Hub & Spoke: Bold Music

The following is an interview with Dean Williams & George Ramsay, Davidson classes of ‘11 and ‘13 respectively. George majored in music while playing two years of soccer at Davidson. Dean was a psychology major and lifelong musician. Shortly after graduating, George and Dean co-founded a music lesson business – Bold Music.

Watch the recording of our interview.

Liz: Walk us through your entrepreneurial journey – take us back to Davidson, just give us a little bit of background up until the point you decided to found Bold Music.

Dean: George & I both were instructors before we were entrepreneurs. To this day, that remains one of our value adds as leaders in our business. We started ground up – we were doing it [teaching] and then we became entrepreneurs in this field.

I had the opportunity to run a music lesson program at a local music store, which gave me the experience of the operation side of the business, not just the teaching side. Since George & I had been buddies at school, I recruited him to come and play. In running that small program, we both realized that the teachers who were focused on being good teachers & role models had students who really stuck around.

We saw that component as well as a few other opportunities in the business to branch out on our own to really start something fresh that we could own and direct. 

George: We looked at our experience teaching in a brick and mortar store and thought there’s a better way to do this – both from a teacher sanity perspective but also for students in families. George and I both thought why not eliminate the need for physical space and give busy parents the ability to have someone come to their house rather than commute for a music lesson.

Liz: Could you speak about how you define the two sided marketplace and break down your process for funding?

George: One of the problems we were solving when starting this company was providing substantial, beneficial, fulfilling work for teachers. The two sided marketplace means that we’re a service for music professionals by giving them a job, but also a service/marketplace for students. From the start, one of the important differences in our company is that the teacher is a little more important than the student. We felt that if we treated our teachers better, respectfully, and paid them more they’ll do a great job teaching and the student side of the marketplace will work itself out. 

Dean: An easy way of thinking about that two sided marketplace is that you’re playing matchmaker. You’re not serving one side, you’re serving both sides and being really good at being a matchmaking is what differentiates Bold Music. 

Liz: Not that you anticipated pandemic, but could you speak to how the virtual convenience factor is a benefit to you?

Dean: It’s funny you mention that…luck & preparedness are certainly important factors in running a business. George had proposed a video platform as an option for makeup lessons. One of the things we wrestled with was if people would find the experience of a similar value to an in person lessons. We wanted to make sure it was “dummy proof”. We had a portal built into our website, there’s a link to a student’s teacher’s portal – it was very easy for both sides for us. Then when the pandemic came, we were able to flip the switch and bring everyone over to this virtual platform that we’ve already built out. 

George: The other piece of preparedness too was that this was a problem that we had been stewing over. As we went through 2019, we spent a good chunk of that time figuring out what we were going to do. By the time October came around, we settled on what language to use to tell people that they were going to get video lessons. It’s important to know that a video lesson is not the same as an in-person lesson; the challenge is to not make it any worse, just use what is beneficial about the virtual platform and don’t try to make it something that it isn’t.

Liz: How did Davidson prepare you & provide a foundation for your journey?

George: The crucial piece of the Davidson experience is that I didn’t become an expert in anything, but I got really good at learning how to learn. The curiosity that’s fostered at Davidson is the most beneficial thing [for me]. I was a soccer player for 2 years; the idea that I could be an athlete and a music major was really important to me. 

Dean: The ability that you learn to quickly learn 2 inches deep on a variety of all subjects. If you take a creative writing class as a econ major, you’re gonna be able to do creative writing at a proficient level by the end of that class. Being an entrepreneur is exactly that: it’s learning a ton of different areas & learning a base-level proficiency. 

Liz: Tell me a little bit about your co-founder relationship and how you’ve thought about building out your operation.

George: Like any co-founders, Dean and I have had our rough patches, but it’s a relationship built on trust. You have to be able to rely on each other blindly. It’s become more evident to me every day that we have two superstar employees that we hired. They’re helping us out and fired up about helping us grow our business, which is a testament to the communication skills we were able to pick up at Davidson.

