Mike Di Carlo and Ashley Hassard are entrepreneurs, models, former athletes, and self-confessed nerds. Their innate desire for innovation led them to start Drawbox, an event and marketing design and fabrication studio, which they founded in 2019 with Ownr. The two co-founders talk to us about experiential marketing and how they straddle business with creativity every day.
What is Drawbox?
Mike: At Drawbox we specialize in trade show booths, retail displays, and experiential marketing (or XM) events. Through brand strategy and design, we craft experiences that help brands stand out, as well as stand for something. We specialize in design-led brand communication and digital innovation and, thanks to some fantastic partnerships over the years, we’ve earned a reputation for doing great work across multiple categories.
Ashley: Essentially we’re the Willy Wonka of the marketing world, taking brands’ big ideas, and finding ways to make them happen.
What made you decide to become entrepreneurs and start your own experiential marketing business?
Ashley: Our roots are grounded in experiential marketing, retail, entertainment, sports and digital lifestyle. So, working with partners and connecting with their audience really came naturally to us.
Mike: While we’ve both worked for some incredible companies in the past, we knew that together, our talents, vision, integrity, and work ethic could really offer something unique to potential clients, and so, we decided to create something that was truly our own.
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What do you remember about the initial days of your marketing design business, and the first few challenges you had to tackle?