Craig Evans Creative
NASHVILLE SINCE 2015
Craig Evans spent a decade splitting time between New York and Los Angeles, doing creative direction at the top agencies and working on campaigns for Nike, ESPN, MasterCard, Miller Lite, and more. Now, he’s returning to his Southern roots, working as Executive Creative Director at a creative agency in Nashville and stretching his entrepreneurial legs in some really powerful ways on the side.
Craig grew up in Charlotte, NC, and attended Sewanee: The University College of the South for undergrad. After six years fly fishing and snowboarding across Colorado and Wyoming, he returned to school, with creative pursuits in mind. He studied in Atlanta at The Portfolio Center, where he was in their Advertising and Design Program.
His post-graduate career sounds like an advertising dream. Craig worked on massive campaigns for giant global brands at several top agencies, including the renowned Wieden+Kennedy. He’s won an Emmy, and has created two Super Bowl commercials. He’s also had more personal moments, like creating a couple of Sportscenter ads, something that inspired him in high school.
While living in LA, he and his wife Megan, who’s originally from Charleston, began to work on an idea. “I wanted to connect back to the South – I didn’t realize I was gonna actually be moving to Nashville,” Craig shares. “And I also wanted to help out foster kids.”
Together, they created Y’allsome, a clothing and lifestyle brand featuring fun phrases and designs that embody southern culture. As with any business, it came with challenges. The two ran the company out of their basement, splitting duties to make it run smoothly. “As a creative person and working at these big ad agencies, I never had to deal with any logistics,” Craig shares. “My whole job was just to come up with the fun ideas. Once I came up with the idea, I had a whole team of people.”
With Y’allsome, the variety of demands increased. However, it took off in a big way. In just three and a half years, it received national recognition from the Today Show, Men’s Journal, and Southern Living, and raised $55,000 to help foster kids.
While running Y’allsome, Craig was offered a role in Music City. “I got connected with a guy here in Nashville and he wanted me to help him start his own creative agency here,” Craig says. “It was kind of like, maybe this is a sign, this is the way to move back to the South.” Craig took the job, Executive Creative Director at 3 Sons, and he and Megan, a stylist, replanted their Southern roots.
Now, they’re focused on a new challenge. “My wife has MS, she’s had it for 14 years,” Craig says. “We have a slogan that we use, it’s F– MS.” Though there are so many things that are blindly positive slogans, Craig and Megan have felt frustrated by the blithe sunniness and the toxic nature of Instagram’s seemingly flaw-free feed. They’re eyeing their own brand, based around the concept of just keeping things a bit more real. “Of course it would be encouraging to people, but it wouldn’t be afraid to be like, this f––ing sucks,” Craig says.
“It’s kind of this juxtaposition,” Craig continues. “She has this styling business where she personal shops for people and she’s usually dressed pretty stylish. She didn’t even tell a lot of people about her MS, ‘cause she didn’t want people to have any negative connotations, or think that she was lacking or anything like that. But recently she was chosen as a woman to watch by the news station here, so they did profiles of eight women, and they chose her because of her styling business and because of Y’allsome, because she does both.” The interview came at a time when Megan’s MS symptoms were exacerbated, and the full impressiveness of how capable she is despite her struggles was made clear. “As you can imagine, the meatier story was like, oh wow, you’re doing all this and you’re sitting here and you can’t feel your legs from your MS,” Craig says.
With FMS, Craig and Megan put the struggles and the successes out there in equal measure. “It’s showing people that there’s sh–– you have to go through,” Craig says. “Not every day is gonna be good. Some days my wife looks great, you’d never know, and then there’s other days when she wakes up and there’s a thing of pills she has to take or she’s getting an IV of steroids. It’s not trying to be negative about it, just trying to be more real about it.” It’s that attitude that makes the pair so impressive: an ability to connect with others and do incredible work through the realness, not in spite of it.