Dean: We have a big team that works with us like part-time workers &  consultants. George and I have taken a lot of time to find where we need help. [We] went out and found people to do other pieces of the business. We found people to do other things like marketing, public relationships, admin work, and we could spend our time on what we’re good at. 

George: It’s also a direct result of networking. Dean found our digital marketer as a friend of a coworker of a friend, and he’s been with us for 5 years. It’s about always having your ear out for someone who can play a good positive role in what you’re doing and getting them to buy in.

Liz: Could you speak to the decision about how to scale your business, when to ask for crowding funding, and other decisions you’ve made?

Dean: For George & I, we were lucky that we were doing this in our early 20s when we started. The risk of failure wasn’t going to put our family out on the curb, but we were really careful about not risking our financial well being. 

We wanted to start the business without debt. Our fixed costs were much lower than our variable cost, so we could invest in and grow the business as it grew. As we’ve grown, we haven’t taken much out of the business. Almost all of the profit from Bold had gone back into the business in order to grow. 

George: The idea of funding to us…you don’t necessarily need funding. We, by necessity, just started a business that didn’t need funding. You can get creative with funding, we still haven’t figured out funding. We didn’t feel like we were ready to take on an investment of funding. 

Liz: Can you walk us through the decision process to expand into Raleigh?

George: I don’t think we’ve hit critical mass here in Charlotte. There’s plenty of room to grow in Charlotte, but we’ve always wanted to expand and bring new geographical areas into the fold. We had to figure out how we wanted to grow & expand, and the Raleigh case is the first test case for figuring out what works and what doesn’t work.

Dean: Our business is really going to batch the wind in our sails when we’re in multiple markets because we can be centralized. We can do what we’re doing right now for 1 or 2 markets for a lot more. That’s really when Bold Music will hopefully find its greatest success. One of the things that’s important to use is to provide good music lessons for people. A lot of folks think about starting a business as having that next great idea, but ultimately what makes us successful is that we’re doing something people have done for a millennia but are making sure it’s done really really well. 

Liz: What’s your advice for students and others looking to start a business & what’s your ask for how we can help?

Dean: Our ask & advice is pretty much the same thing: it’s to plug in with us. We would love your mentorship – we’re certainly far from knowing all there is to know. For the new students who are watching, we would love to hear your ideas and help and return the favor. I’ve had 4 real jobs since I graduated, and a Davidson allum has been my connection to every one. We want to help, whether that’s a coffee or an internship. 

George: What separates an entrepreneur from a normal person is fear of failure. Trying something new is scary and you might fail, but do it anyway. Everyone’s got great ideas. Don’t let fear stop you from doing it. 

Question from the audience: After being out in the world and working in music, what kinds of classes do you wish you would’ve had at Davidson?

George: The film music type classes were so helpful. I think if there could be more influence on score/production type classes, that would be really helpful. There’s a really nice connection to the commercial music world.

Dean: From a making-money perspective in music, a financial literacy class might be helpful. If you’re going to run a business, you have to know how to run a profits and loss sheet. Maybe there’s an entrepreneurship 101 class that could cover some of those things. 

George: I took one econ class, but having really small applications like case-study examples. Classes where this stuff actually happens in the real world. 

Question from the audience: Could you speak a little bit about how prominent mathematics is prominent in the music business?

George: Music is math, running a business is math. There’s a big need for automation from a programming perspective, and there’s so many cool ways you can use math with music. 

Dean: You’ll certainly be over-qualified to do the math involved in running a business if you graduate with a math degree. As a math-minded person, you probably already have the skills to plug in. Your major doesn’t matter as much as your curiosity and dedication to it. 

Question from audience: Going forward, what do you feel like you need more: teachers or students?

Dean: Teachers, we need teachers. One of things we’re very strict about is not just hiring a good guitar player, but hiring a good guitar player that’s a great teacher & role model. There’s not an obvious pipeline for us to hire from. 

