Audio
Jamey Boiter
October 11th, 2021

Best Of Charlotte Podcast—On Brand with Jamey Boiter

Jamey Boiter was recently a guest on The Best Of Charlotte podcast where he shares the story of his journey as a Graphic Designer and Brand Strategist, and how a company’s brand means so much more than a logo. Much of the discussion revolves around the concept of a “brand ecosystem”, and he discusses the importance of the communication and culture around a brand.

Take a moment to listen below!

 

 

Podcast Transcription

Introduction:
In this episode, I sit down with Jamey Boiter, the Principal and CEO at BOLTGROUP—a design innovation firm that has been helping companies build better brands for 35 years. Jamey shares the story of his journey as a Graphic Designer and Brand Strategist, and how a company’s brand means so much more than a logo. Much of our discussion revolves around what Jamey refers to as a “brand ecosystem.” He lends a hand in helping me better understand the importance of the communication and culture around a brand.

As per usual, I bring up Simon Sinek and Seth Godin. I also talk a lot about Apple. That will not surprise our regular listeners, I know. But, how could I resist asking for Jamey’s opinion, a branding EXPERT, on the philosophies of these forward thinkers and the rise of one of the most recognizable and revered brands in the world?

You’ll be happy to know that I only digress occasionally, and spend most of the conversation listening intently to Jamey’s description of how the ultra-talented team at BOLTGROUP executes the mission of branding design innovation for some of the most successful companies in America, and beyond.
If you’re an entrepreneur that has struggled, as I have, with nailing your company’s brand, this episode is for you. So, lean in my friends, and get to know Jamey Boiter, CEO of BOLTGROUP.

Jeff Hamm:
Jamey, welcome to the podcast.

Jamey:
Jeff, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Jeff Hamm:
Great to have you. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation because I do love talking to folks who are in the branding and design space, and your company is doing some really amazing work. I’m looking forward to getting into that. Jamey, for the listeners though, share a little bit of your background, a short bio on your career, and then we’ll talk about the BOLTGROUP.

Jamey:
Sure. Well, BOLTGROUP is technically turning 36 years old this month, and I’ve been here for 34 of that. My background is traditional graphic design that moved very quickly into brand strategy and working with industrial designers side by side. Joined the firm in the late 80s and became the Identity Principal here at what was then, Machen Montague. We changed the name when there was an ownership change, and I became an owner, and have just been developing work since then.

Jeff Hamm:
When did that ownership change take place?

Jamey:
We became BOLTGROUP in 1994.

Jeff Hamm:
Okay. So, your background your career background basically is BOLTGROUP for the most part.

Jamey:
I hung my shingle out and actually started working with Eddie Machen and Monty Montague of Machen Montague, about nine months before I came on board full-time. Okay. And prior to that, I had worked as an environmental graphic designer and done some work around and had come back to Charlotte. I originally thought I was gonna be an architect. So, I was at Clemson University, and my mentor Tom McPeak, after taking my first graphic design course he slowly but surely convinced me that I needed to go to design school. And so, I went to East Carolina and got my BFA from their school of art and design.

Jeff Hamm:
My partner in this production, this podcast, as well as our Lake Norman podcast, is a graphic designer by trade. He’s been in that industry, or fulfilling that role for, I wanna say almost 30 years. So, been doing it a long time and has seen a lot of technology change over the years. And he’s also building a lot more experience in web development as well, you know, for obvious reasons.

Jamey:
Yeah, exactly. And when I came in, it was still traditional print for the most part; digital didn’t really exist. We actually got our first Macintosh computers probably in 1988, and we’ve still got them; they’re here in the studio. One’s nicknamed, Steve. When you’re over here, we’ll show you; he’s in the lobby. But we slowly migrated that way, like everyone else, but Charlotte was such a huge print media city, and everybody came to Charlotte to print. And of course, we had relationships with just about everybody. And it was pretty strong there. And I had started out on the corporate side for just a little while doing primarily packaging and corporate communications, realized very quickly that the studio environment was what I needed to have. And so slowly made my way back to Charlotte. And then 34 years later, I’m on the best of Charlotte.

