Design studio owner likes ‘the possibility that exists within every project’

July 10, 2018

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Joe Schaeffer, co-owner of Thaw, a new design studio that recently opened at 8909 W. Lakeside Drive.

Name: Joe Schaeffer

Age: 27

Hometown: Sioux Falls

What brought you to Sioux Falls?

I moved back to Sioux Falls after graduating from the University of South Dakota where I worked as a designer in advertising for about three years.

What keeps you in Sioux Falls? It’s a combination of family, relationships and the amount of opportunity that exists within this community.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

The opportunity to connect with people, understand their problem and be able to find a novel solution that is effective, efficient and enduring. The possibility that exists within every project, anything from a visual identity for a local artist to environmental graphics for a university. What can we create next? What impact can we make in our community with design?

How did you get connected to your industry?

Most of my initial connections came through the University of South Dakota’s design program. Routine visits to Sioux Falls agencies and the local AIGA chapter, a professional association for design, created opportunities to connect with professional designers in the area.

What made you decide to start your own business and locate in Sioux Falls?

About a year ago, my former design professor, Young Ae Kim, reached out and asked if I would be interested in a business partnership. Upon discussing further, we agreed to open an independent design studio. One of the first things we had to decide was where to set up shop. Out of the locations we discussed, Sioux Falls seemed to have the most opportunity. Between our current connections in the area and the amount of community/business growth taking place, we felt it would be a good fit.

What’s been the biggest surprise about being an entrepreneur so far?

The balance required to ensure all facets of your business are headed in the right direction.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years, I hope to have this small design studio fully off the ground with a team of individuals that all strive to create great work.

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Design studio owner likes ‘the possibility that exists within every project’

This week’s Up-and-Comer is Joe Schaeffer, co-owner of Thaw, a new design studio.

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