George: That’s the challenge, it’s been this never-ending problem of hiring good teachers. It’s actually our first-quarter number 1 priority, finding a new pipeline for finding good teachers. 

Question form the audience: Any plans for franchising?

George: The short answer is no. The value we bring to the table is keeping everything centralized, so franchising doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. We’re thinking more of planting in more geographical areas, but not relinquishing control or going in that direction.

Dean: The real advantage of franchising is that you have someone else doing it for you. Our advantage as a business is that we can scale pretty greatly off of a centralized model. We may need to hire an individual in a city to be a hiring filter, but other than that we can run more of the business from our office in Charlotte. 

Question from the audience: How do you match teachers and students?

George: We hire for the person, we’ve brought on a flute teacher because she was awesome so we brought her on. We sort of are local to North Carolin], but with the virtual platform now we have teachers & students all over the place. We’re starting to think a little bit differently about that moving forward.

The matchmaking process is one of the fundamental operations of our business. We keep the matchmaking process analog, not automated. There’s a conversation with a student & the teacher, and it’s a very hands on process. The other big piece is routing, figuring out someone’s availability and finding when a teacher will be available near them.

Dean: There’s also a style element that you can’t automate. If there’s someone who has a 7 year old who wants to be like Taylor Swift, we’d pair them with Emily Sage who’s really great with little girls who want to sing and play guitar.

Sometimes it comes down to personality. We know the instructors really well, and try to get a feeling by asking really poignant questions with new students so we match folks whose styles work too. 

George: We are what’s called a two-sided managed marketplace. With AirBnb, you don’t need to speak to anybody. We’re much more hands on, and that’s by design. Maybe at some point we’ll be like that, but for now, it’s important that we’re not only vetting the teacher but also the family. 

Liz: Any final words?

George: Keep in touch! I love meeting people, shoot me an email at george@boldmusiclessons.com. We do a lot of posting @boldmusic on Instagram. I’ve always been a team-type person, and collaboration is something we’re super fired up about. If you have ideas, just shoot us an email. You never know what’ll come from a conversation.

Dean: We hope each of you follows up with us and has another question or wants to have coffee. We’d consider that a success for sure. The Davidson community has done so much for us, so we want to be sure to give back.

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Interview with Russ White: The Hurt Hub Muralist

Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you found yourself in an artistic career.

After graduating from Davidson in 2004 with a degree in Studio Art, I moved to Chicago on a whim with a group of friends and worked at various odd jobs for a while, ending up as a high-end cabinet maker for seven years. I kept making artwork nights and weekends, showing at small art fairs and maker marts. I’ve been welcomed with open arms by the arts community here and been very lucky to build a successful professional practice here as a self-employed artist.

How did you come to work with the Hurt Hub?

After inviting me to be a part of an alumni exhibition at the Van Every Gallery in 2019, Gallery Director Lia Newman suggested my name to the Hurt Hub, who had just started their search for a mural artist. I had previously been commissioned by the city of Hopkins, MN, to design a series of metal screens depicting the history of the city through vehicles, which was similar in approach to what the Hurt Hub had in mind, so it was a perfect fit!

What was your overall goal or what were you trying to convey with the piece?

My main goal was to bring some funky energy into the spaces, especially the Student Project Rooms. I also wanted to amplify the vibe of the Hurt Hub’s design elements — bright colors, youthful energy — while acknowledging the building’s history as a cotton mill.

What made you choose the specific colors that you chose in the mural?

I wanted each room to have its own identity, without losing any cohesion to the overall design. In working with the Hurt Hub management, we came up with color combinations that hopefully feel fun and inviting without being distracting from any work or presentations being made in the spaces — nothing too high contrast on the color wheel within each Project Room.

How long did the murals take you and what went into the planning process?