Jeff Hamm:
That’s right. Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, you’ve made it when you’re on this podcast.

Jamey:
Uh oh, totally.

Jeff Hamm:
Speaking of Macintosh in the 80s, this is a little bit of an aside, but I listened recently to Steve Jobs’ talk and address to his executive senior executive team at Apple when he returned to take over from the team that was kind of in between.

Jamey:
And the guys that had kicked him out.

Jeff Hamm:
Exactly. And he came back and had developed the “Think Different” campaign, and what an amazing, what an amazing CEO and amazing mind he had for sure.

Jamey:
Yeah. Pretty brilliant. I have a good friend, Wil Oxford, who was at Apple for 16, 17 years until he bailed. And he’s like on his fourth startup now, which is very successful. But yeah, he was very demanding, Steve was, but also had a vision. He’s [Apple’s] one of those brands, when you think about it, they started out as an outlaw. If you think of archetypes in the business world, they were definitely the outlaw, renegade, challenger brand who morphed into the magician over time. And it’s that they eclipsed time, they changed the archetype because their vision never changed. And that was to create and delight their customers and clients with products they didn’t even know they wanted.

Jeff Hamm:
Yeah, exactly. And getting, and also just defining, their purpose and their mission they’ve under Jobs, they were so mission driven, they were so…it all started with their why, to kind of quote Simon Sinek.

Jamey:
And we do too, you know, when all of our brand work in the areas of focus that we have, which is brand design and communications, product design and development, engineering, digital design / UI/UX, and of course, service experience design. It all begins with purpose. We go back to the brand, we try to understand, we immerse ourselves into our clients’ brand to understand what their challenges are in terms of communication, whatever that happens to be. And then we go from there. And oftentimes what we find is they’ve come to us for a particular symptom. What we find is it’s a larger problem, further back upstream that typically relates to communication around their brand, understanding their brand, the culture of their brand. They’re missing some connective tissue internally that allows things to flow seamlessly from a brand’s perspective. Therefore, what they’re communicating on the outfacing area is not necessarily the truth. And that’s really what we try to drive for.

Jeff Hamm:
Well, let’s talk, let’s dive some more into BOLTGROUP’s mission and your areas of expertise. What types of services do you provide for your clients, and what does that look like? What do the steps look like when you join forces with a client?

Jamey:
Well, by definition, we’re a design innovation firm. We dedicate ourselves to creating a meaningful impact on the companies we serve, their communities, and their culture, all through design. So, we have sort of a bespoke design thinking approach that goes all the way through implementation. And the four areas that we just talked about were product design and engineering, brand design communications, digital design / UI/UX, and then service design and experience. So those four areas and the reason they all connect together for us is because it’s all human centered. And so, everything that we do when we help our clients understand, find those real business challenges, and then solve them through this design thinking approach that leads down one of these areas.

Jeff Hamm:
I was able to check out some of the clients in your portfolio, some of the work in BOLTGROUP’s portfolio, what are some recent projects that you’ve completed or some milestones recently?

Jamey:
One of our recent award-winning projects is actually with a North Carolina company, which we’re very excited about, Oransi, which is based out of Raleigh, they make air filtration and purifiers. And we’ve been working with Peter and his group for four or five years. And he was really looking to innovate on the air purification side, prior to COVID . We were heavily involved in trying to almost change the paradigm for air purification. How could we create a better filter, take out greater particulates, but at the same time, create a piece of furniture, and create a beautiful piece of industrial design that functioned very well, very easily. The deeper we got involved with the company, we started looking at his brand as well, how it’s communicating. We introduced the Mod, which is a really beautiful, cylinder shape, mid-century air purifier that is skyrocketing in terms of market sales. And it is his number one selling product by far. And we’ve recently won the Red Dot international design award, the iF international design award; we’ve won Graphic Design USA’s design for packaging innovation and design. Because it’s a direct-to-consumer product we wanted to make sure that it had that “Applesque” presentation. It’s a beautiful, it’s a large product. It comes in a self-shipping box and then we’ve got recyclable plastic tabs that pop out at the bottom, the top lifts up like a gift box, and then it presents itself, and so real sustainable development in the packaging. But it was also just a perfect cue to where we were wanting to go with the overall brand for Oransi.

