Buris Chalmers Creative
Buris Chalmers Creative is Sharing Stories and Generating Resources for Organizations here at home and across the state.
Just like many people across the country, Bill Graham and Angie Schwab lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to get creative with the direction of their career paths. They combined their experience to start a new business called Buris Chalmers Creative. Through this new business, the pair work as contract consultants to help companies see opportunities and challenges in new and different ways.
Building on both of their talents and strengths, Graham and Schwab decided that not only could they make a difference in the community, but it was time to take their future into their own hands. “We bring people and organizations together to solve projects that feel out of reach,” explains Schwab. “We recognize the important role that nonprofits play in communities and generally focus on strengthening those organizations. We share stories that demonstrate the impact of their work. These nonprofits play a big role in our community’s prosperity and resilience.”
One example is the work Buris Chalmers Creative has done at Mountain Projects. “For more than thirty years, I have wanted to share the stories of Mountain Projects,” explains Patsy Davis, Mountain Projects Executive Director. “Bill and Angie are helping me with my goal. They unite their talents to share our stories in a powerful way. The photos they take capture the essence of our services. They are helping expand knowledge about the amazing work of our agency while generating financial resources to meet client needs.”
When it came to getting their new business up and running, Graham and Schwab had many ideas building on their past experiences as business owners. When they came to certain crossroads in making decisions, they decided to seek a third party for guidance. They turned to the Haywood Community College Small Business Center, where they connected with Ashley Swanger to keep their new concept moving forward.
“Ashley’s perspective provides us with greater clarity,” Schwab says. “If we get mired in an issue, she suggests a well-thought next step. Her advice is invaluable, clarifying decisions and direction. She helps us see and build relationships with those that can help us, and in the end, her assistance saves us time and money.”
Buris Chalmers Creative works with businesses and organizations to pursue goals and support growth. The services may include work in design, communications, grant-writing, fundraising campaigns, content development, branding and publications.
For Graham, helping people makes the work they do feel meaningful. “This work is a good way to use our skill sets while doing what we like to do.”
Especially important to the pair is the fact that they are now taking their livelihood into their own hands. “This business provides stability and gives us control over our lives and schedules,” Schwab says. “The freedom of entrepreneurship feels pretty good.”
According to Swanger, the work done at Buris Chalmers is making an impact in the community. “Angie and Bill are making our community stronger. They are supporting organizations tackling important social impact issues and helping them create solutions. Like all small business owners, they are also shaping and creating their own strategic path. It is very rewarding to see their growth and success.”
Find out more about Buris Chalmers Creative by visiting burischalmers.org.