On Wednesday, May 4, we celebrated two occasions. The first was The Drawing Board’s 30-year journey in business. The Drawing Board was founded in 1985, so this past year was filled with a variety of celebratory items, such as a spotlight in the Reading Eagle, and a video interview with the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce. As the yearlong celebration ends, we’ve been able to reflect over these past 30 years, and look at all the success we’ve had with some great clients and awesome projects. We’ve had the privilege of working for a lot of great businesses and we thank everyone for their business over the years and appreciate the loyalty that so many of have shown to us.
But more importantly, this celebration also honored the career of Laura Wright. Laura and Deb met when they both worked at Westlawn Graphics. Deb worked as a full-time designer and Laura worked part time and also did some freelance work. Somewhere along the way, Laura asked Deb to assist her with a large freelance project, and that started the conversation about working together and starting their own business. They made it official and started the business out of Laura’s attic. After a few short, hot months, they moved the business into the basement. Having the office in her basement was very beneficial, since they could also do laundry while they worked!
After about a year, they moved into a rented space on the 4th floor of a building on Court Street in downtown Reading. They could give up their gym memberships since it was quite a cardio workout just to walk up the 4 flights of steps every day. They even had to hire a crane to move in the necessary equipment that was too heavy to carry up all those stairs! Shortly thereafter, they hired their first employee. After 3 years of renting, they made the plunge and bought the building at 526 Walnut Street, where the business has remained ever since.
Right after they moved, the entire industry changed and everything became computerized. They learned the new system, expanded the services that they offered and started bringing in clients outside of Berks County. Computers and the internet opened new doors for the business.
Over the years, Laura has contributed to The Drawing Board’s success by not only producing great design work, but also by handling much of the sales and marketing effort. She did all of this while raising two terrific children, then moving into the “Grandma” role to help out her grandchildren as well.
In March this year, Laura retired from the partnership. Once again, she is working part time and freelancing, just as she did early in her career. This time, however, her part-time job is having fun and relaxing with family and friends.
We had an intimate farewell party for Laura with The Drawing Board team and her immediate family at the end of March. On May 4 we invited clients, vendors, family and friends so we could publicly thank Laura for her years of creativity and dedication to The Drawing Board and assistance in making this business a success. We all wish Laura the best as she enters into this new phase of her life. She’ll always be part of The Drawing Board as the business continues its journey into the next 30 years.