Photos by Bryon and Kellie McCartney

From Skyscrapers to Mountains to Palm Trees

When they first met in early 1999, Kellie Nolan was a Client Service Manager for Gibbs & Soell Public Relations and Bryon McCartney was the Creative Director of Unilever North America's in-house 'online branding lab', Project 9X. Meeting for the first time at Café Zinc in Chicago's Wrigleyville neighborhood, the couple had no idea how their lives would change over the coming months and years.

By the fall of 2000, Bryon and Kellie had pulled up their roots and left Chicago for an opportunity to live and work in Zürich, Switzerland. Kellie became Managing Director of Gibbs & Soell's European headquarters, and Bryon joined BBDO Worldwide's Swiss Partner–the Wirz Gruppe–as COO and Creative Director. The experience presented all of the obvious challenges of adapting to a foreign culture, learning a new language, and working in a multicultural business environment. It also enabled them to individually excel in their respective professions, expand their skills, and work with some wonderfully talented and fun people.  

In 2003, Bryon took the first leap and set up a boutique creative services agency providing visual storytelling to global clients in the power and manufacturing industries. In 2007, Kellie took the next bold step and joined Bryon to expand on his capabilities and establish a more full-service marketing communications firm. Combining Bryon's creative branding, design, and internet marketing expertise with Kellie's strategic PR and business communications experience, they took on the challenges of setting up a successful business in a foreign country. Initially, they focused on developing story-based communications that supported and energized brands. 

Fast-forward to today, where the story continues in Southwest Florida. Bryon and Kellie returned to the U.S. in 2012 to be closer to family. They established Be Brilliant! Marketing (Brilliant Lens LLC) to continue exploring their passion for creating branding and marketing solutions that deliver excellent results and make clients happy.