After a year of collaborating with Alex Trujillo and Jon Nutting, the umbrella has officially folded closed. It’s been a great year with a lot of positive experiences and lessons learned. The educational value that I personally have received from this experience is truly priceless and has helped mold me into a better person and a more business savvy entrepreneur. Although it saddens to me to be departing from a company that we worked so hard to build, the opportunities that have opened up to us is a true testament to the success of our overall goal. So how does something like closing down a business, which most would associate to failure, become a success? It starts with an idea.
Umbrella Haus came about through the need for us to have a creative environment to work comfortably in. As most freelance designers know, the challenges of staying motivated, on task, and creatively inspired while working from home can often overwhelm and burn you out. For me personally, I began taking on bigger multifaceted projects as a freelancer that I just couldn’t handle alone. Umbrella Haus was our solution for our need to have an open space and an umbrella company to house our talents (thus the name). The Haus spelling was a reference to the German multidisciplinary design school Bauhaus.
Like any startup, opening a business is an uphill battle especially in a downhill economy. While we figured that we could collectively bring in enough referral and new clients to pay the bills, we determined that our goals for this company would be different from the typical profit-driven business models. In our initial brainstorm sessions we identified a couple key traits that we all shared.
- We are all talented and experienced in multiple creative fields
- We all had areas that we could improve upon and/or refine
- Our ambitions and goals were much grander than just another design studio
Realizing these key points led us to defining our goal as a creative studio. Rather than focus on building a profit-based business, we would use the opportunity to refine our skills, experiment with new styles, create new relationships and use our talents collectively for the sake of creating new career opportunities.
In the end, I can honestly say that we succeeded in accomplishing that very goal. We worked on some high profile projects, got a chance to establish new connections, learned new skill sets, honed in on our creative abilities and most importantly; we had fun doing it. As we prepare to hand over the keys to our Midtown studio and hang up our trademark yellow ties, I can’t help but look back at this experience as a monumental catalyst for what’s to come in the near future for me and the rest of the team. Thank you to everyone that supported our venture and helped promote the team, and more importantly thank you to Jon and Alex for making this opportunity a reality.
If you’d like to know more about what the Umbrella Haus team members are doing, we will be revamping the umbrellahaus.com website with information about each of team members.