A Full-Service Creative Co-op
COVID-19 has made companies and agencies rethink what their internship programs look like and Brandcener grad students need the experience to further their experience.
Companies were slowly removing traditional internship opportunities for the summer of 2020 and small businesses were suffering due to a global pandemic.
Create our own creative co-op for students to help small businesses and advance their own skill sets.
WHAT I DID
Chrissy Boals, AD
Kimberly Burgess, CBM
Alexandra Daniel, ST
Shannon Gill, CW
Dinma Onyekwere, CBM
Sophie Whitfield, XD
Build: 6 Weeks
Run: 10 Weeks
We can have the ability to help local small businesses with our special skill set and help our peers during uncertain times.
In six weeks, 20 students accomlished:
Finding a name that was inspired by Vann Graves' family connection to the building
Branding and Brand Guidelines
Wrote a mission statement, manifesto and one liner
Build a website and social media accounts
Elected a group who would run it
Found 11 small businesses to help
The Carriage House is a full-service creative co-op of emerging talent from one of the world’s top ad schools. We leverage strategy and insight to deliver innovative messaging that captivates your audience and advances your brand.
WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA
WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Featured our student members
Highlighted who we partnered with
Shared wisdom from our Mentors
Spoke on issues we believed were important to
Design by Monica Roebuck
Orientation Group Photo
As many agencies have been forced to cancel their internships amid the pandemic... a group of second-year students at VCU Brandcenter started their own agency to get the experience they need to enter the ad industry.
- AdAge "Agency Brief: 600 & Rising selects board of directors and advisory council" (7/5/20)
A DIFFERENT KIND OF LEADERSHIP
Social Media, Mentor Liaison, Resource Management
Account Head, New Business
Account Head, New Business
Liaison to BC, Social Media
Social Media, Resource Management
The Carriage House Council was the organizing body of the Carriage House and was created through a voting process with a member of each of the 5 tracks at the Brandcenter.
We asked in lieu of payment, that interested parties make a donation to the Brandcenter Scholarship Fund and ended up raising over $15,000 for future students to use.
Intaking partners and allocating teams to work on them based on services needed and available hours.
Facilitating and maintaining relationships with VCU, faculty and industry mentors, local organizations, and potential partners.
Managing general operations, including event schedules and time management.
Assisting teams on an as-needed basis with peer reviews, conflict resolution, and work negotiation.
Develop resources for students, such as presentation templates, a handbook, paperwork, etc.
PRO-BONO CLIENT PARTNERSHIPS
The Carriage House opened our virtual doors on June 1st, 2020 and luckily had a couple of clients interested we could start working with right away. Over the weeks more trickled in, and we helped as many as we could.
The Coach House is a family-run bar and grill run located in Norfolk, Va that approached Carriage House for some simple branding and social media work.
Their team created:
Brand guidelines including a new color palette,
A social media content guide
Print and social ads
Redesign of the restaurant's menu
Primary + Secondary Color Palettes
Photo of the print ad
Paige Majdic, Account Manager
Brit Reid, Art Director
Kate Power, Copywriter
Hunter Mott, Strategist
LipLoveLine is a startup makeup company that was seeking help with building a brand identity and digital presence. The owner, Briana Williams, created LipLoveLine to empower women of color to feel beautiful in their own skin and we built out a predominantly BIPOC team for her.
Their team created:
Logo redesign + Style Guide
Product Package design
Website build (Landing Page)
Social Media Strategy
Crowdfunding Campaign Strategy
Dinma Onyekwere, Account Manager
Shelby Bass, Art Director
Malcolm Richardson, Copywriter
Jael Williams, Packaging Design
Angel Song, Strategy
PROFESSIONAL ART HANDLING
Professional Art Handling is a Richmond based company that works with galleries, museums, interior designers, and private collectors. They also deliver artwork and antiques up and down the east coast as well as offer temperature and climate-controlled storage.
Their team created:
In-depth research into the art handling industry (consumers, competitors, communications, etc.)
Brand strategy development
Brand refresh including new visual identity, sharpened tone of voice, and website redesign
Communication plan and content for social accounts and print
CRM plan and email content
Photography and videography
Dan Ivey, Experience Designer
Evan Shisler, Copywriter
Chelsie Kelly, Copywriter
Chris Cole, Art Director
Emilee Lampert, Account
Sheila Villalobos, Strategist
Payal Pereira, Strategist
David Ligon, Art Director
Website redesign led to a 450% increase in active leads
"Every time we look at the website we are reminded of your great individual presentations and efforts to make the PAH brand come to life. We are so thankful for your time and energy. It was a lot of fun and we are loving the results."
- Quote from the PAH
WORKSHOPS + PANELS
We were able to hold several events, including topic-centered panels and workshops. Some examples:
Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Panel
Combatting Creative Burnout
FACULTY + ALUM MENTORS
We gathered a list of industry professionals who were interested in chatting with our members about projects or career options to facilitate industry connections.
An important aspect of a summer internship is the ability to form connections within the industry, so we made it a priority to facilitate mentorships between students and Alumni.
LESSONS LEARNED STARTING A CREATIVE CO-OP IN SIX WEEKS
Along the way, we ran into unexpected challenges that required us to creatively problem solve. Difficult interactions with partners, tight deadlines, and changes in scopes of work led to quick thinking, being as open as we could with our partners, and to seek long-term solutions. What started as a simple question of, “Hey...what if we made our own opportunity this summer” turned into a whirlwind of research, interviews, design sprints, partner relationships, mentorship opportunities, negotiating scopes of work, and so much more than I could’ve imagined last March.
It was in fact, harder than I thought it would be.
VCU Brandcenter students start their own ad agency after summer internship cancellations