Jeff Hamm:
Sustainability is a topic that comes up a lot on this podcast. We’ve had a lot of conversations with both design firms and also actual organizations that are in the business of sustainability and developing sustainable practices. Envision Charlotte was a guest on the podcast, and we had a long talk about that, but going back to packaging and, you know you had mentioned creating a really pleasant packaging experience for the customer. And just immediately, I thought of Apple and how that they designed packaging, even the packaging is an experience.

Jamey:
It’s the confirmation of the purchase. And it extends that to what we call the total transaction, which is the interface with the consumer and the end user that continues to delight after you’ve paid your money. And that’s all brand.

Jeff Hamm:
I love that Simon Sinek talks a lot about really special brands. Apple obviously is probably first on the list, but he uses this analogy of if a company like Nike were to open a hotel, we kind of would know what to expect from that hotel, you know? And same with Apple. If Apple were to open a chain of hotels, we kind of know what we would experience there.

Jamey:
It’s because they put design at the center of their business; it really is design focused. The design gets the attention of the C-suite and it’s connected to the C-suite. I have a good friend, Tracy Teague, who actually used to work for us. Tracy just retired from Nike as executive creative director in the cleat division. And they’re so equipped, if all of a sudden, they no longer sold shoes and apparel they’d be the largest design firm in the world; it’s that attention that they pay to every single detail and where they start. And to Simon’s point the golden circle of why, what, and how, which is really, purpose, vision mission, as you move out, they believe it, they live it every day. It’s part of their culture. And that’s what we really try to push, especially in corporate identity programs. When we get involved in that area is designing this culture of brand from the inside out through what we call a brand ecosystem. And you have to develop that and nurture it like you would any other ecosystem. But how you communicate, how HR communicates from a recruiting, retention, re-engagement with employees is so critical and its brand based, or should be. IBM is a great example; they have a design principal in every area of their business. They literally have a design principal that is involved in HR, and so they can solve problems. Like once a year, we all have to resign up for our 401k and our health insurance. And you know, there’s a lot of consternation comes to employees when they’re having to do that. You get a pamphlet, and you have to take it home, and you’ve got 47 choices, and you talk to your wife, and how do you make this happen? They saw that as a real time suck on their employees and a mental drain. So, they made a design project. How do we solve this for our employees, our associates, so it’s a pleasant experience, it’s a design experience? They develop videos, they create interaction, they have lunch and learns at various facilities. They go through this with a long runway and give everybody the opportunity to have all their questions answered.

Jeff Hamm:
Branding is much more than just a logo, right?

Jamey:
The logo is maybe the cherry on top.

Jeff Hamm:
Yeah. Maybe.

Jamey:
But brand is everything inclusive—designed, non-designed, intentional, non-intentional—it’s the result of the reflection of what your purpose is and what are those pillars, those compelling truths that you want to be visible in every single touchpoint with your customers and your consumers?

Jeff Hamm:
It reminds me a lot, you know I’ve read a lot of Seth Godin, and he talks a lot about that concept of this is who we are, and we do work for people like you, and if you’re like us, it is just very tribal, which goes back to he wrote the book on tribes. But it also goes, speaks to the notion of we don’t have to be for everybody. We don’t have to create work or create products for everyone. And really defining who you are and who your, what your mission is really important.

Jamey:
If you’re true to your brand, you can’t be everything to everybody. We develop value propositions for a brand’s audiences, various audiences when we’re going through the initial foundation and strategy work. We take those pillars, three, four pillars that are these compelling truths that we want to promote. And with each audience, those pillars may have slightly different weight in terms of emphasis. How a brand speaks to the financial market is a little different than how they’re gonna speak to their employees, or how they’re gonna speak to their consumers. But at the end of the day, it all has to ladder back up to that position. And you can’t be all things to all people if you’re true to that.

