Meet Kristie Staton
Kristie Staton has spent her entire career in creative communications. She learned early on that the most important element in a marketing message was centered on the customer experience. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in Industrial Design, Kristie began her career in the exhibit industry, designing environmental exhibits that delivered immersive experiences for major national brands. Later, she founded Creative Force, a full-service creative communications firm that provides print and digital marketing solutions to businesses and nonprofits throughout North Carolina.
CCE: What does it mean to be a creative?
KS: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I’m not creative. I can’t even draw a straight line.” First of all, there’s nothing creative about a straight line, and second, that statement is malarkey. Everybody’s creative. You don’t have to be a maker to be creative. It’s about how you think. If you’ve ever solved a problem, you’ve applied creative thinking. If you’ve solved a problem for a majority of mankind and you can wrap a business around it, then you’re a creative genius. Creativity in all forms is good. Except creative accounting. That’ll get you into trouble.
CCE: What led you down the path of creative entrepreneurship?
KS: It was purely an accident. I earned a degree in industrial design and had worked in exhibit design for nine years. I wanted to transition to advertising design. While I was training myself on new design software, I took every freelance job I could find with area agencies, printers, sign and exhibit companies. I ended up getting so much work that I continued to work for myself for 10 years. What kept me on the path of creative entrepreneurship were the opportunities for professional growth around all aspects of running a business: client acquisition, personnel hiring, accounting, and continued growth in the art of marketing communications.
These days, I continue on that path for the sake of being self-reliant. As long as I know I can get work doing something I love, I will always have an income stream.
CCE: What’s your WHY? What’s your motivation? What inspired you to start Creative Force?
KS: We live in a DIY world. Do-it-yourself doesn’t mean do-it-well. There are a lot of poorly crafted marketing materials and websites that are ineffective in communicating with the target market and just plain hard to look at. That means there is a lot of opportunity to help organizations improve their message and reach.
CCE: What’s your favorite thing about the creative community in the triad?
KS: Inspiration! Winston’s current ecosystem has so much going on, with numerous organizations that guide the launch of new businesses through education and showcase events where ideas are presented in a public forum. I love seeing all of the solutions that have been developed. More and more people are inspired because they see that they can do it too.
CCE: Outside of Creative Force, what are some of your other creative outlets?
KS: I like to make wearable pieces. I take old clothes apart (sometimes a few different pieces) and sew them into new outfits. I also create jewelry using a bead weaving technique.
We thank Kristie for being an amazing Momentum member and contributor to the creative community!