It all started in a beautiful, old house that our graphic designer friend Paul Wilson found on Prospect Street in Fountain Square.
Paul was leasing 1014 Prospect as an office. It was a great home owned by Southeast Neighborhood Development (SEND) and an early part of Fountain Square’s transformation. We shared the house with Paul for a while, but as we grew, we needed more space and eventually took over the lease ourselves. We also moved in to the garage next door, at 1016 Prospect.
The house was cozy. And it had a history: Throughout our time there, we had the occasional visitor stopping by looking for a place to crash. Our office, apparently, had recently been a sort of flophouse.
That wasn’t the only issue. At first, we worked in one big room at a handmade wooden “carousel” desk, sitting in a circle, like a merry-go-round. It helped us get to know each other really well. Eventually, we went with Jim Walker to the used furniture store to buy folding tables. Not ideal, but better.
Then there was the traffic. You wouldn’t expect it on what looked like a quiet section of Prospect Street, but it was loud. When trucks drove by the house, you had to cover your ears and apologize to the client on the other end of the phone for all the noise. God forbid it was summer and you had a window open.
And we can’t forget about the crickets. They were huge. And loud. Some days, we swore they had their own brass section.
Luckily, it wasn’t all trials and tribulation. There were also some great memories. A whole lot of them, actually.
There were the Friday sausage cookouts (with sausage from Claus’) hosted by SEND. Not exactly geared toward vegetarians, but we always had a great time. And, speaking of vegetarians, there weren’t many options for herbivores down here in the Square ten years ago. It was pretty much the ShelBi Street Cafe (now End of the Line) or Subway. They knew our orders by heart.
There were Friday afternoon guitar sing-a-longs. Lots of introspective front-porch sitting—the perfect chance to clear your head, get creative, and do some people watching. And when our porch sitting spawned a fantastic idea, we’d write it on our high-tech rolling white board. We were really ahead of the curve.
Most important though, we were doing great work for our clients, including SEND, Second Helpings, Lacy Leadership Association, Hoosier Environmental Council, Bill Estes, The Indy Partnership, LISC, and a few others. It’s work we’re still proud of.
While we weren’t always “on it” with invoices, we sure did enjoy helping good causes. And these opportunities allowed us work with two amazing designers—Amy McAdams Gonzales and Paul Wilson—both of whom we still work with today. Heck, Amy just joined WDM as associate creative director.
A lot has changed over the past decade. We’re still in Fountain Square, but now we’re in the historic Murphy Arts Center. There are 23 of us, not three. And we have a few more clients than we used to.
But we’re both still telling Ken what to do—Becky at home and at CICF (a WDM client), and Mindy here at the office. That never gets old.
In those early years, we might have been cramped, busy, and tired of eating the same thing for lunch. But it was all worth it because of where we are today.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Mindy Ford is director of operations for Well Done Marketing; Becky Honeywell is philanthropy advisor for Central Indiana Community Foundation.