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Introducing our latest Featured Community Member: Julie Morelli! As co-founder (and designer, printer, maker) of both Letterform and Nourishing Notes, Julie stays busy doing work that she loves, but still takes time to attend the occasional CreativeMornings Chicago event. Her smile and laughter are contagious (we know that photo above has you smiling too, at least on the inside!) and a joyful part of the creative community, near and far. Below are a few neat things to know about Julie:

  • Favorite part of Julie’s average work (or non-work) day:
    My favorite part of any day is crossing a big task completely of my list. It’s an amazing feeling (often followed by pastries).
  • Favorite things to do outside of work:
    Cook, eat, and travel - preferably all at the same time
  • What’s your favorite part about CreativeMornings?
    While I always leave CreativeMornings energized from listening to the speaker, what I really love is seeing all the members of my creative community so early in the morning. Most times we see each other at night - conversations are much different over coffee than beer.
  • If you get the opportunity to speak at CreativeMornings, what’s something you might be interested in speaking about?
    It’s nothing new, but I would certainly talk about the mistakes, the missteps, the stupid things I’ve done along the way. You can see our polished work on the internet, what I think would be interesting to hear about are the challenges we’ve come up against and how we got through them (or gave up or whatever the case may be).

Be sure to say hi to Julie at future CreativeMornings events, and follow her on Twitter via @NourishingNotes and @LetterformInc. Cheers!

This month we are happy to have Razorfish sponsoring our event. We are so excited to have them on board and providing a wonderful breakfast and seating for all of you! We just want to give them a huge thank you for supporting our event, and here is a quick look at who they are and what they do.

Always pushing the envelope and looking for the next big thing, Razorfish helps its clients make sense of the unknown in order to drive change and transform their business. As one of the pioneers of marketing in the digital age, Razorfish blends technology, creativity and media to tackle each new project. The agency’s world class capabilities in strategic consulting, experience design, brand building, technology platforms, data services, retail/commerce and media services enable ground-breaking work for some major brands including Delta Air Lines, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz USA, Microsoft, Nike China, Unilever and Uniqlo. Their team of 3000 experts spans 19 regions across the globe with an office right here in Chicago!

To learn more about Razorfish and see their work follow Razorfish on Twitter @Razorfish and check out their site here. 


We hope you all are getting excited for tomorrow morning, and are pumped about all of the great events happening for Chicago Design Week! We are more than happy to be a part of the design week calendar and that our events get to bring so many cool people and projects together. However, none of this would be possible without the support of our hosts. So without further ado, we would like to introduce you all to this month’s host, MINIMAL, which just so happens to also be this month’s theme!

MINIMAL is a local Chicago studio, located in the Fulton Market district of the West Loop, working on building and creating iconic brand products and experiences for a diverse range of industries including everything from technology and medical products to furniture and environments. Their new multiple bow-truss structure features a 5,000 square foot design studio, a rapid prototyping lab, a massive event space, and collaborative cafe for creative cross-pollination.  The global design studio was founded in 2007 by Smithsonian National Design Award Winner Scott Wilson, our speaker this month, and has been on the rise ever since. MINIMAL works with a range of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, making big ideas come to life and proving time and time again that being “simply disruptive” is a winning strategy. Known for their self-incubated ventures and groundbreaking use of crowd funding with TikTok+LunaTik, they have been credited with kickstarting Kickstarter and the DIY movement for designers and entrepreneurs.

We would like to say thank you from everyone to MINIMAL for hosting our event! Feel free to check out MINIMAL’s site or follow them on Twitter @MNML_Studio and @ScottWilsonID to learn more and see some really awesome work. Don’t forget to put your name on the waitlist if you were not able to secure a ticket. Looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow!

This month our friend and guest Victor Saad is coming to IIT Institute of Design to talk about Freedom. Victor’s most recent venture, Experience Institute, gives students the freedom of experiencing the real world workplace to serve as their education. We asked Victor a few questions to get you all ready for his talk this Friday.

What do people know you for?
People know me for bringing people together, taking risks, telling stories, and reimagining how we learn. 

How is Chicago special for you?
Chicago is home. I was born here and I’ve been formed here. People in this city have taught me everything I know about business and design, but more importantly, they’ve shown me what it means to care for others and build things together. 