Jeff Hamm:
So, another funny story, this is the last time I’ll talk about Simon Sinek, I promise, in this episode, maybe, we’ll see. He tells the story, a really funny story about Microsoft. He spoke at Microsoft, and they had gifted him the newest Zune at the time, back when that was a thing, and it was competing with the iPod, and a few weeks later, he was in a car from the airport to speak to a group of Apple executives. And he was in the car with someone that was maybe one or two reports removed from the CEO. And he wanted to stir the pot a little bit. So, he looked at him, he said you know I was at Microsoft for recently, and they gave me their new Zune, and it is just magnificent. It’s beautiful. It’s an incredible piece of technology. It won’t run iTunes, so I can’t use it, but it’s a beautiful, just magnificent piece of technology and he said, I think it’s way better than the iPod. And he said the Apple executive turned to him and said, I have no doubt. . He talked a lot about how Microsoft was always talking about at their board meetings, how to beat Apple, and Apple at their board meetings was always talking about how can we help educators? How can we help creators? And it’s just a mindset, right? Totally different mindset.

Jamey:
It’s a total mindset. And when Jobs left initially, he had so many things on the board that he was thinking about, he felt that music was such a huge part of the consumer experience and where that was gonna go. He wanted to create hardware for music, as well as software for music, all sorts of things and the shareholders at that point were all about, we’ve gotta compete against this PC, and that was never his vision to begin with. And to have the ability to come back and profess “Think Different” and win at that was quite a feat.

Jeff Hamm:
Yeah. Righted the ship for sure. What an amazing marketing campaign advertising campaign that was.

Jamey:
Oh, yeah.

Jeff Hamm:
Jamey, so we talked a little bit about BOLTGROUP, your mission, your areas of expertise, and the type of work that you’re doing for clients. A topic that I love to talk about when I have guests on this podcast, and it’s really important to me and it helps me also identify other potential guests selfishly for this podcast. But I love for guests to recognize maybe a few local, small businesses, smaller companies that are local to the Charlotte area that have either been really good partners with your firm or are just small businesses that you and your team just really love.

Jamey:
Jeff, we’ve been here a really long time.

Jeff Hamm:
And I know it’s tough.

Jamey:
That list, it’s pretty long. Obviously the print relationships we’ve had historically were always really, really great, and we continue to have some of those 30 something years later. But really great creative studios we’ve been able to count on to help us with the work that we do to complete in the implementation phase. You know, I think immediately about John Causby and the guys at Groundcrew; they’ve been excellent to us for sound and voiceover, all the video work we’ve done, web work. They’ve just been really good. And Jason Housman, Jason is also Groundcrew, but he has his own music company, Hot Sake—super great. Jessica Graham at Fionix. We don’t do PR, we’re a design firm, we’re not an ad agency. There’s a water’s edge to the area of expertise that we get into. But very often when we help reposition a brand or we’re launching a product or launching a new brand, we have become so entrenched in what’s going on that we’re asked to keep going, to carry that. And so, we’ll use folks to help accomplish that in the short term. Ultimately, our job as designers is to sort of work ourselves out of a job and wait for the next one from that perspective. Levin and Alexis at Charlotte Star Room, they do a ton of our video work for us. We’ve done countless videos with them now and their support—they just sync up with us. They understand what we’re thinking. They get our thinking. Photographers locally; we have used them, almost all of them, so all of those creative bodies are sort of extensions of us at one time or another, as we kind of go through because we have our core creative strategy, research, in-house engineering, but then we augment that ourselves to accomplish the clients’ needs, we’ll go outside, and we have really great strategic partners in that.

Jeff Hamm:
I love the businesses that you recognize there that I’m really looking forward to doing some more research. Those are new to me. But I’m sure they’re well known in your industry. You brought up a really good point, a design agency as a design agency ,and not an advertising agency—if you’ve done your job correctly and you’ve done it well, they won’t need you going forward very much anyway.

