Episode 112: The Rowboat Creative Experience

2 min read

After spending 10 years as touring musicians, Lucas Guariglia and Joe Zangrilli started Rowboat Creative in a basement in Chicago, that basement would eventually grow to over 60,000 square feet of some incredibly creative and progressive work. In addition to being one of the most respected merch agencies for their ingenuity, they are also one of the fastest growing and they are young, smart, and passionate about this intersection they work at between art+science.

Mark Graham and I were in Chicago and toured Rowboat. Housed inside an old industrial building, (the old Hammond Organ Company building founded in 1935), we meandered our way through the spacious former factory that now had this gritty, resurgent, street-art feel, a hive of creative energy, in one area they were doing concert set design for a famous rapper, in one hallway an art exhibit was on display, and in one corner a team was looking at flowcharts on the wall which we later learned was a “value stream mapping” meeting, and in the middle, the bulk of their space, a meticulously ordered screen printing, embroidery, and fulfillment area: a very large and intense operation for a couple of guys who started just selling t-shirts to the bands they knew. We sat with Joe and Lucas in their showroom and talked about those early days, how their DIY beginnings still fuel their hands-on experimentation and how their music experience gave them a relentless passion for the fans’ experience, the end-users experience, which led to all types of experiential marketing.

Join us as we chat with Joe and Lucas about how the two of them started a journey full of new discoveries, and continue a never-ending beta test through creative merchandise while navigating a fast-growing enterprise.


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