“When you shop with your community, you better your neighborhood and nonprofits” explains Travis Sawyer, COO of Creative Approach. That quote defines the core of Creative Approach’s business model, as well as being one of the first things you see on their website. Small business gives back to their community, while also being just as much a part of the community’s betterment.
Founded in 2004, with humble beginnings in a garden apartment by Sawyer and partner and Creative Approach President, Cale Hall, Creative Approach is the realization of a dream for a local print shop that was fast, efficient, and convenient. Since then, the company has been plugging away for over twelve years, growing from a tiny print-shop to the quintessential printing powerhouse with multiple locations in Savannah and Atlanta. The company includes a full range of print and promotional material, graphic design, and social media management solutions for small businesses.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Travis Sawyer for a quick interview on the success that the company has seen over there years.
The Creative Coast: Talk to us a bit about the decision to start Creative Approach–what need or gap did you see it filling?
Travis Sawyer: I originally had the idea for Creative Approach when I was a student at SCAD. There was no place to print that had flexible hours, a knowledgeable staff and immediate turnaround. It wasn’t until i met my business partner Cale Hall did i find somebody who had the same passion and needs. We started the company in 2004 and opened our doors in 2005 where we were met with open arms that SCAD and small business community.
CC: Why did you decide to start a business here in Savannah as opposed to elsewhere?
TS: SCAD for one reason and the second is because Savannah is a city full of innovation, ideas and a need for print. Savannah was home and the niche that our company initially filled is still a valuable market that our company caters to.
CC: What about Savannah do you feel is a benefit to folks starting their business?
TS: Savannah is a wonderful town for new businesses. Anything goes here in our beautiful city. There are so many different people from all walks of life and Savannah is a melting pot of culture and diversity. I recommend to anyone if they have an idea and a passion to start their business do it wherever you can and if you can do it in Savannah.
CC: What seems to be Creative Approaches strength is that you are this multi-city business but with a really small business feeling–everything is incredible personal from the design of the website to the interaction with staff. Can you talk about the work culture y’all have created at Creative Approach?
TS: Our culture is of course the customer first. We want our team to truly appreciate and see their project from the customer’s point of view. We all know what it’s like to walk into a print facility or design company. It can be scary. Our vision is to have it be a fun, memorable and comfortable experience. I always want people to have a laugh but know that their getting a terrific product that is custom to their needs. I feel that with this culture as a business we treat every guest with a personalized experience.
CC: We also love that your motto for your blog is “create locally” -what does that mean to y’all?
TS: It is a nod at creating, buying and using local vendors for your needs. We as a company try to use as many local vendors as possible. We encourage people to seek out local companies for their needs and keep Savannahian’s employed.
CC: What would you say to folks who are either locals and interested in starting their own business or even folks outside of Savannah who are thinking of becoming locals and starting a business here?
TS: Be prepared to have the best, worst and yet rewarding time of your life. Owning a business is a struggle. You wake up with ideas, you try your best to make them succeed and influence your staff, friends and clients to invest in your dream. If you truly love what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life. Make sure that your passion is contagious and that you surround yourself with a good team that shares or adds to that passion. In the end have fun and stick to your dream it will pay off.
To find out more visit: https://mycreativeapproach.com