An actress and an architect walk into a bar.
For those of you who know us, we come from very different backgrounds. Faith – an actor who spent more than half of her life “walking in other people’s shoes”. Stacy – an architect who learned she didn’t want to wear “an architect’s shoes” (the all black thing, it’s just too much). From the outside, we may look like the odd couple, but truth be told it’s our differing yet overlapping perspectives and passions that make PinPoint what it is today.
Where It All Began
The story began, not at a bar, but at one of the most prominent design thinking agencies in Chicago using human-centered research & design to improve the fortunes of the Fortune 500s. Faith was known for her innate ability to guide clients and her team through the art of connecting, researching and storytelling. Stacy was known for her talent to design a future not yet imagined driven by the research findings Faith and team were gathering. Our skills were not only complimentary, they were made for the other. One successful project led to another, followed by another, until we were essentially inseparable.
All that time together got us thinking. What if we could take some of the pain points we witnessed and turn them into PIN points? (Yes – that is actually where we got our name.) Our differing backgrounds crossed paths because of a simple, yet shared objective – get to know this world and the people in it so well that we couldn’t help but make an impact on their lives.
Learning From the Pain Points
As two women, born and raised in Chicago (ok, ok, transparency is at our core, Stacy was in the suburbs – but close enough) the dream was to evolve the design thinking principles we had developed for Fortune 500s and make them accessible for people like us who truly needed them – small & medium sized business leaders who gave up everything to make the world a better place. So what was the first thing we did? We applied our process to ourselves and learned other business owners, like us, had core needs:
- They wanted to truly improve the lives of their customers
- They wanted their company & teams to be successful for years to come
- Cost of ‘entry’ into a design-thinking was thought of as ‘out of reach’ & only accessible to aspirational brands with aspirational budgets
- If they did pursue, they were left with inactionable research and a deck that sat on a desk for years
Designing the Pin Points
So what did we do? We turned every one of those pain points into (yes, you guessed it) pin points.
- We communicated like real people – no fancy language for fancy-sake
- We developed a model that met leaders no matter their business was at
- We created a pricing strategy that was fair, transparent, and most importantly simple
- We not only identified the right thing to do, but we gathered our Collective of designers to make sure we would execute things right
And here we are today, co-founders of the only design thinking studio for small & medium B2C companies. Not a day goes by that we couldn’t be more grateful for this journey, to be able to work with people who want to make a difference in the world. Although our stories started in very different shoes, we are grateful every day that they intersected and gave us the confidence to take the biggest risk of our lives. That risk, as big as it was, has been worth every moment of reward knowing we get to impact those who need it the most.