On June 3, I was privileged to accept an honorary degree at commencement from the School of Advertising Art. The administration and faculty at this fine college have become my friends over the years and I'm a proud supporter of what they are doing. I'm excited to see what the future holds as they reopen their doors next fall under a new name: The Modern College of Design.Read More
2018 marks 20 years of marriage to my best friend. We knew we needed to do something big.Read More
Talk to anyone who frequents The Roosevelt Coffeeshop in Columbus, Ohio and they'll tell you what a great guy Kenny Sipes is and how they love the mission of his shop. His nonprofit coffeehouse has become a magnetic hub for people looking for community, good coffee and to do a little good in the process. The Roosevelt is fueled to give back by supporting three human-centered, justice-driven issues: providing clean water, fighting hunger and abolishing human trafficking.
Kenny's story continues to gain coffee clout and the Roosevelt has become a community darling in the social enterprise space. That reality is a far cry from the 40-day stint he spent in rehab as a teenager, the years growing an urban record store, and his beloved service as a youth pastor to middle school kids. Even as he employed the hard work and discipline he first saw his father model, he also recognized his gift of being a connector of people. For Kenny, an ideal way to be faithful to what he was being called to do was open a communal space centered around coffee so he could pour into people and purpose in life-changing ways.
Kenny is an open book on this episode, sharing his unconventional road to entrepreneurship as well as his next moves with The Roosevelt -- including one rather lofty aspiration (we hope you're listing Jeremy Cowart).
Emrich Office is perhaps best summarized as the artistic vision of Josh and Katie Emrich that is made full with their four kids and one rather spectacular basement studio in Indianapolis. It's also a long way from Colorado and the design mountains Josh was trying to scale just a handful of years ago. But as Josh explains, summits can look awfully good from the ground, but from the summit, base camp has a genuine appeal, too.
Josh and Katie share their journey of slogging through a recession-era climate in attempt to go big, and keep the gears cranking. What they ultimately found was a greater reward in embracing the appeal of small — both with regard to their business size and those of family-owned businesses that comprise their client list.
We learn that behind a great designer is... another great designer. And that's what makes this duo work so well in running a successful design business and designing a deliberate way of life for their not-so-small family.
Insight, wisdom and lessons learned abound in this third installment of our "Indy or Bust" series featuring Indiana-based creatives.
When two longtime friends and artists decide to finally collaborate, naturally they land on... one-inch buttons?
As quirky as it sounds, Drew Hill and Bob Ewing gravitated to this tiny canvas with much a bigger purpose in mind. What if they could get other artists to submit designs? What if by buying a series of rad buttons from Inch x Inch, patrons would also be supporting arts education (which is continuously in danger) and fuel a future generation of artists? What if their own idea about collaboration turned into an organization that was fully reliant on collaboration and committed partners?
Drew and Bob talk about the importance of side projects, how theirs came about and ensuring it wasn't all about them, and how something as ridiculously inconsequential as one-inch buttons is actually making a tangible difference.
Want to get better? Want to develop your talent or birth a new one that's been waiting to emerge? Then show up every day and do the work. That's exactly what Bob Ewing did for more than 500 days with his self-described "daily lettering project." Each day Bob would draw a new word and post it to social media — not for the likes and love, but mainly for the discipline.
That discipline has paid dividends for Bob as a designer. It's led to new opportunities, new collaborations, and deeper connection to community — something that's every bit as essential to his growth as a designer alongside his markers or stylus.
Bob shares his journey of perseverance and how, as a creative, he's had the opportunity to design a path for himself — as well as one that others can follow on and travel as well.
Bob is the first in a series of Indiana-based artists we're featuring on our INDY OR BUST road trip.
A new brewery in Alberta, Canada called The Growlery Beer Co. A Growlery is defined as a place of refuge for the ill humoured and out of sorts. The brewery will be a place where people can come to disconnect from outside distractions and get back to engaging in conversation with people you may not know but have alot in common with, like a passion for locally crafted indepedent beer.
A grizzly bear is the animal that best suits people when they are “ill humoured”, but also ties into the owners love of the outdoors and local national parks. They wanted a vintage feel, but with a modern look. Also, Alberta is the home of some of the best barley in the world and coming from an agricultural family, they feel very close to the local growers.
A move. A pivot. A layoff. And a whole lot of pursuit into the unknown.
For many of us, this kind of change, disruption and lack of clarity can be unnerving. For Ben and Beth, they are choosing to see an alternative plan for how best to approach work and the art of living a purposeful life.
Becoming familiar with their story, one could easily be reminded of the lyrics to Divine Intervention, the opening track to Matthew Sweet's classic 1991 album, Girlfriend.
I don't know where
I'm gonna live
Don't know if I'll find a place
I'd have to think about it some
And that I do not wish to face
I guess that I'm counting on his
Hopeful, heartbreaking, funny, honest and real — these are perhaps the best ways in which to illustrate a conversation with two big-hearted creatives that are pursuing a path less traveled with no regrets.
“I believe that if we can teach little girls to dream that they'll be the force that changes the world.
But more than that; I believe that if we can teach broken women to dream like little girls again, it will be a force the world is yet to see.”
AMBER RUNYON — Founder, Legacy, and Eleventh Candle Co.
Changing the world can be daunting and overwhelming. So how do you do it? How do you seek justice without being crushed by the injustices around you?
According to Amber — one small act at a time. Oh, and start a candle business while you're at it.
This former hospice nurse will tell you that running a nonprofit organization that owns a for-profit business isn't easy. She'll say she never set out to be an entrepreneur. She'll admit to not even being a fan of scented candles — the kind her company, the Eleventh Candle. Co., makes. But in the next breath she'll tell you she couldn't sit on the sideline and do nothing as she saw women in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio — and young girls in Ethiopia — being trafficked; bought and sold like a commodity. It's exactly how to bring light into darkness — and the powerful metaphor isn't lost on her either.
Amber's story is deeply personal while also being selfless. She's employing women who desperately want to dream again and believe in life's possibilities. She's also giving hope and refuge to little girls a continent away. And she's doing it with some wax, a wick, and a little redemptive storytelling.
Amber epitomizes what it means to change the world with small steps. In time, they add up to an impact that far exceeds expectations.
“(Regarding my injury) there's a point where insurance believes you've plateaued and you're not going to make any more progress. I wasn't ready to accept that. I wanted to do more.
I asked my doctors about other types of therapy, what else might be out there for me. And that's when I was at the right place at the right time. I was the perfect candidate.”
—IAN BURKHART, Founder, Ian Burkhart Foundation and first-ever neurobridge implant patient
Ian remembers being a typical, jovial college student having fun on vacation at the beach with his friends. He also recalls the moment when he dove into the ocean waves off of the Carolina coast and hit a sandbar—that very moment when everything changed.
Ian learned shortly thereafter that he had suffered a devastating spinal cord injury. His diagnosis: paralyzed for life. At age 19, Ian's life was forever altered.
Ian shares his story that is equal parts heartbreaking, heartwarming and, truth be told, literally mind altering. Ian is the first person ever to undergo an elective brain surgery to implant a device that can read his brain waves in effort to help him regain movement. It is here—where life and science intersect, and joy and pain coexist—that Ian speaks with a steady cadence of hope and reason borne of a tragic accident.
We return to the site of his first internship, Brainstorm Media, which was the type of place he could envision a career after college. Ian gives us the encouragement to be optimistic and inspired, especially when a new set of aspirations are ready to replace those best laid plans.