It has only been about four months since the CCAD MindMarket officially launched and it is already flying strong.
The MindMarket opened in fall with ThoughtLab speaker Roger Martin and this spring will host internationally renowned retail design and branding expert Marc Gobé and his daughter, Gwenaelle Gobé.
Businesses have already tapped into CCAD talent through the MindMarket’s DesignLab. Companies range from a local electronics company InPower, Inc. to a charrette that just concluded with the Arnold Classic.
The MindMarket’s Incubator program currently has four participants taking advantage of the mentorship, business coaching, and professional services. While the Incubator tenants share a connection to CCAD, as they are alumni, their reasons for coming back vary.
Advertising & Graphic Design alumna Annie Weihrauch (CCAD 2003) started her first business in 2007, Modern Material. She eventually transitioned that graphic design-oriented company to include her love of fashion and accessories and renamed the company Rock & Royalty.
Over the past several years, Weihrauch has been making and selling her jewelry and embellished apparel through her website and through local Columbus events. She is learning more about garment construction and buisness so she can create her own clothing line.
“I absolutely loved my time at CCAD,” Weihrauch said. “When I learned about CCAD’s MindMarket I realized it was exactly what I needed to move forward. There are a lot of other business programs out there, but they aren’t geared toward the creative mind. I am looking forward to the connections and programs provided by CCAD, while working with people who understand the importance of creative integrity.”
Weihrauch’s process at the MindMarket is just beginning. She plans on accessing mentoring, legal advice, business guidance, and using the fresh talent of CCAD students and facilities.
The legal counsel will assist her with tradmark issues she has encountered, and business mentors will help strengthen her business plan.
Illustration alumnus Anthony Weiler (CCAD 1994) started a freelance design career a few years ago, and by the end of his time in the incubator he hopes to launch a firm with a full-time design team.
Weiler’s company is IncredABLE Design. One of his current clients is Ohio State University’s IT Department
Weiler was introduced to CCAD’s MindMarket through an existing business mentor who highly recommended the incubator.
“Upon meeting with [CCAD MindMarket director] Cynthia Gravino I knew that this was going to be perfect for me and my company,” Weiler said. “I wanted a place where I can try new things out, not be afraid to make mistakes, and have access to the coaching that I needed and the facilities CCAD has to offer.”
“I am excited to see all the changes at the college since I graduated. CCAD and Columbus have a lot of energy, and are headed in the right directions with strong business focuses,” Weiler said.
Media Studies alumna Hazel Tarr (CCAD 2007) is the only current resident member of the Incubator. Her current company, Tarrka Studios, is an animation/motion picture/documentary studio.
Tarrka Studios is dedicated to creating and producing original movies and programming that speak to the community and social consciousness as it relates to the well-being of children and pets.
“I wanted to transition my solo documentary studio to include animation,” Tarr said. “This program afforded me the opportunity to realize my dream. Having major costs such as building, equipment, and supplies and people like the interns through CCAD covered, makes the CCAD MindMarket Incubator program invaluable to anyone with a start-up or transitioning business.”
Tarr will use the business mentors available to help strengthen her business plan, and she will take advantage of the legal counsel available.
“Physically being located in my tenant space has also allowed Tarrka Studios to be introduced to various individuals within the Columbus community, thus garnering exposure for the studio and the various projects in production,” Tarr said.
Illustration alumna Maggy O’Reilly VanOrder (CCAD 2009) started O’Reilly Ink in 2007 by selling prints and drawings through Etsy, an online artisan shop.
VanOrder originally heard of the MindMarket Incubator when it was in its beta phase, through the CCAD Alumni Newsletter.
“I was going on one year of being unemployed and it seemed like a direct sign and too good to be true,” VanOrder said.
VanOrder didn’t participate in the beta program, but she kept informed as the year went on and is just now beginning to use and learn more about the services provided.
“This past December I realized I had really let go of my art and nearly lost the passion for it that I once had,” VanOrder said. “I didn’t work on selling with Etsy or seeking out freelance work, though I was now working full time again. I remembered the MindMarket and contacted Cynthia, and wouldn’t you know, they were looking for new interested people. It was perfect timing.
“I still feel like it’s a program that is just too perfect to pass up,” VanOrder said. “I definitely need a boost and someone to really push me. I also need access to someone with business sense and the resources that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’m hoping to take my business to the level it needs to be at and eventually turn it into a full-time endeavor. I want it to be my passion and my life. By the end of my time with the CCAD MindMarket, I hope to be well my way to that self-made status, one of many founded here in Columbus, Ohio.”
Tags: advertising & graphic design, alumni news, Annie Weihrauch, Anthony Weiler, CCAD MindMarket, cinematic arts, class of 1994, Class of 2003, class of 2007, class of 2009, Cynthia Gravino, Hazel Tarr, illustration, Incubator, Maggy O'Reilly VanOrder, media studies, MindMarket
The alumni newsletter is published four times a year and features the latest news and information for the alumni of Columbus College of Art & Design.