I knew there was a lot to work out with the concept of a traveling studio. I also knew the first stop would also be a bit bumpy while we worked out the kinks. Conceptually, I floated the new traveling studio to a few clients and designer friends – trial balloons, if you will. Everyone loved the idea and anyone who was capable immediately said, “We have space.” (It made me think this might actually work!) One of those test-dummies was Hovie of Design Hovie Studios. I accepted, and our first host/sucker was set.

Hovie’s studio is the ideal first stop. Our firms have a complex intertwined history. When my first attempt at creating a design firm blew up, I established Wolken Communica while working in his space in Ballard. Shortly after I settled in, Hovie left for Milan for two years. Together we created a plan for WC to take on his clients and employees while he was gone, and then hand it all back when he returned. Beyond all expectations in this world of backstabbing and all-about-me-isms, it worked extremely well. 

While he was gone, we lost our lease. I moved the studio to the Queen Anne space where we’ve been for the last nine years. When Hovie returned from Milan he worked out of the WC studio – but the siren’s call of Ballard was too strong. He moved back to his natural environment. We play for the same soccer club and are friends in general. It would be a congenial first setting for this new model. I call him Mr. Ballard.