that you’re always trying to get out and never finishing.


Is there anything that you miss about the agency setup?

Jane: I don’t miss much about the agency environment. Of course, there is something to be said for some in-person, some face-to-face, using a whiteboard together, concepting and collaborating together. I do miss that about agency life.

Kaytee: I miss the people from the agency that I was connected to. Because we have such fast, tight turnarounds on projects, you can become very close to people. You almost have to foster those relationships, because you spend so much time with these people over the years. 


In your current work situation, have you found a happy medium? 

Jane: I think I’m as close as I’m going to get. We Are Rosie provides the best of both worlds. I have control, autonomy, and agency over the decisions that I make, but I also have the stability of having them as my W-2 employer. Mostly, though, it’s because of the teams they’ve curated for me. That is what I miss from the agency world—that relationship-building and ideation together. Kaytee lives on the other side of the country from me, but we still manage to laugh every day, talk every day, and create great work every day. 

Kaytee: We work like we’ve worked in the same office for years. But we don’t get hung up on any social politics that can happen in an office. We just sit down and solve the problem.


What’s the happy medium for the client?

Jane: When we find our happy medium, it leads to a lot of value for the client. It comes in the form of efficiency. 

Kaytee: Yes, a happy creative team produces a good product. We know how to get to that solution that we think will make them happy, but we’re also comfortable enough to push on it. We can say, “Well, wait, should we try something different?” And that’s because we’re comfortable in our work settings and how we work together.


Do you think the industry needs a different way of getting project-based work done for brands?

Jane: I think there just needs to be more options out there for brands to access talent without hiring a whole agency. It’s expensive, and it’s cumbersome. I think brands really want to be more nimble. They just want three, five, seven, 10, or 15 really awesome curated creatives that can come in, do a campaign, become an internal studio, work on business pitches, or whatever they need. 

Kaytee: For marketing experts, I think we need more ability to come up with creative thinking in different spaces. To not be locked at your desk with your phone right next to you, with an account person who can run down the hall and find you in five minutes. To be given the space to come back with creative answers and not have it be so rigidly 9 to 5, from a specific chair in a specific office in a specific town.

Jane: For a lot of brands, just hiring an agency is so 2020. Brands that are progressive, courageous, and pioneering should be looking at other models, because they’re not going to find that same kindred spirit with an agency. 


How did We Are Rosie help you to adapt to life outside of an agency setting?

Kaytee: When I left the agency world, I wanted to work on more one-to-one connections and find smaller touch points. I started doing social media and promotion for a local yoga studio, and I was really enjoying it. But I was missing that creative connection I had at the agency, bouncing ideas off of someone and working collaboratively. So I think that’s what’s so fun about working with Jane on this job [through We Are Rosie]. It’s having that connection point with someone else.

Jane: I don’t know how We Are Rosie creates the secret sauce that makes amazing teams come together. But from my experience, I know they took a lot of time getting to know me when I joined. And I think that that was important for them, trying to suss out a little bit of personality, the whole person that I am, and what I would be bringing to the team. And then in 24 hours, I was already talking to the client. The thorough way that We Are Rosie interviewed and placed me gave me a feeling of empowerment as a freelancer. 

Jennifer Graham Kizer is a features writer and content creator who provides editorial services to print and digital publications, schools, churches, companies and individuals. Her work has appeared in over a dozen national magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Health, TV Guide, Parenting, and others. Find samples of her writing at She can also be found on LinkedIn.

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