I think we’re missing a business category.
If you try to search for creative industries or companies, you’re probably going to find a list of marketing firms. Try looking for arts-based businesses, and you’ll find yourself on the South Carolina Arts Commission website full of individual painters, sculptors, and theater performers.
But if you’re looking for companies where the founders’ creativity fuels and defines the business, that’s harder to find. Instead, it’s usually something you encounter, something you sense while you’re doing business with them. How do you Google that?
More importantly, how do you build that?
You can start by taking notes from Katie Williams of Hammer and Bell Design-Build, a local architectural woodworking company. Of course, they are designers and craftspeople, but there’s an art to the way they do business.
There’s no defined category for that: companies where creativity is not just what they do, but how they do it. But founders are out here making it happen anyway.