DesignGood: In The Business of Creating Meaningful Projects // Interview with Kristin Moses
We are all born with creativity, and however we unleash our creativity whether that is through design, storytelling, or some kind of building something, it holds a beauty and a rhythm that makes life exciting and more colorful. Creativity also
For DesignGood Founder, Kristin Moses, who is an award-winning designer with 16 years of marketing and branding experience, she understands the affection so many people have for design and the opportunity design has to do something that matters. Today, Kristin and her DesignGood team (along with her dog, Duchess) are building a community around the idea of using design for meaningful projects because "help comes in all forms."
Keep reading to discover how DesignGood connects with designers, writers, architects, craftsmen, do-gooders, the go-getters, and the game changers who are leaving their mark on the world through creativity and design.
Q | How did you come to the idea of DesignGood? How was the DesignGood team born? I have been in the design and branding world for 16 years where I co-ran a branding agency for 10 years in Texas. After many successful years, I decided to part ways with my partner, and that’s when I really got the chance to reflect on what I wanted to do and on the amazing opportunity to really invent something great again. What was a very scary time in my life truly became a blessing. It was hard to go from something that was very established and back into the unknown.
I didn’t want to leave my current design and branding business just to start another business exactly like it. I had been there, done that, and it was time to do something with purpose.
I knew that design DID “do good” and that it was possible to use design to help people and make the world a better place. The beautiful thing about design is that it can also inspire. So, I wanted to create a hub that inspires people to use their creative talents to take action.
DesignGood is essentially a platform for these amazing people—designers, writers, architects, craftsmen—to create meaningful projects, products, and organizations. It’s about creatives with a heart and designers with passion for more than just design. I believe every story we have written so far really demonstrates how people’s lives are better thanks to the creative work these people are doing.
It’s very rare that I read one of our stories and not get teary-eyed. These people have been through the full gamut of emotions during the creative process, and you can’t help but be moved by their deep desire to do something that matters and that leaves a mark on the world.
Q | What is the DesignGood mission? DesignGood aims to increase social awareness and inspire action through different meaningful endeavors. It empowers the members of the community to use their talents, passions, and resources to create worthwhile projects and businesses.
DesignGood is a place for anybody, designer or not, to discover creative people of interest to them. We want people to feel like they are getting let in on a secret about these creatives making great things that they may have otherwise never found. We want to be the source for people to discover new designers, creatives, products, projects, and organizations.
Initially we launched DesignGood to give props to people using creativity to make a contribution. It was our way of supporting and promoting these amazing individuals. Hence, our tagline, which we still love dearly, is “Create and Contribute.”
Now, we aim to be more than that. Moving forward, we want to help these individuals get to where they want to go not just through inspirational content, but useful content on how to build a thriving business and achieve success and examples of creatives who have made it happen.
Q | Who is DesignGood for? I believe there are A LOT of people out there with a passion burning in their hearts, but it takes courage to actually turn that into action. With that said, DesignGood isn’t just for designers and creatives, naturally passionate and innovative as they may be. It’s for all the do-gooders, the go-getters, and the game changers.
So often we get caught up in apps and devices that the art and craft of creating and making doesn’t seem as glamorous as a career rooted on innovation and technology. Although Google, Apple, and Facebook are now a part of our everyday lives, DesignGood celebrates the creativity from the grass roots. We remain in awe of writers, fashion designers, and street artists. We continue to celebrate creatives making big moves to give back on a grand scale.
Q | How do you incorporate your personal passions into the company? DesignGood embodies and embraces entrepreneurship, creativity, and giving. We’re all about making an impact in a way that actually makes people’s lives better. Whether it’s a non-profit or for-profit, we love, love, love seeing creatives turn meaningful initiatives into successful projects, products, and companies. In fact, one of the orgs we support is Kiva. We love what they do and everything they stand for. There is something beautiful about helping people take the first step, and letting them do the thing they dream to do!
With that said, we blended a little of that into what we are doing at DesignGood. We feel so strongly about the DesignGood community that we exist to spread the word and support them. The more people that know about something, the more good they can do.
Finally, we’re seriously passionate about branding and marketing, since both are the vehicles that facilitate the growth of business. It can also facilitate getting these ideas, people, products, and organizations out into the world.
Q | You guys do everything, from designing fonts to helping with education and helping programs, how do you do it all? Well, we don’t actually design fonts (but I’m sure we could!). If an individual ororganization needs a helping hand in establishing their brand, we point them to the DesignGood Studio, which is the “purpose driven” design shop that’s attached to DesignGood. Essentially, we design for all types of companies, but we really love and focus on companies that are doing great things.
Q | What are your goals for the company this year? What do you think it will take to accomplish them, what setbacks do you anticipate? What keeps you doing what you do despite hardship? The goal for the company this year is to add that layer of value to grow our readership. We have kicked around lots of ideas, from helping entrepreneurs start and fund their projects to brand and identity guidance.