We worked on this project off and on over the course of nine months, delayed in large part because of the uncertainty around the pandemic. In December 2019, I spent time working in The Hub, walking the campus, and digging into a pile of materials that addressed some history about the cotton mill and the cotton mill industry. Turns out, to no one’s surprise, that the story of cotton in this country is one of racism, misogyny, and labor exploitation. We all agreed it was important to create designs that did not overly romanticize that past but paid respect to the labor that was done in this place.

How do you come up with ideas for your pieces?

I mostly just try to keep my antenna up, to catch what interests me so I can stay excited about my work. In the case of the Hurt Hub murals, we went through several different ideas and inspirations before finally landing on the gears and driving belts from old photos and diagrams of cotton mill machinery that I found in my research. The idea was to abstract what this space actually looked like 120 years ago. I see it as both an homage to the work that had been done here and a metaphor for the overarching energy of the Hurt Hub, driving different entrepreneurial endeavors forward.

How has art in general impacted your life and what is your most favorite project that you worked on?

Really good art punches you in the gut and pulls you in for a hug at the same time. Sometimes it whispers a joke in your ear as well. It’s some piece of a person’s humanity distilled into an object or a performance or an experience. Art is also a craft, a discipline, a practice of seeing and thinking and asking and making. It can connect you to people across cultures, across experiences, across eons. It’s the best.

I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, although it took a while to get comfortable calling myself an artist. I come from a family of preachers and teachers, and being an artist, to me, is very similar except that I filter my experience of the world into images and objects, in the hopes that they will resonate with someone else and help them make some sense out of this hot mess we call reality.

As for favorites… the key to my success is that my favorite project is always the one I’m working on right now.

ermoreauInterview with Russ White: The Hurt Hub Muralist
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Introducing The Fall 2020 Hub Herd!

The Hurt Hub is excited to announce our Fall 2020 Hub Herd Team. The team is comprised of several different positions, including Resident Storyteller, Resident Vlogger, Graphic Designer, and Social Media Guru. Each team member shared a bit about themselves and what they love about The Hurt Hub.

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Iain Anderson ‘21 – Resident Storyteller

What activities/groups are you involved with on campus?

  • Varsity Track, Cross Country, and Resident Storyteller at the Hurt Hub.

What’s your favorite thing about the Hurt Hub?

  • The Coffee Bar!

What are your career aspirations?

  • Teach creative writing and write a book.

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Jessie Epstein ‘21 – Resident Vlogger

What activities/groups are you involved with on campus?

  • Resident Vlogger, tour guide, member of Rusk, and intramural softball.

What’s your favorite thing about the Hurt Hub?

  • The secret room in the back with the scale from the old warehouse.

Something cool we should know about you?

  • I’m a certified personal trainer!

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Garrett Ryan ‘24 – Resident Storyteller

What activities/groups are you involved with on campus?

  • Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DSCO), jazz combo, brass quintet, spikeball club, and Davidson Investment and Financial Association (DIFA).

What’s your favorite thing about the Hurt Hub?

  • All the great workspaces students are able to use.

Let’s hear about the worst startup idea you’ve had.

  • Netflix for books – you search up & find a book you like and borrow it as long as you want.

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Raphael Oettl ‘22 – Social Media Guru

What activities/groups are you involved with on campus?

  • Kappa Alpha Psi Social Pub, Track & Field, and BLU.

Let’s hear about the best startup idea you have.

  • Creating affordable spaces for students in difficult neighborhoods to become financially literate and gain access to educational help.

What are your career aspirations?

  • Start a fitness and wellness business.

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Zoe Ren ‘24 – Graphic Designer

What activities/groups are you involved with on campus?

  • Student Government and Campus Communications.

What are you most excited for at the Hurt Hub?

  • I’m looking forward to seeing all the ideas my peers have to offer!

Let’s hear about the worst startup idea you’ve had.

  • An app that starts playing “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer every time someone is within 3 feet of the device.

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Veronica De La Mora ‘21 – Social Media Guru

What sort of things are you involved with on Campus?

