‘Wild Minds’ ready for new ideas
New signage on a familiar local business has drawn lots of attention in downtown Rugby lately.
Daunne Heilman covered traces of JC Penny lettering with a wide, white sign and trim bearing the colorful I Design name just a few years ago, and recently the storefront at 111 2nd St. SE changed again.
Replacing the white sign and trim, burnished metal cursive letters now spell out “Wild Minds Studio,” the letters trailing off into a tangle of scribbles.
“When we were putting the sign up, I think it caused most of the stir,” said I Design and Wild Minds Studio owner Daunne Heilman.
But the signage doesn’t mean what most people think, Heilman said. The Wild Minds Studio name represents a transition, rather than a new business.
Heilman shared her vision of I Design’s transition with participants in Rugby’s Tour the Possibilities walk in October. She led groups upstairs to the 2nd floor of her building, and showed open spaces and small rooms, each with potential for use by creative businesses or startups.
Heilman said remodeling began at the beginning of the year, and continued, bit by bit, throughout the shop’s regular business hours.
“We had to decide do we stay open and make all the changes, or do we try to get through (our hours of business)? So, we had a lot of building, a lot of doing, developing in evenings. So, luckily, people have hung with us,” Heilman smiled.
Workers were still in the process of putting finishing touches on the space while Heilman spoke with the Tribune. “New windows are going in today,” she noted.
“We have a 7,000 square foot building that wasn’t being adequately used,” she continued. “And a combination of renting out spaces for creative-based businesses some incubation businesses are what we’re kind of hoping for (on) the upper level; Maybe some small businesses (person) that worked out of their home and wanted to expand a little bit, and maybe even just get some creative feedback. It will allow them to do it at a very fixed and affordable cost to them.”
Heilman described “incubating” businesses as giving space, support and advice to budding entrepreneurs as they grow their operations.
“So, that’s probably why the transition started, because I have been doing this (working in creative design and marketing) for 20 years, and I wanted to work more with young people and the young, wild mind,” Heilman smiled. “The crazy, ADHD mind.”
Heilman noted the 2nd story space has drawn inquiries from parties interested in occupying it, “but we haven’t really promoted it.”
Although the space features improvements such as new windows, it remains a relatively blank canvas, ready for ideas.
“Until the windows and the lighting and things were in, we just wanted to let people see this develop. And we will build to suit, so that’s the other reason we haven’t done a lot to it, until we have somebody that’s interested in the space,” Heilman noted.
Heilman said I Design and the services she provides through the business would continue. “I Design is still there, but we knew I Design is marketing and creative-based.”
Heilman explained I Design plans to continue marketing, creative and advertising services, as well as custom graphic design products. She said the front of the building’s first floor will still be dedicated to retail space.
The new business expansion and floor plan was “necessary for us to do our job well,” Heilman added. “It was a nice fit.”
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