Jamey:
It works a couple different ways, actually. If we’re developing a single new product, there’s a lifecycle to what we’re going to be doing with that organization. And we’ll start with research, could be observational, could be qualitative, quantitative, really understanding, gaining insights into what we need to do, then developing conceptually what the product is and should be. And then taking that through design development, engineering for manufacturing, potentially being involved in prototyping and taking it all the way through sometimes to a launch. But at that point, they’re making that product, and they may or may not have a marketing department that’s gonna help promote that. So that’s one avenue. In other scenarios we’ll get involved—Oransi is a great example—where our involvement has spread, not only to the product line development and developing what we call a visual brand language for all of their products, but also into the brand where we’re making sure that they’re synced up—the product and the brand. So going back and making sure the outfacing language for the brand is right. The website, even adjusting the logo slightly, adjusting the colors. We have a huge focus on color, material, and finish here, and that permeates everything we do. Color is so critical to product development and brand development today and how we sync that up. We might be involved in other cases with a client for several years. And then corporate identity is a different thing. We just finished a corporate identity for a company in Ohio that we started in 2018 and they went through a CEO change. We had to go back in and do some additional discovery work in terms of the positioning, and really working hard from the inside out to create the new culture of what this brand was going to be. And so, it takes time. It was recently launched, and shareholders are really excited in the new and fresh things for them.

Jeff Hamm:
I can imagine that designing a corporate brand, especially redesigning a corporate brand would involve, the discovery process would probably be very time consuming, would take some time. I’m sure that’s a big chunk of the time it takes to design a brand for a corporation.

Jamey:
Yeah. Corporate identity programs typically are 12 to 18 months, minimum. It starts always with us with research, understanding research, not only from customers and consumers of their products, but also internal, doing in-depth interviews (IDIs), where we understand from various levels within the organization, what the current perception of the brand is, what it should be, and developing that strategy that really is out in front of them. You can’t design a brand for what it is today. You have to design a brand when you reposition it for what it’s going to become and move toward that. And then the implementation for corporate identity can be exhausting. It can be everything from digital communications, web, internal communications, fleet graphics, all the way then to traditional and digital advertising standards, those kinds of things. We try to leave our clients with a robust standards manual and style guide because they may have an agency. And so, we want to make sure that we’ve coached in, and we’ve been good stewards to the brand, to the point that they can take it and continue to go with it. Oftentimes we’ll come back in a year or two years later, do an audit and assessment, and sort of see if they’re still on brand. One of the things that happens is your business goals are constantly changing, and you try to create a brand strategy that is nimble enough to move with that, while at the same time, maintaining that trajectory of behavior toward the brand. And obviously it’s a positive behavior towards a brand. And that’s what creates meaning, that meaning translates to value. And ultimately the value drives preference in the brand.

Jeff Hamm:
That must be really difficult to define a brand, but also build in some flexibility for future, for pivots . The word that we have used way too much for the last 18 months.

Jamey:
Well, you’ve got situations like COVID. If you’re not prepared for how your brand is going to respond to something like that, it can be detrimental. Your brands can be in made or destroyed in a time of disaster. And it’s one of the things coming, well, we’re not out of COVID yet by a long shot seems like, but the adjustments that are trying to be made. It’s even more important that the communication from the employer brand perspective. Because we think of brand in three ways; we think there’s a corporate brand responsibility, which is overall governance and fidelity of brand. Then there’s the employer brand, which is all about recruiting, retention, and re-engagement with employees and associates. How do you make their experience, and how do you grow that culture internally so that they become your greatest advocates and your brand ambassadors? If you’re gonna spend money on your brand, spend it on your people and then let them be your advertising. And then the third part is the customer / consumer, which is the out facing. And we believe that it needs to be simply intelligent conversations with your external audiences that’s made from the internal communication.

Jeff Hamm:
The visual brand language: I love that terminology that you also mentioned stewardship and I can relate to that because the purpose of this podcast and our Lake Norman podcast is to be good stewards of local small businesses and local entrepreneurs and nonprofits. And the purpose has always been to kind of honor our local small business owners who are so innovative and work so hard to bring something really unique to the community and to their industry. So, I love that reference to stewardship.

