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Wendy Van Ryn

Wendy Van Ryn

Owner / Creative Strategist

Years of Experience:
Branding & Marketing Strategy / 13
Messaging & Copy / 15
Print Design / 13
Web & Digital Design / 11

Hello! I won’t give you the cliche how-much-I-love-coffee statement, but I will get the basics out of the way…

Boring Bio:
I help business leaders and entrepreneurs unravel ideas that will captivate their markets, increase their sales, and grow their businesses.

My passion is to help people make the best decisions for their businesses. By “best” I mean what will work for YOU, not what an agency or freelancer wants to provide you with.

For example, I’ve had clients who:

— had a target market more active on another social media channel than Facebook

— existed ONLY offline (and vice versa)

— didn’t need a website to launch at all, just a great landing page to capture leads

— had spent tens of thousands on marketing before coming to me and learning the problem was internal and fixable!

At the end of the day, I’m a strategic thinker… meaning, I see the big picture and can help you get there without spinning your wheels and wasting time or money on collateral you don’t really need.

I believe strategy through people, ideas, strong design, and a compelling message make a brand shine. Let’s get there the fastest way possible.

OK, so who am I, really?

I’m pretty much a complete extrovert, but if you’re an introvert don’t be afraid! I’m married to one, and most of my closest friends are introverts. 😉

I rarely sit still, regularly wake up at 1, 2, or 3 a.m. with IDEAS, and appreciate things that are weird, clever, or (admittedly) stupid funny. Weird Al and I Love Lucy come to mind…

I like to laugh, but I take my work very seriously.  While I’m a big picture thinker, I strongly believe if you are going to hire us, you deserve to understand the details as well.

Too many times I’ve encountered clients who were not given the courtesy of explanation with prior designers, or even agencies. What is a vector format and why does my logo need to be in it? What is this PMS acronyms? Should I be Pinning, Facebook-ing, Tweeting, AND Blogging? What about email marketing?!

This is one way I serve you – by simplifying the details and providing you with information you actually need.

So where did I go to design school?  I didn’t.

After 3 years of college, a job in one of my chosen majors (journalism), small gigs and teaching in the other (dance), I withdrew. Yep, I did the college-drop-out thing. I suppose I didn’t see the point of working to pay $ to head either in a direction I wasn’t sure about, or one that really wouldn’t offer me the financial stability I wanted. Practical, yeah?

I’m not a fan of one-box-fits-all.

I landed in an advertising agency at a time when the industry was rapidly changing (pre-smartphones). I ended up spending every spare moment learning design, typography, graphics, printing, and even coding HTML & CSS.

Passion (and skills!) is why I don’t apologize for not going to design school. I highly value education, and for me it’s come through mentors, online sources, books, and plain-old-sitting-down-to-figure-it-out.

I started my own biz in 2005 and never looked back. Here’s what I’ve done since I started:

  • Brand Strategy
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Messaging + copywriting
  • Identity + collateral design
  • Digital + print marketing design
  • Written standards-compliant sites (HTML 4.01 Strict)
  • WordPress, Joomla, OS Commerce, ZenCart sites
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Landing page design
  • Mobile & UI/UX design
  • and designed a whole lotta interesting stuff (like Christmas hymnbooks!)

On a personal note, I’d rather be in the dance studio than gym any day, and there’s one thing you should know about ballet dancers: we work harder than anyone you’ll ever meet. (Seriously – have you seen our feet? Go ahead and Google it, I’ll wait…)

Pain Schmain…

Think we’d work well together? Drop me a line! Or take a look at Tom’s bio; his personality is opposite mine, but he has the same drive… and the degrees. 😉

Tom Van Ryn

Tom Van Ryn

Owner / Product Designer

Years of Experience:
3D Modeling / 16
Developing Engineering Standards / 6
Creating Design Processes / 6
Design in the Auto Industry / 7

I’m a product designer with a knack for blending art and engineering.

I’m also a strong integrator who can easily develop teams, prioritize tasks, and streamline processes.

My skills are working with proportion, details, and interesting shapes to create a product that is more than the sum of its parts. I enjoy the challenge of developing for function and aesthetic.

I’m also – yep – a car guy. That’s a little cliche, but I don’t mind.

While my passion and expertise is in wheels and automotive, I’ve worked on a variety of projects over the last 10 years. Because of the unique complexities in this field, I’m able to easily translate my skills to other products and industries.

I’m also a strong proponent of creating standards and procedures to operate within. Implementing these for clients has allowed me to drastically reduce their lead times. The results from streamlining not only improve a company’s efficiency, but profitability as well.

You can see more of my work here.

My Backstory...

I’ve been fascinated (obsessed?) with cars since I was a kid. In fact I have a box of drawings that goes back to when I was about 7 years old. Not sure why we still have it, but we do.

In 2001, I found some 3D modeling software that looked promising, so I sat down to figure it out.

When I say sat down, I mean literally. No eating, drinking, breathing, blinking, were involved on Saturdays when I’d spend the day glued to the computer.

Wendy teases me to this day about it…

I was learning Rhinoceros (3D surface modeling software). I was primarily focused on modeling cars, but I quickly found my favorite part was designing the wheels for my models.

I had just received my Bachelors in Management & Business Information Systems, but I didn’t get to use those skills right away. So I went back to school (technical school this time) and got another degree, in drafting.

I had a job waiting for me after graduation, drawing in a structural engineering firm. This was in Las Vegas, so when the economy tanked (and no one was building casinos or high-rises for awhile), everyone was let go. It was around that time a company in Florida contacted me to design a hypercar concept from the ground up. Pretty crazy, right? It was my first industry contract.

More on that in a sec…

Around that time, I found my way to MHT Luxury Alloys as a design engineer. (My dream job: wheels!) From there, I was recruited by ADV.1, and designed and engineered their wheels, created new wheel configurations, developed their engineering standards and created their internal design processes. Currently I’m designing and engineering a new wheel brand called 1221 Wheels.

I’m a details person, think in 3D, introverted but not shy, love cars, Sci-Fi books, Star Wars, and I’ve never liked coffee until this last year. (That’s not cliche, that’s just odd.)

My strengths are in conceptualizing and turning crazy ideas into manufacturable products. The hypercar concept I developed was based off a very loose Batmobile-like sketch – literally. We took the concept all the way up to packaging, which is technical jargon for “putting stuff inside.”

Wheels are one of the most complex products you can model. There’s a fine balance between art and engineering and it’s this challenge that I love tackling every day. I’m always open to new ideas, new concepts, and even new industries.

Have an idea, sketch, or just a wild hair? Send me a note.

If you like, you can check out my auto industry work and projects mentioned above.

Unseen and soon forgotten, the journey is the art.