Gumball Dynasty

Cal McAllister
4 min readMar 20


At long last, we’re excited to introduce Gumball Dynasty.

Oversimplified, we started Paper Crane Factory with the business model of providing a reduced-cost billable hour, eliminating the traditional profit margin, and replacing it with an equity stake in one form or another. This way, we become partners, they are no longer “clients,” and we are both invested in success. It’s the only way we work. We knew one of the challenges would be turning down opportunities for companies like Amazon, as Mr. Bezos likely wouldn’t part with his founder’s shares. That proved to be true.

We still get regular inquiries from established companies looking for creative services, whether it be strategic planning or campaign development or straight studio work. Though that work doesn’t fit in our model, it still needs to get done.

After several months of brainstorming and partner-seeking, today we announce the launch of Gumball Dynasty — a global network of more than 500 active freelancers, in partnership with Uncompany out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Through rolodex mashups and active recruiting, it’s growing every day.

Even more importantly to us, and at the risk of burying the lead, we’re excited to announce reuniting with Dee Dee Jones, who joins us as Director of Creative Operations. Dee Dee ran project management with us in the old days at Wexley School for Girls, and takes the lead at Gumball Dynasty, putting teams together from literally across the world to tackle creative projects for companies gigantic and not so gigantic.

Dee Dee Jones, Director of Creative Operations

What does this mean for you?

If you’re a freelancer in almost any capacity, we’d love to be a resource for pairing you with work. If you’re in the “I want people to get this done” role at your company, whether it’s an agency that needs a deeper creative bench, or a client with more work than the internal or external teams can handle, we’ll build a team for you and get the project done quickly. We’d love to get on the approved vendor list and start helping immediately.

The primary focus of Gumball Dynasty is to be a lead resource in support of the gig economy.

The current creative staffing model leaves a lot to be desired, to say the least. The smoke and mirrors of some creative staffing companies often hammer down rates of the freelancer, while extraordinarily marking up those billable hours. Sometimes more than 100%. Gumball Dynasty is built on fee transparency, and assigns teams to opportunities driven by set budgets, not the other way around.

Finally, there’s no way we could do this without the support, guidance and mentorship of our East Coast brethren, Uncompany. It’s another reunion of sorts, as we worked with CEO Maari Casey back when she was making big waves as an accomplished art director right out of ad school. Man, times have changed. She gets all the credit for seeing the gig economy was growing, even pre-pandemic.

More from Maari:

“We are super excited to work with Paper Crane Factory. Uncompany was built to make flexible working work better for our clients and their partners. We believe to build great, innovative companies we have to build them to move quickly — to scale up and down as needed and deliver on the need consistently. Uncompany connects our clients with the best of the best talent through a simplified process and software-enabled community to make unconventional working more workable.

At Unco we often review and vet our clients in the same way we do our talent, looking to align ourselves with clients that share our values. Paper Crane’s approach to work and collaboration fits our thinking around how Open Talent will shape our teams and businesses. When we all have shared value in seeing the work we do succeed, the work is better, the relationships we have are stronger. We are excited to work with a partner like Paper Crane Factory because they share this innovative thinking.”

Here here! While we can’t wait to show more of what we do, we can’t wait even more (is that a thing?) to hear from you and add a name to our talent roster, or to hear from you if you need talent to complete a project.

We’re Gumball because the people we work with are exciting and everyone likes popping open a prize, and Dynasty because not only do we have a fantasy team of talent with experience from agencies with truly Hall of Fame talent, but we think this is going to be great for a long, long time.

Let’s make something cool together.

We’re on the internet here:
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Cal McAllister

Thrilled founder of The Paper Crane Factory. Formerly of Wexley School for Girls. Proud Detroit native, OSU alum and Seattle resident.