Jamey:
It’s really important. The reasons you reposition a brand or the reasons you go in, it goes back to purpose, and if you’re sincere, authentic, and transparent about your purpose, then it will give you the runway you need to day in and day out, pay respect to that and build that culture. And if not, there’s a good chance your brand’s not gonna be successful in the long term.

Jeff Hamm:
Those core values. I’ve had the great privilege of having a couple of really highly successful advertising agencies on the podcast, Boone Oakley, David Oakley, and Luquire, Brooks Luquire, and their chief creative officer as well. David Oakley, I heard you chuckle there. I always chuckle a little when I think of David, , he’s just such a character.

Jamey:
He’s a mess.

Jeff Hamm:
But he’s just really innovative though. Wouldn’t you agree?

Jamey:
So innovative. So on brand, you know, his brand. And I go back pretty far with those guys; John Boone and I were actually at East Carolina together. And I’ve known David for years and I actually sent him a note yesterday based on their COVID (campaign) that made the Washington post yesterday.

Jeff Hamm:
And CNN.

Jamey:
I thought that was brilliant.

Jeff Hamm:
I caught it on CNN. Unbelievable. My wife actually sent me, texted me, an image of that campaign. We didn’t know it was Boone Oakley that was behind that at the time and discovered it yesterday on CNN. I thought, oh, wow, that doesn’t surprise me.

Jamey:
It’s definitely got some DNA markers of Boone Oakley. They’ve blown up restaurants before and done some other things; they love that challenge, and they love to poke the bear in the eye.

Jeff Hamm:
Absolutely. That’s a good way of putting it. Another topic, I love to ask any recommendations, any reading recommendations, or podcast recommendations for listeners who maybe in the marketing or small business space or personal development, any recommendations there?

Jamey:
Yeah. First of all, Best of Charlotte.

Jeff Hamm:
Thank you.

Jamey:
I like Debbie Millman’s Design Matters. I listen to her quite a bit. She has just been Herculean in the building of the brand discipline in our industry, and also Design Observer Jessica Helfand, which is associated with AIGA, which is our national association.

Jamey:
Books. I would say if you haven’t read it, you’ve gotta read James Kerr’s Legacy. I actually have it here on my desk because I keep referring to it. It’s really a reflection of the New Zealand All Blacks, the national rugby team, and what they can teach us all about the business of life. It’s very engaging. It’s a super read. It’s about servant leadership. Sweep the sheds. You’ve probably heard that no individual is beyond doing the work that needs to be done in order to make things better. And their mantra, how they approach everything they do is about creating the sustainability of a culture in a winning way. It’s just amazing some of the business lessons. And then I’d say the other book that really, I’ve had my kids read it, is Designing Your Life. It’s Bill Burnett and (Dave Evans), a couple of Stanford D school guys that really took the design thinking process, applied it to life. And it’s really one of these books, the honors college at East Carolina, it’s mandatory reading for their freshman class. They basically spend their first year reading that book in order for them to be able to make some big life decisions about what they want to do. It was very interesting.

I met with the Dean of the college a couple summers ago and talked about, we’ve all seen this, you’ve got, we may have kids that have experienced this. I’ve got one that’s there. You go to school for three years thinking you’re going to be a geologist or pre-med or something like that. And they wake up one day and they realize that’s not their passion. They have no real interest in that. And it’s like, that’s a big conversation to say, mom, dad, sorry, but I want to go paint , you know?

Jeff Hamm:
Sure.

Jamey:
And really, it’s a conversation that needs to be had, and it needs to be an engaging. The way they addressed it through this book is go through these activities to help define sort of: what are your passions? Where are you? How do you solve problems naturally? How can you solve problems? Begin to put some order in what’s going on again from a design thinking process of gaining insights, ideating a solution, testing, prototyping that solution, breaking it down, until you narrow the funnel, and you get to a solution that is usable, sustainable, and you can move forward with. And then how do you apply that to every day?

Jeff Hamm:
It sounds like an amazing title. That’s gonna be high on my list of reads coming up soon. Listeners know I don’t actually read books. I listen to ’em on Audible, but that will be one title that that I’m gonna add to my library very soon.

