This year marks the Sweet 16 of my baby, IMAGEHAUS. It’s THE coming-of-year age where this design firm transitions into adulthood—without losing our childlike curiosity.

This whole coming of age idea, quite honestly, scares me more than the idea that I’ve also crept one year closer to this half-a-century mark: Mid-life crisis thoughts? Why yes, of course. But, more than that, I am reminded of my own philosophies—that companies really are people. A company has a personality, a reputation and a sense of being that provokes an emotion in people.

I can say that even though I was a driving force of what this company has grown to become—is the many people who have been a part of shaping IMAGEHAUS into who and what we are today.

So, as we celebrate our Sweet 16, we can humbly yet proudly say that we HAVE achieved many of our goals that I penned down from day one. Published nationally and internationally for design excellence. Numerous national design awards. And, our proudest accomplishment—exceeding our goal of providing over $4 million back to our community in creative services and raising over $34 million to help make our community a better place.

With that said, you can imagine that setting our new goals is sort of… well, challenging. Actually, these new goals I’ve been noodling over for 6 years now. What I discovered in my noodling is that I’m not losing my passion for design because my baby is all grown up. My passion for design is shifting to a passion for the business of design.

Good design is obviously very important for a design firm. But, when that light bulb goes off in your head and one realizes the business of design is as important, if not even more important—now that’s what sparks a whole new level of fiery excitement in me… and the future of IMAGEHAUS.

Happy Sweet 16 to my baby and a gigantic thank you to everyone who has made this birthday possible.