Agency shares creative space, minds to help Lexington clients

clove@herald-leader.comJune 2, 2013 

Upon entering the Livery, you might think that you are in a hipster's fantasy land, not a creative agency.

There's a ping-pong table, an old basketball goal and a custom restored electric-blue vintage refrigerator, along with the original building's brick walls and high, lofted ceiling.

Not the typical office? Good. That's what the folks at Harris & Ward are all about.

Founded in 2011, Harris & Ward is a creative company that specializes in connecting the business world with online creative tools.

"We want to be the place where those business people, hey they're great at cleaning teeth, they are great at giving physicals, they're great at setting broken arms, but they don't understand how to use the technology, how to use the marketing environment that they are in," said A.J. Hochhalter, a University of Kentucky graduate and the creative director for Harris & Ward.

They consider the Livery to be a product of their creativity, and they take pride in the quirkiness of the space.

The building at 242 Water Street was originally the Lexington Livery, where businessmen back in the day would keep their carriages and horses when they came into town.

When looking for a home for their company, the directors sought to find a warehouse-like space that wasn't the typical office but a shared creative space. That's why you'll find their four desks sitting out in the middle of the Livery, not behind walls.

The company's motto is "uncovering unique brand narratives."

"We try to listen to what their unique brand narrative is, and we just try to help them with what they are looking to do," said Corey Maple, a UK graduate and director of integration at Harris & Ward. A collaborative environment, where all the directors' experiences can come together, help to form the final product, in whatever medium that may be. The directors' backgrounds include business, musical scoring and sound recording.

"Whether it is video narrative, website design, we just help them try to tell their story," Maple said.

The Livery also helps to inspire the team when making a project.

"We do usually power through, but it is good to be able to be like, 'Alright, we got that idea, we are all just dead, let's go play ping-pong for five minutes, let's go shoot around," Hochhalter said.

The company gets a positive response from its clients. Many say that they love to play basketball or ping-pong while talking about a business idea.

"I feel like a lot of our clients enjoy that atmosphere," said Bo Harris, the company's director of operations.

Although Harris & Ward has served businesses all over the country, including producing a video for a dentist in Charleston, S.C., they are hoping to turn their attention to the Lexington community.

"We want to give an open invitation for people just to walk in, see what's going on and take the tour," Hochhalter said.

The creative agency is also hoping to use the Livery to hold public events, host seminars, speaker series, gallery hops, etc.

"We definitely want to use this space to reach out to the Lexington community," Hochhalter said. "With being in Lexington, and this being historic to Lexington, we just want to help out local Lexington business, so they can grow as well."

To learn more about Harris & Ward, go to Harrisandward.com or call (859) 428-7616.

Cameron Love: (859) 231-1424. Twitter: @heraldleader

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