After learning that I had yet to take a tour, Mike Hill, the General Manager of the St. Louis TechShop location, convinced me talking about the space over coffee just wouldn’t do it justice, and told me that I should see it for myself. He was absolutely right. From the outside looking in, you can see a few of the maker spaces and common area, but without a proper tour you’ll miss out on the state of the art waterjet cutting system, the full wood and metal shops, the textiles and clothing production area, and much more. With 18,000 sqft of everything you could possibly imagine to manufacture just about anything, TechShop is definitely worth checking out.
So if you don’t label yourself as a designer, engineer, or maker type, you might be asking yourself why you would be excited about a space like this in St. Louis. The beauty is your title, occupation, education, none of it matters. All you need is a desire to learn and an ounce of creativity. Don’t feel you need to limit yourself to only using TechShop if you have an idea of what you want to make. Most makers have no idea what they want to create until they are introduced to the tools and resources at their disposal. For example, during my tour I met a young woman, who after learning how to use TechShop’s laser cutters, had the idea to reach out to the makers of Pokemon-Go for a license to make themed keychains. After securing a license and paying for materials, she started making an average of over $2,000 in profit each weekend from selling at various fairs and conventions.
Looking beyond the physical assets provided by TechShop, you’ll also gain the benefits that come with being part of a community of entrepreneurs, creatives, and makers. As Mike told me, being able to network with other patrons, all with their own expertise and knowledge waiting for you to tap into, adds another level to the value you gain when joining TechShop.
So what happens when you give the tools of the industrial revolution to the most creative people in your city? This is the idea behind TechShop. Granting access and training at an affordable rate to tools that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and anyone with a creative itch to bring their creation to life.
You can be anyone from anywhere and create anything.
How To Get In Touch
If you’re interested in individual classes, memberships, event nights or corporate events, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also follow TechShop St. Louis on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to day with their latest updates.
Will it stick? Will it spark engagement? Will it increase conversions? Will it achieve our desired outcomes and produce the results we are looking for? These are the questions we ask ourselves when creating exceptional creative work.
Creating a message that truly resonates with it’s intended audience is no easy feat, but what about the delivery of your message? I think we take for granted the work that goes into a great media strategy. Without having someone who knows how to ensure your message is in the right place at the right time all of the time, even the most creative work can fall flat.
Assuming you hired a rock solid agency to take this burden off your shoulders to create and execute your media strategy, how do you tell if it could have been better? Maybe your expectations were met or even exceeded, but the best of the best know that it’s not about being good, it’s about always looking for ways to be better. With the complexities that come with navigating the media supply chain, it can be cumbersome at best to take on a media audit internally. Your agencies might offer you an after action report, but asking for insights from those with vested interests in the outcomes of your media decisions are probably not the best resource to tap.
After chatting with Mike Solomon, the Chief Media Operations Officer for MMi, a St. Louis based media audit company, he explained to me that as an independent firm, they can maintain media and agency neutrality and deliver pure objectivity. However, these guys aren’t the type of firm you hire to tell you your bait sucks and your boat’s ugly, and leave it at that. As I gained the impression from Mike himself, their entire team is made up of those with an average of 20+ years agency and media experience. They practically have it in their blood to make sure your media delivers the right audience at the right time in the most efficient way possible. With reported spending anywhere from tens of millions to billions solely on media, MMi knows that at the end of the day their goal is is to deliver quantifiable insights that matter, helping clients optimize media planning efforts, and in essence, build a better boat.
How To Connect
Healthcare is an interesting industry, in that from a consumer standpoint, unless you’re an expecting mother, or have a ritual of grabbing lunch at your local hospital cafeteria, most consumers of healthcare would rather not be customers. Combine this element of an already resistant, disengaged consumer base, with the high-risk environment that comes with managing a hospital. Ask yourself what could go wrong, then ask yourself how prepared you have to be to manage and maintain the success of a major healthcare system. It’s momentous to say the least. This isn’t a job where you get to clock in and spend a few hours here and there on Facebook. No, instead you have to perform, and you have to do it well, in what are often chaotic environments. So what is it that drives a more than capable marketing and communications professional to embed herself in an industry surrounded by chaos?
Of the countless passionate and driven nurses, techs, and physicians I’ve met, they will all tell you the reason they go back to work everyday is for those moments, the ones where they know they made a difference in a patient’s life. Sure, some jobs in healthcare give you the opportunity to pull in a decent salary, but if you think it’s about the money, you have yet to realize the sacrifice required to work in this industry. There has to be something more that comes with the job that makes that sacrifice worth it. According to Melissa Sterling, a former Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Hospital Sisters Health System (Southern Division), as well as a former Vice President of Marketing for The ROHO Group, there is without a doubt a reward that is truly invaluable.
Following your passion is great, but pursuing a career that merges your passion with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around you is priceless. This contrast is what Melissa refers to as the difference between satisfying work and meaningful work. As a University of Missouri J-School graduate and well experienced marketing professional, having served in various senior-level marketing roles, the opportunities that allowed her to contribute to the well-being of patients lives were the most rewarding. From the impact she made while serving on behalf of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, to introducing innovative communication strategies for The ROHO Group, the pride and joy that came with knowing she was helping organizations that help others is something she cherishes to this day. If given the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl campaign, which most in the marketing space would see as a dream opportunity, she would rather contribute her part by helping to develop communication strategies in the healthcare space. Her unending drive to invest day in and day out is fueled by the desire to earn that feeling of intense fulfillment, knowing she did something that truly helped the life of someone other than herself.
Some might find this to be crazy, or too good to be true, but I think it’s an innate truth very few are privileged enough to discover. Money is like oxygen; it’s necessary to live, but not the purpose of living. Whether your passion is marketing and communications, or building bridges and engineering for the future, find a way to make a contribution, to give back, and I promise you the sacrifice is more than worth the reward.