Four Creatives Who were Instrumental in Reclaiming our Neighborhoods

Appreciating St. Louis

Every city has them, the corners, blocks, and sometimes entire neighborhoods that have been, and by traditional wisdom should be, voodoo spots for a business location – especially for a B2B business location. But there is one group of visionaries who are wired to defy traditional wisdom, who are predisposed to taking risks, and who have the creative juju to overcome the obstacles that might make those locations off limits to any other business.

There has been a lot of conversation about how the tech and start up community has revitalized St. Louis. And it has, no mistake there. But long before we aimed at being the hub of the “Silicon Prairie,” there were creative agency founders putting a stake in the ground in places where other businesses dared not venture.

And they’ve done it successfully. Partly because clients expect creative professionals to be a little edgy, innovative, and nontraditional. Partly because their gift is to take an idea or vision from nothing to something. But also because they have a deep emotional investment in their work, their art, and their community. They’re stakeholders in their neighborhoods just as much as they are in their enterprises. And that attracts support.

There is a lot that we can learn from the stories these agency founders shared with me about how to invest resources, how to stay the course, and how to become a hub for your community.