With offices in NYC and LA, coast-to-coast creative production agency thelab is adding another location to the list: Columbus. A Grandview Avenue office will serve as the Midwest hub for the agency that made the move to better serve clients.
“Columbus made sense for us because we’d been doing business with Victoria’s Secret for awhile and we really wanted to be able to offer them a little bit more local service and support” says thelab President & CEO David Bridges. “It also gives us a foundation to build our business in one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. and in a market that is becoming known for its exceptional creative talent.”
Bridges says the proximity will bring more efficiency to the work they do for Victoria’s Secret and foster better communication. Projects can be turned around more quickly when sit-and-wait processes like shipping proofs back and forth are eliminated.
Columbus will serve as a hub for other Midwest-based clients as well, including Simon Malls in Indianapolis and Ft.Wayne-based Vera Bradley.
Outside of already established clients, Bridges sees a lot of potential for growth both in Columbus and the Midwest. For Central Ohio in particular thelab took a look at corporations based in the city and felt as though they might be underserved when it came to the types of services they offer.
“We work with our clients to not only concept and design a lot of their campaigns and marketing materials, but we also handle all of the execution and production internally,” Bridges says.
While they have found a niche in fashion retail, the CEO says thelab is really open to any client that needs to move quickly.
“Everybody is looking for things to happen more quickly and more efficiently,” Bridges says.
The Columbus office will focus more on the production side of print and digital services to start. For print that includes tasks like creative retouching, mechanical design and layout and studio photography, and on the digital side, banner production, basic animation, email development and distribution and web and app development.
Thelab’s creative team will remain in NYC, insourcing production to Columbus. Bridges says that once they feel confident the office is up and running with good leadership and talent, creative services will be added to the mix. However, as he notes, that could all change with one client win.
Expanding to a more affordable location was also a strategic part of the the process.
“The new office allows us to leverage the affordability of the Midwest on behalf of our clients on the East and West coasts,” Bridges says. “While many of our competitors are outsourcing production work to foreign countries, we expect to maintain a competitive edge by insourcing an increasing portion of our work to Columbus over the coming years.”
Thelab is up and running with three local employees and plans to add 10-15 over the next 12-18 months.
As for immediate needs, “We’re looking to add more mechanical artists and retouchers as well as project managers,” Bridges says.
Thelab’s office at 855 Grandview Ave. pays homage to both of their other locations, reminiscent of their LA office on the outside and NYC location on the inside. With clients and employees travelling from location to location, Bridges likes the consistency in aesthetic the space offers.
For more information, visit thelabnyc.com.