Duluth’s Creative Class

By swimcreativehillside dream acrylic painting

People don’t live in Duluth accidentally. Whether it’s family, nature or the lake, we all have something that draws us here. This is not a place for those who shudder at windchill or wince at the sight of steep trails. Duluthians are tough, hardworking, creative and persistent — which makes us great friends and even better people to work with.

One conversation we’ve been having at Swim Creative lately is how lucky we are to have the talent that we do in Duluth and Superior. We have fantastic actors, musicians, visual storytellers, writers and of course, marketing firms — all of whom could live and work anywhere, but choose here.

Duluth’s leading marketing firms are creating modern work that moves the needle for clients. These tremendously talented teams shape brands and connect with consumers across our community and the world. 

As local marketing agencies in a mid-sized community, a few things are very important to our continued success. First, that we are financially supported by our region’s businesses, institutions and government. Second, that we agencies support each other through our shared collaboration. And, finally, that we continue to attract and retain the best possible talent by creating healthy work cultures that pay competitive wages.

Cities of similar size are growing by leaps and bounds. The young, creative class relocating to those cities are after the very thing they can find here — a great community to work, live, play, shop and eat. 

I believe that Duluth and Superior have it over those cities in spades, especially when you consider the wealth of nature and water around us. And our local colleges and universities are drawing in future leaders and talent who are inspired by what our local culture has to offer. Just a mere decade ago, students returned to the Twin Cities after graduation. Now, more students are staying and calling this home. 

At Swim Creative, we are proud to be one of the employers in this region who is helping to attract and retain this creative class. Over the last fifteen years, we have contributed greatly to keeping students here through teaching opportunities, internships and employment. Plus, we’re finding that more résumés are coming from other places, and isn’t that the goal of every city across America? 

I’ll end with this thought: Our local marketing firms are at the ground level of helping to develop and nurture the creative culture and economy so important to our growth. Within a few blocks in Duluth’s downtown and Canal Park, there are a half-dozen marketing agencies who are putting out inspired, insightful work that competes on a regional, national and global scale. And each of these agencies has leadership that I consider friends. 

As our region continues its rise, it is my hope that everyone will commit to partnering with the talent that exists here. Because, the thing is, when local supports local, the whole community grows.

Patrice Bradley, Founder, CEO & Creative Director

As the driving force of Swim, Patrice infuses every business challenge with a clear strategic focus and an impeccable sense of empathy and design. Her 30+ year career has been spent teaching, learning and generally being a force for good.

Image: Hillside Dream
Acrylic on canvas
Jeffrey Schmidt
See more of Jeffrey’s work at Lizzards.com

4 thoughts on “Duluth’s Creative Class

  1. Well said, P!

  2. Well written and so thoughtfully done!

  3. Hear, hear! And here’s to the wealth of creative talent and community-minded people building each other up in our region. Well said, Patrice.

  4. Wainwright

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