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A Full-Service Creative Co-op

CONTEXT 

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.

PROBLEM 

Companies were slowly removing traditional internship opportunities for the summer of 2020 and small businesses were suffering due to a global pandemic. 

OPPORTUNITY

Create our own creative co-op for students to help small businesses and advance their own skill sets.

WHAT I DID

Brand Identity
Product Design
Social Media

TEAM

Chrissy Boals, AD
Kimberly Burgess, CBM
Alexandra Daniel, ST

Shannon Gill, CW

Dinma Onyekwere, CBM

Sophie Whitfield, XD

TIMELINE

Build: 6 Weeks

Run: 10 Weeks

JUMP TO

 

THE SOLUTION

We can have the ability to help local small businesses with our special skill set and help our peers during uncertain times.

 

LAUNCH TEAM

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Primary  Logo

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Secondary  Logo

SIX WEEKS

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

MISSION STATEMENT

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

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WEBSITE + SOCIAL MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS

  • Featured our student members 

  • Included pronouns 

  • Highlighted who we partnered with

  • Shared wisdom from our Mentors

  • Spoke on issues we believed were important to 

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Current Feed

Design by Monica Roebuck

Partner Feature

 

CARRIAGE HOUSE

THAT'S ME!

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HI THERE!

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

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Alex Daniel

Mentor Liaison

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Chrissy Boals

Social Media, Mentor Liaison, Resource Management

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Dinma Onyekwere

Account Head, New Business

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Kimberly Burgess

Account Head, New Business

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Shannon Gill

Liaison to BC, Social Media

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Sophie Whitfield

Social Media, Resource Management

THE COUNCIL

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. 

 

Responsibilities included: 

  1. Intaking partners and allocating teams to work on them based on services needed and available hours.

  2. Facilitating and maintaining relationships with VCU, faculty and industry mentors, local organizations, and potential partners.

  3. Managing general operations, including event schedules and time management.

  4. Assisting teams on an as-needed basis with peer reviews, conflict resolution, and work negotiation.

  5. Develop resources for students, such as presentation templates, a handbook, paperwork, etc. 

 

CLIENTS

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. 

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HIGHLIGHTED CLIENTS

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COACH HOUSE

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 

  • Website revamp

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Menu Redesign

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Instagram Post

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Primary + Secondary Color Palettes

Photo of the print ad

TEAM

Paige Majdic, Account Manager
Brit Reid, Art Director
Kate Power, Copywriter
Hunter Mott, Strategist

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LIPLOVELINE

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 

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Package Design

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Package Design

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TEAM

Dinma Onyekwere, Account Manager
Shelby Bass, Art Director
Malcolm Richardson, Copywriter
Jael Williams, Packaging Design
Angel Song, Strategy

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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

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Brochure

Postcard

TEAM

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

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Website redesign led to a 450% increase in active leads

Photography

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"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

 

MENTORSHIP

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WORKSHOPS + PANELS

We were able to hold several events, including topic-centered panels and workshops. Some examples:

  • Diversity and Inclusion Discussion Panel 

  • Professionalism 

  • Combatting Creative Burnout 

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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.

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OFFICE HOURS

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

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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. 

 

PRESS