The Purpose:

We Are What We Create

BT Foundry is the fully-realized vision of Brass Tacks Collective. In 2015, our founder launched an agency meant to serve two audiences: those struggling to break into the ad industry and those with smaller budgets who needed great work to thrive.

Our first cohort began in June of 2017, back when our programs were only 1 year long. In that first year, seven apprentices served 67 clients, most of which were nonprofits and startups. Since then, we’ve taken 22 apprentices through our programs and on to their careers and served over 150 clients.

We decided in 2020 that our model made the most sense in two parts—the nonprofit Foundry and the for profit Collective—making way for the type of opportunities that can guarantee our mission. Oh yes, we should tell you our mission:

We see a future where fresh talent is coveted, new perspectives are celebrated, and lasting relationships are forged through great work. We intend to make “Brass Tacks” synonymous with high-quality, intentional creative professionals.

As you explore the site, you’ll learn all about how and what we do, but this is our why. Thanks for reading about it. We kind of love it.



No two clients are the same. The approach will change. This is the way.


There is no one answer. Chase inspiration. Uncover options.  


Every project is a mutual trust-fall. Honesty is paramount. Trust is earned.


Fire fuels our work. Spark gets us out of bed. We set goals high.  


Being fair, just, and impartial is in our DNA. Maybe we can’t change the world. We still have to try.


We ask to listen. We listen to understand. We understand so we never assume. 

Brass Tacks Bulletin Board

The Creator Awards is an annual competition by our fantastic friends at WeWork. Brass Tacks was one of a handful of winners at the first ever Austin Regional competition in June, 2017, walking away with a cool $72,000. With that grant, we were able to purchase computers, make our first full-time hire, and pay workshop instructors to cover more expansive topics. Read all about it here!

We were so surprised and honored to see our story in D Magazine! Assuming the story was about WeWork, we expected the bulk of the interview would be edited to a simple paragraph. Instead, they beautifully captured what Brass Tacks is all about. Get the scoop here!

Keisha Whaley is the founder of Brass Tacks Collective, a hybrid ad agency in Dallas that offers a year-long, paid advertising apprenticeship delivering quality creative work for organizations with high needs and low budgets. The agency was built to open doors to the community, develop strong job candidates, and help support the growth of local initiatives. Read more here!

One of our favorite things about Keisha is that she never intended to start her own business. An “accidental entrepreneur” as we like to call them here at Kelly CPA. Many great ideas are born out of frustration. If an issue doesn’t work itself out naturally, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to DIY. Read on to hear how this problem solver is growing her one-of-a-kind agency. Read more here!

keisha whaley – founder, owner, and operator of brass tacks collective – talks about her journey from working with agencies, to quitting and freelancing, to starting her own teaching agency. her story is inspiring, her knowledge vast, and her drive unstoppable as she blazes a path none have taken before; running an agency that provides options for non-profits on tighter budgets while simultaneously giving apprentices instruction and real world experience. thanks for coming on the show keisha! Watch the interview here!


Tell us what you really think.

4222 Main St
Dallas, TX 75226