Edsel Drive has some new residents to boast about. I joined in the celebration of the ribbon cutting at Mrs. T’s Baked Goods last week. Tasty treats were available for all to enjoy. A different and welcome addition to the traditionally industrial section within the city limits. On Thursday, PocketMedia, formerly located on Frances Meeks, will hold an open house to showcase their new space on Edsel. And what a space it is.
For those of you who didn’t know they moved, don’t worry. It was easy to miss. The entire change of venue took less than three days and resulted in only one day of down time. The upgraded space increased from 2400 to 5500 square feet. The interior has allowed for the design and the production to be located on opposite sides but not separated. This creates a great working environment for the different facets of the process while still allowing the creative flow to continue uninterrupted. The bay area used for large scale projects and wraps provides a larger working space and more conducive facilities.
This is good news for the Shriners organization. The charitable hospital that caters to the needs of children requiring orthopaedic care, spinal cord injury rehabilitation or burn treatment, has received a promotional vehicle that is currently being wrapped at the new PocketMedia location. In fact, by the time you read this, it will probably be finished. The car is scheduled to debut at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis during the Imperial Shriners Convention scheduled for June 29 to July 3.
But big spaces and big projects aren’t the only things owner Jeff Lazenby is excited to talk about. The majority of his staff is new to the company. He has two PocketMedia veterans with him. Lelia Williams, who will attend Armstrong Atlantic State University in the fall for accounting, is the company’s customer service coordinator and handles much of the front office administration. Luke Hamilton, the master illustrator graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), has been with Jeff since the beginning. Not only are his design abilities growing, but he has recently completed the Fellers certified vehicle wrap training.
Outside of Jeff, Lelia and Luke, the crew is new and consists predominantly of interns and recent graduates. Yvette Brown is the office manager and human resource director. She has three undergraduate degrees and holds masters in business administration and human resources. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in business administration and organizational Development. Val Sivyakov is a Russian intern. He is currently attending SCAD pursuing a double major in graphic design and photography. William "Hunt" Fowler is an intern and a second year design student from West Chester University. Nicole "Ned" Drummond is a full time graphic designer. She recently graduated from SCAD with a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and a minor in print making. John Crawford is the art director. He has a background in public relations and graphic design. He currently attends SCAD as a part of their master of fine arts program in graphic design.
It seems there is a lot of excitement going on over there. The interesting thing is that none of the designers are Bryan County natives. Yet something about our business community and growth has created opportunity and possibility for a talented group of artistic young people. The same sentiments were echoed time again - a great place to live, friendliness of people, tight knit business community and job availability in a field where getting a job can be tough. I won’t say that a new, big space is the sole reason for this renewed energy, but I know they think it helps. I am also not sure how much opportunity we provide for an emerging creative class, but I know these folks are top shelf and obviously happy with their current situation.
Is this an emergence of the creative class? Is there something to be said for a change of venue, size, space or set up? Would businesses do well to consider recruiting from higher learning institutions? What other type of opportunities exist in our community that we had not considered before? I’d love to hear what you think about it.
April Groves covers all things business for the Bryan County News. You can send thoughts, press releases, tips and questions you’d like answered to agroves@bryancountynews.