What may people not know about you?
I once walked into a stranger’s home in Wisconsin and was licked by a lion and hugged by a lemur.

What drives your creativity?
I believe, wholeheartedly, that we can do more good together than we can do apart. So, I want to make things that inspire, teach and connect others. 

What are you going to talk to us about this month?
White space as common place. 

Join us this Friday, May 23rd at IIT Institute of Design to grab a bite, a cup of joe, and some inspiration to close out your week. 

Ask Victor about that lemur @victorsaad.


We are so excited to introduce this month’s host and sponsor, IIT Institute of Design. They have generously offered for both roles, and we could not be happier to have them on board to support this month’s talk. IIT Institute of Design is a highly ranked graduate-only design school located right here in Chicago with a range of Masters programs and even a PhD program in design, and they have some pretty cool stuff going on. So, without further adieu, here is a message that they wanted to share with you all:

Throughout the centuries, communities around the world have gathered to build together. Everyone had a job and everyone pitched in. A few days later, the people would step back, the dust would settle, and a new barn would stand in their place.

We’re not planning on building any barns in the middle of Chicago, but we are planning on coming together to make some awesome stuff. Meet BarnRaise, a new event run by graduate students at the IIT Institute of Design.From our roots as the New Bauhaus, IIT Institute of Design has always believed in the power of making. Today, as the United States’ largest graduate-only design school, we still love creating things. You can find us in the shop or mocking up a foam core model, but you can also find us building a framework to develop a company’s strategic plan. We advocate creating in the tension between theory and practice, form and function. That’s where great design lives.BarnRaise is a new, immersive, two-and-a-half day experience that combines the best of thought leadership with the energy of building physical and digital prototypes. Designers and other problem-solvers (from Chicago and beyond) will form teams that are hosted by leading design firms around the city.  Each team will then be partnered with a local organization to design solutions around specific challenges related to urban safety. Mornings will start with energizing talks before we head off to our respective project bays. We’ll build until the final bell rings, at which point, we’ll gather and proudly display our prototypes in a public exhibit for all to see. Concepts will be shared. Local partners will be equipped. Cheering will ensue.We’d love for you to join us in our first BarnRaise. Check the ID website for more information and please be in touch if you’d like to be involved. We’re looking forward to designing tomorrow with you.
So we would like to say a big thank you to IIT Institute of Design for making our event possible. We couldn’t do it without their help. If you are interested in learning more about IIT Institute of Design or BarnRaise please check out their respective sites. We hope to see you all May 23 for Victor Saad’s talk on Freedom at IIT ID! Registration for this month’s event opens on Monday, May 19 at 11:00 AM CDT.

Happy Hour with Dallas Clayton
Thursday, May 8th from 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Signup begins Monday, April 28th at 11:00AM!

Ya’ll, we’re breaking new ground. CreativeMornings Chicago is hosting a happy hour talk for the first time! This is for everyone who wishes they could be at our morning events, but can’t make it because of work. Or for anyone looking for some extra inspiration. Or an excuse to hang out with each other while throwing back a cold one. Or all of the above. 

We’re having a special guest come all the way from Los Angeles, Dallas Clayton, to talk to us and hang with Chicago’s creative community. You may have bought one of Dallas’ books, or heard about his tour, or seen his Google Chrome commercial, or been a fan of his since he made internet waves with his self-published book An Awesome Book.

If you don’t know Dallas, you’ll want to. He draws pictures, writes kids books and travels all over the world sharing them with people and having fun. When he’s not working on books for kids, he’s writing for adults and the companies adults run, draws pictures for adults and reads things out loud to a crowd of strangers, like us.

Come out for a night of inspiration, laughs, high fives and good ol’ times. The talk will be held at Workshop, located a short walk from the blue line in River West. Tallgrass Brewing Co. and Lakeshore Beverage have partnered to serve up cans of 8-Bit Pale Ale, Halcyon Wheat and Ethos IPA. Dallas will give a 40 minute talk, followed by a 20 minute Q&A with the audience. As always, the event is FREE and there will be lots of getting to know each other before and after. A big thank you goes out to Desktime for sponsoring this event!