  • VP of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda, Pi Chi Sorority.

What’s your favorite thing about the Hurt Hub?

  • The aesthetics of the space. Makes it easy to enjoy doing work there! 

Let’s hear about the worst startup idea you’ve had.

  • I tried to create my own “brand” while going into my senior year, and clearly, I don’t have enough time for one of them. 

______________________________________________________________________________

ermoreauIntroducing The Fall 2020 Hub Herd!
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Garcia Connects Charlotte Students with Resources

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten educational opportunities in the Charlotte area, especially for low-income students and students of color. QC EdConnect, however, is providing Charlotte parents a platform to connect with learning resources to help their children’s education. 

Wilbert Garcia ’21, a double major in computer science and PPE, spent his summer building the website. “I felt very strongly about creating a platform that connects students with educational resources,” he writes. “Schools provide a lot of resources to students from disadvantaged communities…QC EdConnect is working hard to make sure that these resources are visible and accessible to students and that barriers…are not getting in the way of that.”

The education startup “believes we each have a role to play to ensure that all children in Charlotte have access to an excellent education,” they write on their website. The website provides a map that indicates locations for food banks, clinics, academic support centers, childcare centers, and free WiFi stations.  

Garcia, a native Spanish speaker, also provided translation support to increase the website’s accessibility.

“I [also] helped make considerations about the user experience, what specific stakeholders might need, and what designs would help access resources most efficiently,” Garcia adds. “I…was able to present them a completed product in under a week.”

“Advocacy is also an important part of what QC EdConnect wants to do,” Garcia notes. By clicking on the tab that reads “Get Involved,” access a call script and email template that guides you finding the contact information of local school board members and location of school board meetings, a comprehensive list of articles about education inequity, and links to petitions for equitable education options.

Visitors can explore options to volunteer or donate supplies to organizations in need. “Consider volunteering, donating, or reaching out to organizations on their site to see how you can help,” Garcia says. “Share the website link with any Mecklenburg-based families, students, or educators in your personal network.”

 You can access the website at https://www.qcedconnect.com/

Article written by Iain Anderson ’21

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With Help from The Hurt Hub, New Owners of Elite Roofing Raise the Roof

Last December, co-owners Mick Koster and Ross Erickson acquired Elite Roofing, a small roofing service started in 2012 by Scott and Laura Himler. Koster and Erickson—who both left behind executive roles in corporate America—saw an opportunity to elevate Elite Roofing to the next level.

Along with investor and alternative energy expert Don Miller, Koster and Erickson wanted to continue the company’s commitment to exemplary craftsmanship and first-rate customer service, but expand the company’s product line. “We saw an opportunity to expand and scale the company by bringing in modern processes and technology…including adding in solar solutions to offer a turnkey solution for customers,” writes Koster, a former executive at Lowe’s Home Improvement, headquartered just down the road in Mooresville, NC. “We are strong believers in the opportunity residential and commercial solar energy offers long-term, and most companies are focused on either vertical almost exclusively. We believe that a roofing company that can address both solar and roofing customer needs will be more successful.”

The company also hopes the solar energy line will not only revolutionize the roofing industry, but will cultivate consumer accessibility to alternative energy. 

While some startups have struggled to stabilize because of the ongoing pandemic, Elite Roofing was fortunate to be classified as an essential business. “We’ve benefited from roofing and construction being considered an essential service since day 1.  Roofs still leak and people need to keep them in working order, so we have been able to continue operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Koster notes.

Accordingly, the company has used the summer to redesign their brand. With the help of Gig-Hub student consultant Brie Burrell ’23, the company updated their brand to complement their recent expansion. “Brie is an extremely talented individual that led the design and execution of our new Elite logo, color palette, and brand guidelines…She worked with us on understanding our brand positioning and growth plans, and then developed a number of creative designs and multiple iterations that did an excellent job of communicating our company’s key services.”

