NxLevel: week 3

if you've ever visited blue13creative.com, or seen some of the messages on our soon-to-be released quantum t-shirts, you'd know that i'm into eastern philosophy. a rittle perspective does a body good. :)

a few enlightened jewels that i hold dear (i.e. compassion, moderation and humility) are pillars of taoist philosophy and my personal ideology. and as much as i dislike using such intangible principles with regards to industry, there are some tangible associations between a refined mindset and a successful creative enterprise.

this week at NxLevel, we explored the concept of a customer-driven philosophy and the importance of a positive customer experience. one infallible method for ensuring that customers have a pleasant experience is for business owners and leaders to create a sense of loyalty between company and client. like confucius say, "the scholar does not consider gold and jade to be precious treasures, but loyalty and good faith."

true, the theoretical scholar may be less motivated to make money than the proverbial starving artist turned entrepreneur, but the relation between the two is legitimate. we've seen what can happen when enterprise abandons a sense of customer appreciation (we're collectively looking at you, wall street). so one could argue that if a business, particularly one in the creative sector (assuming we're the ones accustomed to living without the precious gold and jade) were to make bottom lines less critical and focus more on creating loyal relationships, then increased sales and profits and happy times would manifest more readily.


NxLevel: week 2

i love libraries. the majority of the legwork done for blue13's development was conducted happily seated inside several front-range libraries. at the time, i didn't have an office and my home situation was less-than ideal for serious business decisions like which photo of myself should i use for the website.

i have library cards in denver, jefferson county, fort collins, loveland and greeley. thankfully, i'm not a cat guy.

tuesday we had the pleasure of listening to Dixie Malone, denver public library's outreach librarian. with a refreshing no-nonsense approach, this former information and research specialist is an ideal local resource for creative entrepreneurs facing the thrills of market research and competitive strategery.

for starters, Malone introduced us to a project initiated by the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) entitled "Cultural Visioning 2028." our community leaders are helping to shape the future of denver by studying its current and projected demographics and cultural trends in art and business. there's a great video available on denvergov.org that explains these studies and how they'll contribute to our city's cultural relevance throughout the next 20 years. the video shows how various entities within our community are dedicated to artistic entrepreneurs and the importance of local creative enterprise. take a few minutes to check it out.


NxLevel: week 1

so it's been several years since i've been in a formal classroom setting. but i'm truly jazzed about the potential that this class has to offer. in my mind, blue13 has always been a way to simply demonstrate my randomly-acquired talents and fulfill randomly-acquired freelance jobs. once i actually started getting work and creating new ideas for business leads the company started to grow despite my efforts to ignore it. ha!

now that i've realized blue13 is my future (at least immediately), it's all or nothing. do something at half-speed and you'll likely get half-speed results. botched metaphors aside, tuesday night was our first class and i was excited to get started.

there's about 20 students in the class, each with personal visions of taking their creative ideas and turning them into successful business models. when asked why we enrolled, several common reasons compelled my fellow entrepreneurs to take the course: monetizing our creativity, following through on business plans, realizing our potential and overcoming market and personal obstacles.

along with a couple other writers in attendence, our class is filled with videographers, graphic and interior and fashion designers, ceramics and glass artists, marketing and life coaches and someone with a super rad idea for a yoga cafe. i'm so looking forward to networking with these creatives.


off to a good start

a couple weeks ago, i stumbled across a really cool opportunity being offered through the city's Create Denver project and the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC). the program is an intensive business education course called NxLevel with this particular session tailored toward creative entrepreneurs like myself.

for those unaware, Create Denver is an initiative of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs (DOCA) that "seeks to strengthen the health and vitality of Denver by supporting the growth and development of creative enterprises" in film, music, art, fashion and other artisitc endeavors. it's an amazing program involving many brilliant people who promote various advocacy initiatives and policy recommendations to the local powers-that-be on behalf of our creative community. good stuff, indeed.

the NxLeveL for Creative Entrepreneurs and Business Start-Ups is a 10-session, 30-hour course that addresses questions an entrepreneur needs to answer before starting a business venture. during the course, students will learn the skills to develop a business plan to test the feasibility of their business concepts.

despite not having a formal launch (yet), blue13 has been conducting business for several months. but my degree is in communications, so i figured some formal business education would do a wayward writer/artist some good. i read that Create Denver and the SBDC were offering scholarships to the program and i figured i had nothing to lose by applying for the assistance. well...

welcome to the satellite!

greetings creative community - my name is matthew colella and i am the founder and director of blue13creative, a new language arts company in denver, colorado specializing in professional writing and editing, audio/video and screen printing services. while we're gearing up for a fun-filled formal launch event in the very near future, i just wanted to take a quick second to introduce myself, blue13 and some of the exciting things on our horizon.

the development of blue13 is the result of working several years in various creative industries including print media, radio, news, film, television, music and the arts. i've been a professional writer, reporter and editor for years, and fulfilling this type of work for my own start-up company is the natural progression in a business climate of declining newspaper opportunities and unlimited self-publishing avenues.

after dedicating nearly seven years to various positions at community radio station KDUR, the audio, broadcasting and music industries have long been a genuine passion of mine. i'm a musician with the ability to play multiple instruments, am trained in several audio editing software programs and remain connected to colorado's public radio community. the audio portion of blue13's operations will come in the form of production work, editing services and musical composition for film and radio projects.

the video element is another branch of blue13's operations. i am trained in multiple video editing software programs, have shot video using a variety of technologies and have been part of some very special film projects. i've been writing film and television scripts for years, started up a local screenwriter's group and recently completed my studies in digital story-telling through the School of Education and Human Development at CU in denver.

a third pillar of blue13 is our screen printing services. we're currently in the process of launching a line of fair-trade, sweatshop-free t-shirts that will not only draw attention to the company's other creative services but be a key component in our mission of operating a socially-responsible business. the t-shirts led me to the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs and to the Create Denver Expo earlier this year. the shirt project also led us to the non-profit artist cooperative The Other Side Arts (TOSA) in denver to become trained in screen printing and realize that the craft could be added to blue13's slate of services. TOSA not only allows us to network with other creatives in our community, but more importantly enables blue13 to use the organization's cooperative screen printing studio. how awesome is that?

so... thanks for visiting. the next few months are going to be quite busy for our little company and we're excited to get moving. as previously mentioned, sometime soon we're going to have a cool launch party with friends and colleagues. additionally, our quantum t-shirt project is something we've been working on for quite some time and we're really anxious to get them to market. check back often to see what's going on or just to say hello.

if blue13 can be of service with any of your written or A/V communications needs, please don't hesitate to drop me a line. i can be reached at matthew@blue13creative.com.