Creativity can be like gas in a tank. If you go, go, go, you burn it all up. Work/life balance in creative industries is really important.
Business owners are paying more attention now to the environment they create for their employees. It’s not just about recruitment, either. It makes for a better product for your clients and customers.
Talent needs a place to thrive. And running creative businesses in a secondary market like Lafayette means you’re often a training ground. Developing talent can be an important competitive advantage.
Cherie Hebert created a garden for advertising talent when she launched BBR Creative with her partners in 1997. The firm has grown to compete on the national stage with award-winning campaigns for big brands like Tabasco, CC’s Coffee House and Cox Communications.
What got Cherie into the business was a passion for advertising design, a discipline with an important distinction from visual design. Advertising design is about sending a message, not just establishing a vibe. BBR creates messaging that cuts through the noise. With so much media noise pollution out there, it’s a tricky thing to do. At BBR, Cherie has created a space for her employees to create. They make a point to avoid burnout so their creative juices can refill. It’s an attitude that’s helped the firm attract gobs of talent over an impressive two decade run.
Like good design in advertising, a good tattoo needs clarity. Strong lines. Stark contrast. An image that cuts glass. Or, as tattoo artist Coby Cox would put it, an image you can make out from across the bar.
Tattoos aren’t rebellious like they used to be. Thirty percent of Americans have at least one tattoo. That’s about 100 million people. And the market for ink is getting more competitive but also more sophisticated.
Coby has watched the industry change from his shop AAA Tattoo in Lafayette since 1997. AAA sets itself apart from other shops with an open environment. It’s the kind of place anyone can get inked without judgment, and where young artists can learn tricks of the trade. Coby knows what it’s like to be the punk kid in the tattoo shop. He got his first tattoo at 16 in the back of a Harley shop. In other words, AAA’s business strategy is to invest in people.
Photos by Brad Bowie. And check out Cherie’s previous appearance on Out to Lunch Acadiana when she was in the tiny house business.