Elite Roofing also worked with Matt Cuddy—former Program Coordinator at The Hurt Hub and current owner of Third Cup Creative, a web design studio—to redesign the company’s website. “It was a seamless transition between Brie’s brand work and Matt’s technology and web design development that took our web presence from a liability to major asset,” Koster notes. 

For Koster, Gig-Hub was a mutually beneficial collaboration. The program provides startups an avenue to discover “talented, driven individuals [who] are hungry for some real-world projects to expand their skill set and gain some valuable experience.” On the flip side, working with Burrell and Cuddy gave Koster the rewarding opportunity to “pass along” the skills he’s learned from his career in marketing and software development. “It’s been a great mentoring opportunity for me…With over 25 years of marketing, software development, and new business development experience, it was fun to be able to pass along some of the insights and skills that I’ve learned developing multiple brands and consumer experiences.” 

Elite Roofing operates out of The Hurt Hub, which Koster praised for providing the space and community necessary to fulfill their mission of revolutionizing the roofing and alternative energy market in the Carolinas. “While it’s been a little abnormally quiet the last few months, the sense of community and engagement with other members has been great to see where we can help and learn from each other,” Koster notes. “Each and every day I see more evidence of how truly small our world is, and it’s great to make new connections, share experiences, and build relationships with such a vibrant community.  Our decision to locate in the Hurt Hub was a great one, and we couldn’t be happier with the experience so far.”

ermoreauWith Help from The Hurt Hub, New Owners of Elite Roofing Raise the Roof
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Interview with Izzy Moody + Nelly Turnage: Founders of Bryan Skinwear

Interview with  Izzy Moody and Nellie Turnage , Founders of Bryan Skinwear

Tell me about your business, Bryan Skinwear. Can you describe it in 2 sentences?

Bryan Skinwear offers a solution for skin imperfections and blemishes made specifically for men. Our simple and discrete products create a clean complexion in seconds and guarantee an effortless and attractive appearance. Our mission is simple: to give men the clear confidence they need to look their best!

How did you first get involved with the The Hurt Hub@Davidson?

When we first decided to start Bryan Skinwear, we asked friends and family for advice on where to even begin. We were told that The Hurt Hub at Davidson has many great resources for entrepreneurs, and they were right! There are so many resources from workshops to the mentorship program that we didn’t even know existed. As soon as we found out about everything the Hub offers, we immediately applied to the mentorship program to get involved!

What initially drew you to our mentor program?

Without any experience starting a company, we were lost on where to begin. When we came across the mentorship program on the Hurt Hub’s website, we thought it seemed like a great opportunity. In our initial meeting before getting accepted into the program, everyone was very welcoming and excited to help us! We are so grateful to be a part of the program and cannot wait to see where it takes us.

How have your mentors helped shape your venture? 

The mentors have really been a huge help. After our initial meeting before entering the program, the mentors urged us to create a business plan. This made us really think about what we want to achieve and how. Then, once we were introduced to Daryl and Joe – our current mentors – we were able to go in with a more concrete plan and hear their feedback. Recently, we have been discussing our prototype with them and what changes we want to make before mass-producing it. They have been very helpful giving us contacts and resources to use along the way. We cannot thank them enough for their help and we look forward to continuing to work with them.

Has Bryan Skinwear made any major pivots or progress due to COVID-19?

Bryan Skinwear has faced both pivots and made progress due to COVID-19. When the virus first hit, we were in the process of finding the perfect product by ordering samples. This process took longer than expected because many private label manufacturers closed or their samples were on backorder, causing a delay. On the bright side, we used the extra time off of school we had to conduct more market research and create marketing material.

What’s one thing you think everyone should know about you but probably doesn’t?

We are both members of the Davidson Field Hockey team, which we think gives us an extra competitive edge!

What is one fun fact or exciting thing about you two?

