I’m a very lucky guy. Sometimes I have to stop and take stock to realize how truly lucky I have it. A week or so ago, there was an amazing night that forced me to stop and reflect. For five extraordinary hours I had the opportunity to celebrate a vision and live out a dream that has been running through my noggin for years. This experience began on the roof of Skidmore’s new home in downtown Detroit, and was punctuated with a firework display from centerfield of Comerica Park.
To be honest, this dream started more than a decade ago. It began when I joined Skidmore with a hope to make a difference in the creative community. As a client, I saw Skidmore as a creative leader, and wanted to help the reputation grow. Somewhere along the way, I decided to buy the place. Then, in 2010 the studio started looking in downtown Detroit for a new place to call home. At some point in early 2011, I remember standing on the roof of the Madison Building before any construction began, and imagining what it would be like to have our clients, staff and friends up there looking over the city at night.
More than a year later, the dream became reality on an ideal summer evening with nearly 300 friends. As I enjoyed the moment, holding hands with my wife, I realized it was only possible because of the good that has come since Skidmore moved back downtown Detroit last October. In the days that have followed that night on the roof, I continue to think about that moment. I replay conversations with friends, who all still seem amazed that Skidmore moved back downtown and that it was a catalyst for positive business results. To be honest, I’m even a little surprised at how much the move has impacted us.
In the past seven months the studio has added many fantastic new clients. We’ve welcomed extraordinary new staff members. Morale and culture has never been better. Our biggest challenge is managing the work load. It’s a story that needs to be told to every small business, especially the creative ones. Detroit is the place to be right now. It’s the reason our little creative studio is doing the best work of our 53 year history. I truly am living the dream, and I want thank everyone who is making this possible.
So, in many ways this is a thank you note to many, many people. First, and foremost, special thanks to the people who are more like family than employees – the people at Skidmore who create kick creative ass every single day. Next, to our amazing clients who give Skidmore the opportunity to create extraordinary design. Most importantly, to Colleen, Hayden and Harry who allow me to pour so much energy into making this dream a reality. To each of you, thank you for believing this was possible.