plus a handful of independent contractors
Shanty Town Designs has been a part of ScrantonMade and Arts on the Square since day one helping us with almost all of our design needs..a true creative pARTnership! Sam and her team are able to take our ideas and magically bring them to life. Shanty Town has created a fun, interactive piece of street art for Arts on the Square that we can’t wait to see it in person!!!
Tell us about how the Shanty Team got together.
We’ve all been friends for a long time and it just so happened we focused on very similar careers. I’ve know Des since Kindergarten. I stole her ring once in first grade and we were in a girl band together in high school. We met Matt in high school and our groups of friends have been buds ever since!
Des and I both went to Marywood for graphic design and we ended up focusing on complementing parts of the design world. Des works more with print design and I am more focused on web design. I’ve been working on all kinds of freelance and creating more as a profession since 2010, fine art, illustration, design, bookbinding and crafting, when I got really into web design in 2012. It’s always been a dream of ours to run a company and have a team of amazingly creative people to do great work and collaborate with. I was trying to start Shanty Town for about a year before Des and I really sat down and were like ‘Well why not do it now?’ It worked out perfect since we complimented each other so well. I enjoy the business side of things and web design, and Des has great knowledge of print design and the processes along with being a great brainstormer! Since we were busy organizing what we wanted our brand to really be we needed help with marketing and that’s when we decided to bring in Matt. He graduated from Mansfield with a degree in PR and is really good at talking to people and simplifying information.
When was Shanty established?
What’s Shanty’s mission?
To help smaller businesses, independent creators, artists, and musicians with branding, visual marketing, and web design. We’re run by creatives who like working with other creatives because we know how fun building a brand can really be. It doesn’t have to be a stressful venture and communication is key. We also like to keep it all local. Whether it’s Scranton-based or USA-based. When it comes to the work we don’t personally handle in house (printing the actual designs or promotional items) we have a network of small businesses we’ve built relationships with to make sure we get the best quality work from an ethical company.
How would you describe your design style?
Trendy, sophisticated, understated, and current.
What’s / Who’s the biggest influence on your work?
There are almost too many to list! We value innovative design, whether it’s graphic, interior, industrial, product, and fine arts. Des is constantly reading autobiographies/biographies about people she admires in any field. I recently turned into an avid podcast listener, some design related, some business related, which in turn inspires us. We draw inspiration not only from the world around us, but from the world we want to create.
Why is design so important for small businesses?
A company’s brand or image is the first thing customers or clients see. Having or building on a brand that people can trust and recognize is how your audience decides whether you’re a worthwhile company for their business. Whether it is a logo, your website, or how you handle your social media accounts, it’s all about showing your audience you are relatable to them.
What services do you offer?
We offer the whole package! Since brand and visual marketing is constantly on going when it comes to owning a business, we adapted ourselves to be able to help small businesses out wherever they may need. We offer logo design, full branding and rebranding, web design, print (business cards, promotional items, t-shirts, wedding invites etc), and any other form of visual marketing we can think of (billboards, signage, illustration, etc)!
Are you offering a discount to AOTS vendors?
We’re offering a free ‘friends’ package to anyone who decides to use us for any type of service we offer. Whether it’s a logo design, a wedding invite, or the whole package! The package includes some freebies such as a Shanty Tee, some stickers, and just a handful of little surprises. : )
What do you love most about being a business in NEPA?
The amount of support out there. The community is thriving and there are so many people taking the extra step to do great things in our area. It’s great to be a part of that! : )
What was your favorite project thus far done for ScrantonMade/AOTS/HOTS?
Either the shop local map or this current redesign of the Arts on the Square website. All of ScrantonMade’s work is my favorite!
What is the best part of being a small business owner?
The hours : ) I am NOT a morning person. Then of course the flexibility of my own decision making and seeing clients be happy with the work we bust our butts on.
What 3 tools would you recommend for vendors/small businesses?
An easy to navigate website for one! It can help organize those businesses that are selling items. Working with a cms/ecommerce store to manage products helps keep track of sales easier and it also comes in handy come tax time.
Some type of photo editor. Whether it’s Gimp, Picassa, Adobe Photoshop, or something comparable even if it’s a phone app. Especially if you post photos or hold contests on Facebook or Instagram. It helps when it comes to resizing images or adding text on top of it. It would come in handy most if you have a website that you’d like to update often. We make templates for our clients when they need help making sure an image fits in, say, a slider on the home page. So some type of photo editing tool is much needed for promotion.
Constantly keep an eye out for new trends in marketing. Always keep one ear to the ground and try to figure out exactly who your client base is (even if it changes over time), and what they want. There’s nothing better than a business that knows it’s customers and caters to them while still cultivating their own world.
Business name: Shanty Town Design
Location: Scranton Area, PA
Samantha Nardelli – Owner | Co-founder | Web Design
Desiree Vispi – Co-founder | Print Design | Concepts
Matt Rinkunas – Account Services | Marketing