About Us

Hi there

We are an independent, creative staffing company home grown in Philadelphia. At blue plate minds, we place creative talent in the advertising and marketing community within the Greater Philadelphia area. When we started out in 2000, the needs of creative and marketing agencies and their employees weren’t being met—these folks were looking for a staffing partner that truly understood the industry. We stepped in to help.

Clients say that we’re a rarity among creative staffing agencies. We’re small enough to deliver outstanding, personalized service—yet large enough to represent the absolute best creative talent in the tri-state area. Great candidates find a home with us, often for the length of their career. Speaking of longevity, we still work with our anchor clients from 2000. Even after 20 years, when clients tell us they hear great things about our boutique agency, it never gets old.

“Melissa and Karen took the time to get to know me, and my talents. They always respond to my emails and don’t avoid my calls. I’m so happy to be working with a small staffing agency where I’m not just another resume.”

Jennifer Patles
Graphic Designer

blue plate minds has been my go-to for over a decade. Whether I’m looking to expand my team or pursue opportunities on my own, they know the Philadelphia market and have been an indispensable resource.”

Christine Sheller
Head of Design/UX, FS Investments


Collaborative and creative in finding solutions, Karen Carroll is an entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, and management. She founded blue plate minds with Melissa Burke in 2000. Having spent her entire career in staffing, Carroll is an expert in fostering existing client relationships and growing new opportunities. In the business of helping people, she thrives when building teams and connecting with clients. Categorized as an evaluator/consultant through the Meyer-Briggs Test and Personality Assessment, Carroll also uses her skills to handle recruiting, marketing, and sales for blue plate minds. A Pennsylvania State University graduate, she lives in the Philadelphia suburbs.


As a people person with a passion for making placements, Melissa Burke has been solving staffing needs for over 25 years. Driven to stay ahead of the curve in a constantly evolving field, this industry veteran is the co-owner of blue plate minds, which she founded with Karen Carroll in 2000. Burke specializes in staffing for creative, administrative, and on-site positions. Her bread and butter lies in the areas of administrative management, client development, start-ups, and training programs. A graduate of West Chester University, she is also a lifelong resident of Chester County, Pennsylvania.

We’re here for you

We know that finding that right candidate, that one talented individual who will join your crew and help you achieve your business objectives is vitally important to you – and we’re here to help!

At blue plate minds, we have helped independent business owners, agencies of all sizes, and large corporations find the talent. After 20+ years of recruiting top talent in the Greater Philadelphia area we have the connections to find your next hire. 

We have experience serving the following industry verticals:

  • Advertising

  • Marketing

  • Financial Services

  • Healthcare

  • Technology

  • Insurance

  • Pharmaceutical

  • Higher Education

  • E-learning

  • Nonprofit

  • Retail

  • Consumer Product Goods

  • E-commerce

  • And more…

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