When Lori Reed began her business in San Diego 20 years ago with her husband, she had been looking for a full-time job that utilized her creative communication background. She was discouraged when she found that while many companies were interested in her work history and enthusiastic about working with her, most of them had small budgets and simply couldn’t afford to pay her enough.
So, Reed decided to set out on her own and use her entrepreneurial mindset to get started. Now, two decades later, her business, Reed Creative, is thriving right here in Clark County. She recently hired her first employee and works with a team of contractors. After relocating herself and her business to Clark County in 2011, in September of 2017, the company moved into a new brick-and-mortar location in downtown Washougal.
Reed and her team work directly with businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to help them come up with messages that support their brand in a one-of-a-kind way. Whether it’s with a new logo, flyers, brochures, direct mail pieces or other support pieces, Reed and her team focus on listening to the needs of each client so they can come up with products that resonate with their specific message. Reed also has experience working in an instructional capacity, so she regularly offers software training to existing clients. Additionally, Reed enjoys traveling to local schools or organizations for speaking engagements, and loves to share about her business journey and what a career in design might look like.
Reed said that part of her inspiration as a business owner doesn’t come just from within, but it also comes from what surrounds her.
“Creative thinking is not constrained to a specific space,” she said. “Ideas for projects often come from outside the studio while absorbing the inspiration that surrounds us locally … during a run on a trail, a visit to a nearby gallery or a day trip to one of the bigger cities in our area. Turning that fodder into form back at the computer can be communicated from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection.”
Even though the Pacific Northwest is full of creative types and many businesses that offer creative content services, Reed believes that one of the main reasons why her company stands out and is continuing to see success is because of her commitment to connecting with others in the community.
“I truly love connecting with others in our community and am not afraid to show up to a function on my own where I may not know a single person,” Reed said. “I like helping to make others who might not be as comfortable with those situations by striking up conversation with them, asking questions about their industry, listening to challenges they are facing and helping brainstorm possible solutions, even if they aren’t specifically design related. Developing relationships, engaging and contributing to a healthy business culture is one reason we feel we are succeeding in the local community.”
Over the years, Reed has had the opportunity to acquire national experience in multiple markets, including New York, San Francisco, New Orleans and more. She believes that this has given her a big-picture perspective that helps her develop uniquely creative solutions for each of her clients, no matter what industry they’re involved in.
To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of Reed Creative, Reed has scheduled a year full of exciting events, including sponsoring a chamber of commerce function, monthly business card drawings, special speaking engagements around town and much more.
Reed believes that the future of her company looks bright and promising.
“We’re hopeful that our region continues to experience economic growth that will support our sustainable scaling to meet the demands of our growing client base,” she said.