We were both born in Colorado, where Nellie still lives. We also met by chance at a recruiting event years before we ended up going to Davidson together. It’s crazy to think that now we have a business together!

ermoreauInterview with Izzy Moody + Nelly Turnage: Founders of Bryan Skinwear
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Gig-Hub Transforms an Uncertain Summer

Following the nationwide shutdown in March due to COVID-19, hundreds of companies made the difficult choice to rescind in-person internship offers to college students. For students, internships and part-time summer positions provide essential stepping stones toward career development. 

In response, The Hurt Hub ramped up its efforts to provide a short-term solution to Davidson students: Gig-Hub. Gig-Hub employs students as consultants with strengths in one of eight different skill pools, such as marketing or data analytics.  After completing an orientation session–aptly named Gig-Hub 101–student consultants are matched with startups and companies with specific needs for short-term, paid jobs. In light of the internship shutdown, The Hurt Hub reported an increase in student demand for Gig-Hub projects.

Here are just a few examples of students and clients working together this summer through Gig-Hub:

Earlier this summer, Gig-Hub student Melanie McKenzie ‘21 designed animated infographics for TechChange, an online learning platform. “Most of the courses need graphic components like tables or animations…[so] lately…I’ve [developed] skills in graphic design on Adobe Illustrator,” she writes. 

Brie Burrell ’23, another Gig-Hub consultant, worked for Elite Roofing—a residential and commercial roofing startup based at The Hurt Hub—last April. “I headed the design and execution of their logo and helped add color and font information to their brand guidelines,” Burrell writes, “[It] allowed me to add my own creative flair and create something that we both love!”

Mick Koster, co-owner of Elite Roofing, noted how Burrell’s work exemplifies how consultants help build growing startups. “She [Brie] is an extremely talented individual that led the design and execution of our new Elite logo…she worked with us on understanding our brand positioning and growth plans, and then developed a number of excellent designs and multiple iterations that did an excellent job of communicating our company’s key services and would allow us to expand into solar without going through an additional major, disruptive graphic design change.” 

Burrell further mentioned her Gig-Hub work provided the opportunity to develop her graphic design skills: “I was able to learn a lot about brand development and that sometimes less is more…the experience allowed me to dive deeper into some of the “back-end” functions of the Adobe programs and broaden my knowledge.”

Beyond developing technical skills, McKenize also suggests Gig-Hub consultants receive essential exposure to the professional workplace, developing professional and interpersonal skills: “I also learned program manager skills…such as standardizing methods of communication [and] organiz[ing] meeting notes.”

McKenzie testified that the application process is “fast” and “super easy”: “Basically, you submit a resume [on Handshake]” followed with attendance at “Gig-Hub 101,” an orientation hosted by the Hurt Hub where “you fill out your skills and preferences for which sorts of gigs you…want to work.” After that, “you apply for individual gigs with clients, which are also posted on Handshake…Usually they only require that you submit your resume…[but sometimes] includes an interview.”

McKenzie does raise a fair concern: initial tasks for Gig-Hub students are smaller, and it requires a sizable amount of time before transitioning into bigger projects. “My work is composed of many smaller tasks,” she notes, “[but] I’ve noticed that through this summer, I’ve been able to dive deeper into projects and scope out what needs to get done without needing a To-Do list beforehand. I feel like I’ve gained more autonomy over my work and that’s been really rewarding.”

Both McKenzie and Burrell noted, however, that Gig-Hub effectively connected students with startups and companies. “I feel that the process is mutually beneficial. Consultants get to gain experience with real clients in what feels like an ‘I am my own boss’ job, while startups/companies get services at a reduced rate,” Burrell says, “It’s another ode to the strength and support of the Davidson community during our stages of development and growth.” Whereas students have lost summer internship opportunities, Gig-Hub has provided Davidson students the opportunity to develop their technical and professional skills. 

The Hurt Hub is currently accepting applications for Gig-Hub consultants. Interested students can find the application on Handshake

ermoreauGig-Hub Transforms an Uncertain Summer
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