Spring has sprung and so has the imaginative power of Brian Jensen and Alicia Lockwood, a dynamic brother and sister duo in St. George Utah who own and run 6BIT Creative, LLC. Who are they you might ask? Not only are they the Utah Microloan Fund's choice for our April business of the Month, 6BIT is a company that offers professional creative services, making and selling creative products and digital assets. They are located in a historic part of the heart of downtown St. George, UT at 55 N. Main Street but are also available for work around the state. Keep reading to learn more about Brian and Alicia and why you should think of them the next time you are in need of creative services for your business.
UMLF: Tell us about yourselves and your background?
Brian Jensen, Co-Owner, 3D Designer, Graphic Designer, Artist
Brian is our 3D Master! He can render just about anything and always loves a good challenge. Brian has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Communication with a double major in Fine Art and Entertainment Art. Brian is very creative and his fine art is amazing and interesting! Brian's education and skills in entertainment art help with any video project. Brian's good humor and calm nature make him awesome to work with and be around. We are always laughing during our workday. Brian was part of the team in a mural project of Washington County in downtown St. George, that was for the Greater Zion tourism and Arts to Zion. Brian is also a cancer survivor. He is happily married, and a dad of two boys, one girl, and one angel boy. He loves to go explore and go on hikes with his family.
Alicia Lockwood, Co-Owner, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Artist
Alicia is our graphic design and printing guru! She enjoys tackling the projects that level up her design work. She says the best feeling is when her clients say, "wow! How did you make that based on my scribbles!?" Alicia has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication with a double major in Graphic Design and Photography. Alicia's education and experience in photography is the icing on the creative cake. Alicia's whirlwind ideas and energy keep everyone on their toes. It is never a dull moment during the workday. Alicia is an active member of several organizations. Alicia has served on several boards and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Modern Farm and Artisan Co-op. Alicia was one of the 30 in their 30's Influencers in Greater Zion 2019 recipients. She is a 1st place, award-winning photographer. Alicia is a single mom to one girl. When Alicia is not creating for her clients, she is still creating art with her family on Friday Night Art Nights, playing games, or binge-watching Star Trek.
UMLF: What inspired you to start 6Bit Creative?
6BIT: We both were doing freelance work but in different cities and we kept collaborating on projects. One evening on April 14th, 2018 we were chatting online about the fate of the future of both our businesses. It was at that moment we were talking about our futures and the idea came up for us to join forces. We decided to merge our two businesses together. We knew we were good at what we did, we loved, we knew we could work well together as a team, we knew we needed to do something to grow our businesses. By April 16th we had registered our LLC and had a logo. What was meant to just be us working remotely turned into a brick and mortar location in St. George, UT.
UMLF: What is a creative company and how is 6Bit Creative different from others out there?
6BIT: A creative company is slightly different than a marketing company. Our specialty is taking your ideas and bringing them to life in creative ways. We offer a variety of creative services such as 3D visualization, graphic design, photography, videography, and illustrations. We also make and sell creative products, stock imagery, fine art, and offer printing services. We also have our photography studio and sound room available to rent. What makes us different is the idea that we are the company to complete the project and we have a range of creative services that we have. We structure our business model, subscriptions, and pricing to help those smaller businesses or individuals to bring their projects to life. Our tagline is: visually clarifying ideas. We believe that our clients know what they want to say or do, they just need someone to guide them, interpret it and build it, that is us. And the most important, is we are a brother and sister team. Perhaps it is a brother and sister superpower, or our combined 20+ years experience and combined education, whatever the case may be, we have this creative synergy that produces some amazing work when we come together.
UMLF: We love your monthly and annual subscription options for business owners, what made you offer these and what is included?
6BIT: We realized that a lot of time we get smaller jobs that we spend more time billing than doing the actual job. This made it tricky. As the smaller projects were important to accomplish we couldn't figure out how to properly charge for the project. We also understood that hiring a professional graphic designer feels like it is out of budget or unobtainable. So we found a way that we can help our clients budget their graphic design needs, have affordable options, cut time and costs so we can dedicate more hours to graphic design time for our clients. There are no surprises for our clients when the final invoice comes. They know how many hours they have for projects they need to accomplish. We offering a one-time payment for a discount based on how many hours the client needs or we can break up the yearly subscription into 12 payments. Clients that utilize the subscription model love it. It is easier for them to submit projects and us to turn them around without that extra paperwork. Currently, we have graphic design and video services subscriptions. We are working on finalizing other kinds of service subscriptions.
UMLF: 3D rending, graphic design, photography, video services, custom illustrations and promos. Is there anything you guys can’t do it? And how did you get so good at this?
6BIT: Actually, there is a lot we can't do, but when we first started we were trying to target a specific industry. It may have worked but we were finding out that we were missing opportunities to some other creative work. We changed our business plan to be a full creative business without being industry-specific. Crazy, right?! We love getting jobs that make us stop and say, "how can we accomplish this?" We love to innovate and learn. We watch tutorials and try them for our own business or personal projects first. We enjoy teaming up with our clients to discuss how to make their ideas happen. We want the projects that we have to research how to accomplish them. And if we can't, we will find someone to contract out that can.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
6BIT: Social media—believe it or not! It has been a challenge to fully dive into what it can offer and it feels overwhelming at times. We know the power social media can have and we have so many cool things we want to share. We've embraced it by planning out what content we want to share and making sure we are more conscious about what and when we are posting, by using schedulers. We are figuring out ways to make it fun and exciting to do instead of dreading it.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped your business?
6BIT: We are incredibly grateful for UMFL! Honestly, when one of our computers died we were at a slow standstill. Alicia was working at night and Brian was working during the day to still accomplish all the projects we had. We had been so careful to keep our overhead low and save money but nothing could anticipate the need for a new computer during the pandemic! Having the opportunity to get a new computer changed the course of our business. It was a better, faster, machine than the other computer was and we were now able to produce more and at a faster turnaround time. It exponentially helped our business having the equipment we needed to provide that top-level professional service we strive for our clients.
I was also in the Banking on Women program and it was a great program. It gave an opportunity to analyze the business and where to take it. It was great to learn more tools and ways to help it be successful. It was also great to make new connections and be a part of a great business community.
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