Alex Varricchio & Kiirsten May, owners of UpHouse in Winnipeg
For Alex Varricchio and Kiirsten May, owners of marketing agency UpHouse, developing creative solutions is the core of their business. After assessing the problems caused by COVID-19, they brainstormed ways to help people in their community get through the crisis. Learn what their sparks started.
“We wanted to do everything we could to let our clients and community know that we are still there for them. One of our missions is to notice gaps and find creative solutions to fill them – so that’s what we’re doing here.”– Alex Varricchio, co-owner of UpHouse.
Alex Varricchio and Kiirsten May, owners of marketing agency UpHouse, know the power of a good idea. When their community was struggling to cope with the crisis, their team worked to create helpful solutions. They’ve since launched three projects designed to relieve stress, spark creativity, and support the frontline as well as business communities in the wake of COVID-19.
The most whimsical of these projects is Frontline Friends, a collection of colouring sheets designed to help children understand the importance of staying home right now. Each downloadable sheet features a line drawing of a frontline worker, a description of their job, and why it’s so important. The sheets have been a blessing to parents who have been overloaded with educating and entertaining their kids at home. This built-in activity, which offers some guidance on how to talk about the virus, has eased tasks and provided relief.
Other recent UpHouse initiatives include an innovation workshop for businesses and Crainstorm, the agency’s crowdsourced brainstorming web tool. “We really believe in the power of outside perspective adding immeasurable value to businesses. To make this accessible right now, we’re allowing anyone to conduct brainstorms on Crainstorm’s live video tool free of charge, and they can also request our time as participants,” says Varricchio.
Varricchio and May set out to offer support to those in need and managed to create opportunities for businesses in the process. “We want people to know that while they may be going through a difficult period, we believe in them and what they contribute to the community. If any of our ideas can help them get back to business, we want to offer that.” At a time when social distancing is keeping us apart, UpHouse is using its creativity to bring us together. Their tools aren’t just thoughtful, they’re here to help us thrive.
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