Jamey:
There’s a new book out called Designing Your Work Life, which is, again, now they’ve taken the bigger piece, and then they’ve broken into the work life balance and kinda where they’re going in there.

Jeff Hamm:
It sounds like a logical progression from designing your life to also designing your work life. There’s so much talk and instruction and advice about the importance of our environment and that’s a conversation we could spend hours on. But our work environment as well is so important now, especially as so many of us, myself included, we do a lot of work from home now and so many people have been at home working. And I think that line begins to blur between work and home, and work and life. And so, Designing Your Life and Designing Your Work Life—that sounds like two titles that I definitely need to check out soon.

Jamey:
Oh, I think we could all use a refresher on that. , and it’s changing. And that’s the one thing that the last 18, 19 months have taught us is that we realize pretty quickly, there’s a lot of stuff that we can do in new ways. We’ve got technology, we’ve got Zoom, we’ve got Teams. Now we can run a business remotely. You run outta gas doing that, especially in a business like ours, that is so collaborative in nature. The crew was so anxious to get back together, and it’s not every day. We’ve left a pretty big option and we like to be around the office, two or three days a week. And then we give ’em flexibility on the others. We try to create our collab time on those days where we can have meetings together, we can whiteboard together, do those kinds of things. And then we use the other days sort of like focus days. You know where, okay, I can get my work done. I’m gonna be sketching all day, that kind of thing. So, we’re finding a way through this forest.

Jeff Hamm:
Yeah. Jamey, this is really such a pleasure and such an honor to have you on the podcast and to feature BOLTGROUP. This production has far exceeded my expectations over the last year and the quality of the guests that I’ve been able to connect with has just been really an honor. And I definitely include you in that group. This has been really so great. Where can listeners learn more about BOLTGROUP?

Jamey:
We’re on the worldwide web at boltgroup.com. That’s BOLTGROUP.com. And we’ve just relocated. We were in South End for over 25 years; we were in South End before it was called South End. And we’ve just moved to what we’re calling the gateway to the creative North End. We’re on North Graham Street and in a beautiful, adaptive reuse. It’s a mid-century diesel shop with a bow truss roof, and we’re able to create a beautiful environment that we’ve just been in a couple of months. But we can still see uptown; we’re about the same distance from center city, just on the other side now. We’re hoping to build, help create something new on the north end now.

Jeff Hamm:
North Graham, the north end of town has really been going through this beautiful renaissance a little bit slower than NODA and Midwood, but it’s getting there, and some really great things are happening on North Graham at of the north end of town. That’s really cool.

Jamey:
I’m awfully excited about the community here. There are so many opportunities for us as a company and our culture to find ways to give back very locally. And that’s really important to our ethos of what we do is. We have a thing called BOLTwell and BOLTfam, and those are just internal groups where we brainstorm what are ways that we can give back in bigger or smaller ways, depending on what it is, whether it’s working with a soup kitchen, or what can we do to help? We did Classroom Central a couple of years ago, we made cards, the little math cards. We created those and just to see what we could do, use our creative and apply it to the kinds of things that need to be done around here. We hope that we’re gonna be able to do more of that.

Jeff Hamm:
It sounds like you will. I love those initiatives, and I’m glad you were able to mention those before we closed this conversation, because I think that’s so important that businesses, any firm, whether it’s creative or not, finds a way to elevate their community, even if it’s just a really small way.

Jamey:
The work that we do for our clients is focused on their company, community, and culture. And for us, it’s the same. It’s no different; this is our home now. And so, what can we do to enhance it, to give back, make it better, in the right ways?

Jeff Hamm:
That’s well said. I love that. Jamey Boiter, CEO of the BOLTGROUP. Jamey, once again, this has been really a pleasure. It’s great to have you on the podcast. Thank you.

Jamey:
Jeff, it’s been my pleasure. Thanks for the invitation.

Jeff Hamm:
Huge thanks again to Jamey Boiter for joining in the podcast. I was fascinated by so many of the insights Jamey shared.

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