Hometown: Buffalo Grove, IL
Major & Graduation Year: Marketing, 2012
Current Position: CEO, Sculpt
Sculpt is a social media creative agency that helps Iowa-based small, mid-sized entrepreneurial brands build community and drive results through social media, digital marketing, and creative services.
Q: What Progress did you make while a BELL participant?
A: We grew from three founders to a team of eight part-time employees. We joined with zero clients, and left with enough recurring monthly revenue to hire a full-time employee to manage the team and projects. We also formed friendships with other tenants that later turned into client relationships.
Q: What happened with your business?
A: Happy to say Sculpt is still going and growing today.
Q: What did working on your business do for you when you were a current participant of BELL?
A: The BELL provided a safe environment to experiment with entrepreneurship with little overhead and lots of access to resources.
Q: How has your business expanded since leaving BELL?
A: Today Sculpt has 7 full-time and two part-time members with an impressive list of clients all over the region, state and country.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge you have had since leaving BELL?
A: Self-discovery. In the BELL, we positioned ourselves as an early-stage marketing firm run by three graduating students. That was the truth. And that’s fine when you’re recruiting interns, servicing small businesses, and finding your way. To grow, we’ve had to look critically at our processes, people, and purpose.
Who will lead the company and how should it be structured?
What do we stand for and what don’t we stand for?
Are we a local service provider, or just a local hub with a national focus?
We’ve had to ask tough questions every day since we left, and the answers never come easy.
Q: Where do you see your business going int eh next year? 5 years? 10 years?
- A regional Community Builder: Sculpt will continue to be a leader and cheerleader of the local startup, creative, and social media marketing community. That means more involvement in producing, marketing, and collaborating on events and initiatives that support those people.
- Iowa’s Social and Digital Creative Agency: With more focused effort on telling our story, developing talent, and producing great work, Sculpt will become the trusted source to bring Iowa-based startup and legacy brands to life online.
- Brand Extensions: A respected digital marketing service provider is great, but that’s just a sliver of the potential. In 5 to 10 years, I plan to expand our brand through productization and specialization. An internal idea incubator, production house, and training arm all live on the “vision board.”