JOY VENTURE: Amber Runyon on bringing light into the darkness

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.

“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. 

JOY VENTURE: Ian Burkhart on finding joy after tragedy

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.  

“(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

JOY VENTURE: Mark Henson on losing that spark—and finding it again

“I felt like every conversation with a mentor on another business person came back to ‘I don't know what I want to be when I grow up’ and I didn't like that because I knew for the longest time—this is it. I love what I do and want to do it forever... and then I didn't. And that was weird.”

MARK HENSON, Founder of sparkspace & author of Ordinary Super Powers


Anyone who knows Mark would likely agree that he's one of the more upbeat and positive people you'll ever meet—and as the founder and creative force behind sparkspace, he's running one of the coolest places on the planet for creative inspiration, personal development and team building. 

And that's all Mark wanted to do. Run a business just like that.

Until he didn't. 

Mark opens up about what happens when you lose that spark for the thing you love, how depression can still get its grips on the optimist, and how figuring out what you're good at—and not simply passionate about—is the key to unleashing your ordinary super powers. This is a story of rediscovery and finding that spark again to do your best work—that stuff you were meant to do.

We also discover some interesting back history on Mark as he reveals tidbits about his life as as Top 40 radio disc jockey in middle America, with a not-so-middle-America on-air persona. 

Slagle Design wins five awards at Creative Best 2017


Last night Slagle Design collected FIVE trophies at CSCA’s annual Creative Best awards. 

Four judges from around the country chose our work as some of the best in Central Ohio in the categories of Identity, Packaging and Print. 

And the winners are: 

Munch Rights: Identity & Packaging Categories (see the work here)

Black Radish Creamery: Identity Category (see the work here)

Capital University Presidential Inauguration Invitation: Print Category (see the work here)

Backroom Coffee Roasters: Packaging Category (see the work here)

(Pictured L to R) Jeremy Slagle, Becky Slagle, Christine Myers, Casey Carmell

(Pictured L to R) Jeremy Slagle, Becky Slagle, Christine Myers, Casey Carmell

The event was one of the best in years — great attendance from the creative community and very well promoted and planned. The evening went off without a hitch. 

Thanks to this year's co-presidents, volunteers and Creative Best planners for their hard work and dedication to the Columbus creative community. 

Slagle Design is proud to be a part of the Columbus creative scene and organizations like CSCA are at the forefront of keeping us so tightly connected. 

Looking forward to what next year brings!


Slagle Design is proud to be part of Camp Click—a photography program for urban youth that provides the resources, education, and mentorship. So far it's off to a great start with the first group of young creatives attending the camp. Campers showed up ready to learn, execute, and create their own shots thanks to Midwest Photo who donated the cameras.

Read more about what Camp Click is all about HERE.

CSCA | Louise Fili

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We can't wait to hear design legend, Louise Fili, speak this Thursday, October 19! Louise is known for her passions for good food, beautiful lettering and classic Italian craftsmanship that have made her “the Envy of Every Designer.” She has been a huge inspiration for Slagle Design over the years.

See you there Columbus creatives!

JOY VENTURE: Chris Bishop on bikes, brews & the things that move you

"I never worked in a bike shop until I owned one. My first day on the job I was reporting to myself. Sometimes we fear what we don't know but forget to celebrate or praise what we do know. There's this really awesome saying: we fail at the margins of our experience. When we do, great. We grew. We don't grow by having a cushy, comfortable life." 

CHRIS BISHOP, Founder, Backroom Coffee Roasters and hop merchant 


Pulling up to Chris's airplane hangar turned "workshop" — where he roasts beans for Backroom Coffee Roasters today — is a much different setting for his business compared to when he was fueling his coffee fix out of the back room of a bike shop, hence the company name.

Chris is far from being stuck in the same gear. He's the kind of guy who has multiple interests and a willingness to pursue them as far as they will go. He's also a guy who avoids getting too comfortable with any venture, knowing that comfort has a way of stunting growth and breeding complacency. 

Chris charts his entrepreneurial path and insatiable desire for discovery, from motor sports to bicycles and from coffee to beer. And he believes in doing the kind of work you're passionate about and can pour yourself into. It's how he has turned his passions into paychecks and immensely enjoyable work.

Chris's story will encourage you to go for it — whatever your "it" might be. 

EduGo 2017 Road to Success Ride

This weekend EduGo held their 3rd annual charity ride: Road to Success Ride100 riders showed up early Saturday morning eager to pedal for a great cause. This year's ride raised over $11,000 bringing EduGo's total to $23,000 for 2017.

This family-friendly cycling event brings together riders of all ages, allowing them to share their love of bikes with orphaned children. EduGo is a volunteer initiative that partners with Asia’s Hope to purchase bicycles and motors for orphaned children in Southeast Asia. All bikes funded through this event help us put kids on the road to success by getting the education they need to achieve a successful future. 

The Road to Success Ride is more than a one-day event. It’s a chance to make a difference in the life of a child that will last a lifetime.

“It's so cool that we can ride bikes in Columbus, Ohio as a way to support and encourage orphans in Southeast Asia! The Road to Success Ride does a superb job of letting the riders know what their entry fee and donations are going towards. It's an honor to be part of such a worthy cause.” —2016 rider

Wake. Shower. Shine.

Looking and feeling fabulous shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

All-natural, Pälish smoothes away roughness, moisturizes deeply, scents skin naturally, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to leave your arms and legs looking like a million bucks.

Heather, the creator of Pälish, looked to Slagle Design to help launch her new business with a memorable and playful brand that could extend to multiple product lines. Delivering a custom wordmark, type, illustrations and bold color palette, Heather was thrilled with the end product.


Creative Partner: Christine Myers, Verb Garden, Inc. writing + strategy

Capital University Presidential Inauguration Campaign

After meeting with Dr. Elizabeth Paul, the new president at Capital University, it was clear a traditional and stuffy approach to her inauguration announcement was not going to fly. 

She shared an aerial photo that shows Capital’s campus with the Columbus downtown skyline off in the distance. She wanted to make sure Capital University’s community was not limited to Bexley, but extends to downtown at the Law School, and the community in between—including lower income urban neighborhoods that lie just outside of Bexley. 

The invitations are designed to illustrate this vision. The buildings depicted in the three nested pieces show Capital University’s Campus, landmark buildings outside of Bexley, and the Columbus Skyline—further reinforcing her vision for the university's engagement with the community.