And now for the fine print: The law tells us you must be 21 or older to attend and IDs will be checked at the door.

Psst… there are only 125 tickets to this event, so when it fills up, that’s it folks. Also, registration for this event is only available through Eventbrite, not the CreativeMornings website.

Signup begins here on Monday, April 28th at 11:00AM.

Hope to see you there!



Hi everyone! I don’t know about you, but we are so pumped for this Friday’s event. If you forgot to register it’s not too late. This event is bigger than our usual and there are a few seats left! So, to get you all excited we wanted to share some fun facts about this month’s host space, 1st Ward Events at The Chop Shop

The Chop Shop and 1st Ward Events, consists of a deli complete with an authentic salumeria and gourmet butcher shop, a full bar that serves fine drinks of the artisan and local variety, a top-notch restaurant, and a 6,000-square-feet event space all in one! They opened their doors in October of 2013 in Wicker Park, and they have been doing their thing ever since. This eclectic space calls a 100-year-old building, that previously housed an actual auto-body chop shop and a 1970’s porn studio, their home, and it could not be more perfect for this month’s talk. With the Chop Shop just landing a spot on Chicago Magazine’s “Best of” list, and 1st Ward Events hosting all sorts of events including concerts, fashion shows, weddings, corporate events and now CreativeMornings, we are definitely excited to be a part of the groups that have been welcomed to this space. We can’t thank them enough for hosting our event! We would not be able to have such great talks each month without hosts like them.image

Want to know more? Check out their respective sites:

The Chop Shop
1st Ward Events 

Can’t wait to see you all on Friday morning!


Hello everyone! We hope everyone is getting pumped for next week’s event. We just wanted to share a big thank you for this month’s sponsor, Basecamp! Not only is Basecamp helping us to put on this month’s event, but also they help our team every month by creating the best project management application we know. All of our planning happens on Basecamp and we would all be a bit lost without it.

Basecamp has been around for the last 15 years, and in that time they have helped thousands of companies, ranging from individual freelancers to larger international brands, complete millions of projects all over the globe. It is both super secure and super easy to use, keeping all of your project planning as simple and seamless as possible. One of the best parts is that Basecamp keeps you up to date on project happenings via email. Even better, if you access the message on a mobile device, you can click on a link at the bottom and it goes to a mobile friendly page with all of the details you need. Like I said, we would all be a little less efficient if not altogether lost without this handy application. Sound like something you need? Good news…you can start your free 60-day trial today!

Thanks Basecamp for helping making our events possible. Feel free to check out their blog here. Don’t forget registration for next week’s event opens on Monday. We hope to see you there!


This month we’re welcoming Searah Deysach to the stage. She’s a creative entrepreneur who founded Early to Bed, one of the top rated sex shops in Chicago, and she’s an expert at making this month’s taboo topic of 'Sex' interesting, to say the least. So Chicago, if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Searah yet, here’s a little introduction.

1. What do people know you for?

My hair. My constant use of the words Dildo & Butt Plug at inappropriate times. And I hope, for opening up Chicago’s first women-owned sex shop in 2001 (and for being really nice). 

2. How is Chicago special for you?

Chicago is my home and has been my whole life. I LOVE this city full of hardy folks and my community of creative, self-motivated weirdos. I cannot imagine anywhere else I could possibly live.

3. What may people not know about you?

Well, not much, since my life is pretty much an open book and the only things I don’t talk about are things my girlfriend would not want me to mention. Or maybe they don’t know that my love of marshmallows is only eclipsed by my love of hot fudge pudding cake. 

4. What drives your creativity?

Necessity. As a fat kid, it was all about creating my own clothes & fashion since I couldn’t wear what my friends were wearing. As a tortured art student it was all about processing the gunk of my life. As a business owner it has been all about how to survive a crap economy while not compromising my values. That takes a lot of creativity. 

5. What are you going to talk to us about this month?

Sex! And why the world needs feminist sex shops. Also probably butt sex. 

Should be a really exciting morning! Follow Searah @searahD and signup for her CreativeMornings talk on Monday, April 21 at 11:00am CDT held at 1st Ward Events in Wicker Park.