At Work: IM Creative’s new office leads to local collaborationsAt Work — By Anne Evans on January 16, 2012 at 8:00 am
Scott Ihrig and Shannon Morrison recently relocated their business here from New York City and couldn’t be happier with that decision. The pair have been running IM Creative, an event design and production firm, for twelve years. When the rent for their office in NYC was substantially increased, Ihrig and Morrison decided to move their business into their home.
One day, while reading the New York Times’ real estate section, they noticed a home in Victorian Village that was priced much more reasonably than places in NYC. They asked their clients what they would think of them moving to Columbus and only heard wonderful things.
“Columbus was a quality of life move and was a quality of business move as well,” says Morrison. “There is great talent and affordable rates that allow us to deliver great product to our clients.”
When they initially moved into their new home in Victorian Village, they continued running their business out of their home.
“We had, like, twenty people and two dogs working out of our first floor,” says Ihrig. “Must get out of house now.”
They looked at office spaces above storefronts in the Short North and even looked at a former gas station in Italian Village. It was a great space, but needed a lot of work. Then their attention turned to the three-story, blue tile roofed building about a minute from their home. The building is being renovated and spaces are being leased, but they loved the space they saw.
“It is the physical incarnation of our brand,” Ihrig says. Morrison adds, “When you have a great space, you want to go to work.”
It’s true. Walking into their space, with the two-story ceilings, open railings, bursts of red and energizing dance music playing, you feel the creative vibe.
Most of the substantial furnishings −couches, cubes, worktable, Fatboys− were found at GRID Furnishings in the Short North. The lucite chairs that are used whenever they need seating are props from past shows. The red industrial tool chests have been re-purposed as file cabinets.
A few other desks from cb2.com are stored together in the back of the office as one big table, but are able to be wheeled around separately as needed. The owners recently donated to a Kickstarter fund for design company Orange22, who wanted to create Botanist Minimal, a wooden residential version of its outdoor aluminum seating bench. It was successfully funded and the gorgeous bench welcomes visitors in the waiting area. The office desk chairs are the Generation by Knoll from Corporate Interior Concepts.
Ihrig works on the upper level alongside a brainstorming area.
Morrison and Ihrig believe the biggest challenge to being a new business in Columbus, aside from being a new company staking its claim in a town with established players, is getting plugged in.
“Here you are interacting with everyone you meet, while in New York you pretend others don’t exist,” Morrison says.
The new office space is located in a building already housing other creative businesses. The Ely Bros are in a nearby suite, as well as Fine Citizens. IM Creative has collaborated with them on projects.
“We have amazing national-caliber collaborations here,” Morrison says.
As Morrison and Ihrig continue to work more locally, they are also getting involved in the local community. They have collaborated with The SBB, and are members of the Short North Business Association, Experience Columbus, and professional organizations, such as the American Marketing Association, the International Association of Business Communicators and the International Special Events Society.
They are also members of Short North Stage‘s founding committee. They originally wanted to house IM Creative in the Garden Theater building, but Short North Stage planned to grow faster and Morrison and Ihrig did not want to relocate again.
Morrison and Ihrig both have backgrounds in theater and they have continued those interests here; Ihrig recently accepted a board position for Available Light Theatre.
They plan to continue growing their company and continue to be pleased with their decision to move to Columbus, saying they are super happy here.
To learn more about IM Creative, visit www.i-m-creative.com.
Do you know of, have, or work in a creative workspace and would like to be featured in this series? If so, contact Anne Evans.