Light On Creatives Complete Thompson House Inn Business Facelift

Graphic of Thompson House Inn
Artwork by Brandy Coons

Light On Creatives for Community came together with a vision of mutually aiding and collaborating as independent professionals, expanding the creative community, and contributing to the town of Longmont, Colorado. In keeping with these principals, Lisa Patchem, of Lisa Patchem Photography, conceived the idea of awarding a Business Facelift at no cost to a deserving, local, small enterprise, stating that she desired to help “a local business with a little TLC from professionals wanting to share their abilities with their community.” Fellow members of Light On agreed that this was an excellent idea and circulated application information at a variety of venues. Lisa collected this information and contacted applicants before recommending to Light On members at large that the award go to Cee Dolenc, proprietor of Thompson House Inn and Tea Room at 537 Terry Street, Longmont, Colorado. Members of Light On expressed their agreement with Lisa’s suggestion through a unanimous vote.

While Lisa served as client relationship manager throughout the project, each member of the group developed a warm relationship with Cee and worked directly with her while applying our particular talents to enhance her business.

Exploratory session at the Thompson House Inn

Videography by Alicia Beeson

Stained glass artist, Judy Batty, of Judith Batty Stained Glass, revamped a number of Thompson House Inn’s rooms including two bedrooms, the living room, the foyer and the gift shop. She recommended general rearranging of room contents, changes of bedding, and a reduction in the number of room contents including furniture and wall hangings. Throughout this process she adhered to the existing theme of each room. Describing her work on the Royal Room, Judy states, “I painted the walls periwinkle, removed some furniture and replaced it with pieces from other places in the house.  I chose new pictures and items to hang on the walls.  I was able to fix a brass wall hook fixture and suggested hanging some of Cee's collection of hats.” In addition, Judy created stained glass artwork to hang in the room’s window above the air conditioning unit.

Royal Room before Judy Batty’s revamp.
Photo by Thomas Walsh.

Royal Room after Judy Batty’s revamp.
Photo by Thomas Walsh.

Stained glass by Judy Batty.
Photo by Brandy Coons.

Judy Batty at work

Videography by Alicia Beeson.

Graphic designer, video producer, and Light On founder, Alicia Beeson, of XSeed Design collaborated with photographer and designer, Brandy Coons, of Front & Center Design on the creation of a new logo for Thompson House Inn. Together, Alicia and Brandy developed a marketing rack card. In addition, Alicia created four videos which document the services donated by the Light On team. These videos have provided content for social media posts during the project and are included in this blog.

Alicia states, “Two of the most significant things that Light On members wanted to gain from joining a creative group were community and collaboration. Members wanted a way to give back to the community and the Thompson House Inn was the perfect candidate." Regarding her personal goals on the project, Alicia adds, “My goal was to make sure that all members providing free services to the Thompson House Inn would receive recognition for their hard work. Along with documenting everyone's contributions with video, I wanted to offer services to the Inn as well, including a logo concept and rack card design.” Alicia notes “how valuable it is for the group to bounce ideas off one another and provide creative critique and feedback.”

In addition to her collaborative work with Alicia, Brandy Coons created an architectural illustration of Thompson House, designed the print layout for new business cards and promotional postcards, worked on website design and implementation, and provided photography including portraiture of Cee.

Cee Dolenc in Thompson House dining room with wealth of tea cups.
Photo by Brandy Coons

Brandy states, “Overall, it was most important to update and modernize the Inn's web presence and print identity without losing the traditional grace of Cee's services and style. All decisions followed that goal: logo design, color selection, font usage, website layout, image selection and printed materials use a blend of existing visual cues taken from the Inn itself, with clean, straightforward implementation.”

Brandy Coons at work

Videography by Alicia Beeson.

Diana DeBrohun of Silver Surfers Digital Media provides social media workshops and training for organizations and businesses that serve boomers and seniors. In addition, she provides social media packages for entrepreneurs and small businesses and private social media coaching. With her extensive experience in this field, Diana was a perfect choice for guiding Cee in taking control of Thompson House’s digital presence. She worked with other Light On members in presenting their work including a new logo, professional photos, and collateral materials on major sites including Facebook, Yelp, Google My Business and TripAdvisor. As a result of Diana’s expertise, Cee now controls the uploading of her favorite photos, the addition of marketing language to her profiles, and interaction with reviewers. She can now include these platforms in her overall marketing.

Diana became involved in the Business Facelift to learn from other creative businesses while building her professional network. She states, “Though working as part of a team of independent business owners was at times challenging, I found the project a success due to the collective focus on providing both a quality experience and a superb product for our client… I’d do it again in a heartbeat!”

To build awareness of the Facelift Project and Thompson House Inn and Tea Room, Susan Nowlin, owner and manager of Print Experts with storefronts in Longmont and Boulder, printed the outdoor sign for placement on the Inn’s front lawn during the Business Facelift. In addition, she printed rack cards and other collateral materials.

Light On Business Facelift sign printed by Print Experts.

Light On Business Facelift sign in front yard of Thompson House Inn. Signage courtesy of Susan Nowlin. Photo by Thomas Walsh

Susan states, “As a business owner and marketer, I'm continually seeking ways to incorporate new, creative ideas into print marketing to help our customers grow their businesses while strengthening their brand image and messaging. The Light On group provides the opportunity to discuss innovative ways of working while inspiring me to think creatively when problem solving.”

Regarding our work with Cee and Thompson House Inn, Susan adds, “It was a privilege to be part of the Business Facelift Project, as it allowed Print Experts to come alongside another business owner in the community and help her project a professional brand image into new marketing materials to drive future business growth.”

Lead photographer, Thomas Walsh, of Thomas Walsh Imagery, created the bulk of photographs used in the Business Facelift’s final products, both online and hard copy. In one extensive shoot, in collaboration with Brandy Coons, Thomas focussed on large scale images and Brandy concentrated on close ups. Thomas created before and after images of the rooms Judy Batty revamped. He also created images of all other rooms as well as both day and night photographs of Thompson House’s exterior. Throughout the project he found collaboration with other Light On members exceedingly congenial. Thomas declares, “It was a pleasure to work with such an amiable group, at the highest level of professionalism, while helping a deserving small business and, by extension, contributing to the greater community.

Frederick’s Library Prior to Revamp by Judy Batty.
Photo by Thomas Walsh.

Frederick’s Library after revamp by Judy Batty.
Photo by Thomas Walsh.

Thomas Walsh at work

Videography by Alicia Beeson

Regarding her experience, Cee Dolenc states, “It is just like me to enter a contest and not even know what I had won. What an epic surprise! I won a whole team of experts helping me give my business a much needed facelift! Each team member brought a set of different skills to the project. The group covered many areas of expertise that helped me breathe new life into my bed and breakfast and tea room.

“The quality of the work was beyond my expectations. The photographers spent many hours getting the lighting just right. The fonts, the color combinations, the brand, the web-site was thoughtfully designed. I was amazed at the long hours the consultants put into this project.”