It’s always been sort of a struggle for me because I feel like I need to be true to what I know, and that’s design. However, I love connecting with people and seeing them succeed; how one human helps another human in need.
Help comes in all forms. Sometimes, it’s as simple as a “You Are Beautiful” sticker by Matthew Hoffman, or walking by one of the Mazeking’s happiness circles on the streets of NYC. It can also be as grand as what our friends at The Nobelity Project do—making films that educate and building schools and libraries in Africa. Seriously, I can’t watch one of their film trailers without crying!
What keeps me going is knowing that sitting in the same spot and doing the same thing your entire life is a slow death. I know my career and my life isn’t just about having a traditional marketing and branding firm. Looking back, I can honestly say that the break from my first company was probably one of the best and the most painful things that ever happened to me. Because if you’re not changing, you’re not growing. If it doesn’t feel a little uncomfortable, it’s probably not worth doing.
Q | How did you discover the charities you love and why these charities? I’m tremendously proud of the organizations we support. I’m so blessed to have actually gotten to know the people at The Nobelity Project and The Miracle Foundation.
I first found out about The Nobelity Project when I attended a TEDx event in Austin, Texas 3 years ago. I actually credit them for planting the seeds of DesignGood. At that time, I knew I wanted to do something but I didn’t know what it was. If you get a chance to watch their TEDx talk, I encourage it.
And I don’t have enough amazing things to say about The Miracle Foundation. They have developed this really fine-tuned system for revitalizing and running orphanages. After we did their story for our site, I realized that creating systems also falls under our “Create and Contribute” mantra. They saw a serious need for a solution surrounding orphans and India, and they created this thing that never existed and they are saving lives because of their creativity. That’s pretty amazing.
And of course, Kiva was a no brainer for us. I have traveled enough to know how much difference a micro-loan can make.
Q | Why is it important to give back and leave an impact? When I think of why it’s important to me to give back, I turn to one of my favorite quotes: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” courtesy of Mahatma Gandhi. And that’s exactly what it’s all about. If you don’t do it, who will? In short, no one is going to do the dirty work for you, so you have to step up and do it yourself, no matter how small or insignificant you think it might be.
Giving back is a way for your life journey to have meaning and purpose. In my opinion, it’s what we were put on this earth to do. It gives your life journey meaning and purpose. Giving connects you with people that may have never crossed your path and, as a result, you learn and grow from these connections with people. Everyone is longing for human connections, and giving is a way make connections that would have never been possible. It’s pretty amazing.
Q | What was the turning point when you realize giving back was your passion? I have always loved helping and connecting people, and I’ve always had a crazy love for design. When I married these two passions, DesignGood was born. And it certainly wasn’t without struggle. I knew I wanted to do something that helped people, but I was unsure of how I would turn these ideas into reality. I had to be very honest with myself about what I know, and what I’m good at.
That said, my team and I want DesignGood to continue to grow, evolve, and make a difference. We know that, even when things get tough, we have to stay the course and believe that we can make a difference. Which is why creativity, giving and the spirit of entrepreneurship are the common threads in everything we do.
We love to see people with big hearts and equally big talent become successful and make a difference. We have so much gratitude for what these people are doing and we want the world to know.
Q | How can we keep in touch with you? The best way to keep in touch with us is to sign up and be a part of the DesignGood email list. Once you’re in, you’ll not only start receiving inspiring stories in your inbox, but you’ll also get a confirmation email from us where we invite you to send us your mailing address and, in return, we will send you free DesignGood stickers. They are meant for you to share and spread the “Create & Contribute” message.
Apart from this, you’ll also receive exciting updates, tips and highlights from our design studio, aptly named DesignGood Studio.
Here are two other ways to keep in touch:
Read our stories and share them – DesignGood works because we keep the good going. We choose the people we feature because we believe in what they are doing and think they are crazy talented! We know our readers will, too, and will want to share these hidden gems with their friends.
Every time someone reads and shares a story on our blog, you’re supporting that person’s work and their cause. DesignGood is a family and a community where we promote and support each other, and we encourage and inspire each other’s creativity. If you love what someone is up to, share it!
Tell Us What’s Good – We have a section on our site where you can fill us in on designers, creatives, and artists doing great things to give back. We especially love getting the word out about people, products, and organizations that haven’t received a lot of attention. That’s the heart of what DesignGood is about—promoting and connecting people who are perusing their passions and giving their unique gifts to others. We want to uncover as many of those do gooders as possible!
Photo by Nick Simonite, nicksimonite.com
From the Editor
At Conscious, we are inspired by stories that cause us to think differently and think big-picture and so we set out to tell stories with the help of leaders and influencers in the social good community. You can read more stories like this when you Sign-up for the Weekly and Subscribe to Conscious Magazine.