Andy Baker Creative Director // CreativeFuse

Caucasian male with red hair and beard sitting on a lime green chair in front of a blue glassboard
Andy Baker

Creative Director // CreativeFuse

About Andy
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Entrepreneur Background
Background
  • From Waynesville, OH
  • Lives in Kettering, OH
  • Graduated from School of Advertising Art
  • Married to Sarah
  • Father to Eva and Lila
  • Dog Dad to Rambo the pug
Entrepreneur Favorite Dayton Landmark
Favorite Dayton Landmark
Dayton Dragons 5/3 Field
Fun fact about this entrepreneur.
Fun Fact
Enjoys ping pong, golf, and secretly enjoys mowing the lawn.

The Story

In 2008, the GM plant shutdown and Dayton had seen better days. I was a designer for small business agencies with government design and marketing needs, which was an odd mashup. Honestly, I was young and immature. However, we felt like there had to be a different way to provide creative services. There weren’t many job openings in our industry– or others for that matter. People lost their jobs and began to start their own companies just to stay in Dayton. Unfortunately, many of them couldn’t afford typical agency rates. With many creatives graduating college, we saw an opportunity to fill a gap.

A group of us creatives gathered a pool of resources, partners, and individuals to meet the design needs of the local startups. Eventually, we felt like a non-competitive, relationship-focused approach was needed. Born out of a grim time, we launched CreativeFuse in 2009 as a non-profit focused on collaborative partnerships. We threw all our chips in the air without making any assumptions about the way a company like this should operate– which is why our tagline is “serving creativity in all its forms.” It’s pretty crazy to think of all the wild conversations we had, like how we make money if we’re a non-profit or how we get business if we’re non-competitive. We remained pretty much underground to folks until co-creating Nucleus in 2015. Since then, we’ve grown a ton with our core team, key partners, and experts that we work with. We’ve recognized that every relationship is an opportunity to meet our clients where they are to help bring their brands to life.

I’ve learned being an entrepreneur requires a significant ability to stay motivated, even when I’m not– being stretched in ways I could’ve never imagined. When I come home some evenings and vent after a challenging day, my wife will gut-check me by saying, “Well, you could get a job…” I simply nod my head and say, “Yes, you’re right.” This reminds me of why I appreciate being an entrepreneur and how much I appreciate the community and relationships that come with it.

The Advice

Do not do it alone. I’ve tried in many ways, at different times, and failed. It doesn’t work, it is no fun, and it’s lonely. Truly amazing ideas are born from community and collaboration with others. Get plugged into your community no matter where you are. Trust me, you’ll appreciate it! You are not alone.

The Connection

  • Co-work at Nucleus
  • Attended or presented at ESP Catalyst
  • Attended TEC Programming
  • Volunteered Time for TEC
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