George Giavasis is co-owner of Highline Design Co. a local design, marketing, and branding agency.
What does your business offer?
I work with local businesses, organizations, and non-profits to help them sell their ideas to the right people. We build brand identities, marketing campaigns, websites, and everything in between.
My wife Elma and I founded our agency about six years ago in hopes that we could offer the Flathead superior design and brand strategy.
Who are your customers?
We see a variety of clients. Businesses in transition will often come to us looking for branding. Many of those customers are six to 12 months from opening their doors for the first time. Others have been established for some time, but are feeling pressure to have a more robust brand identity to be able to stand out and compete better in their individual market. Other customers approach us for one-off event identities, marketing campaigns, or websites. The main idea is that we’re seeing more and more clients in the Flathead who are feeling the need to stand out, look good, and communicate more effectively.
We’re in a really exciting position. I spend a lot of time researching and learning about local companies and organizations, the niches they fill, and the audiences they serve. We help new businesses identify their place in the local market, and we see established businesses taking the next step.
From your perspective, what does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur in the Flathead?
One of my favorite quotes to live by is, “Work hard and be nice to people.” These are two things Montanan’s seem to excel at. The local community in the valley is strong and supportive. Most folks who try hard, and play well with others are likely to do well. There’s something unique about this place and it’s loyalty to local.
The valley is ready to support new businesses, but on the other hand, as the population keeps growing, more and more business are moving in and opening shop. Many businesses (at least the ones we work with!) are recognizing that they need to go the extra mile, not just to offer a great product or service, but to communicate well and to stand out from the crowd. It’s no longer lost on local entrepreneurs that investment in professional design and branding has a direct correlation with increased economic success.
It’s easy for customers to find you when you’re the only game in town, but chances are, you aren’t anymore, or won’t be for long.
How have you seen the Flathead Valley change in your time doing business here?
I arrived here just as the recession was winding down, so while I may still (always) be considered “new to the valley,” I have seen a lot of change in a very short time. In recent years, growth has picked up steam with no signs of slowing. Two years ago, Kalispell had zero craft breweries; within a year we could have four and a distillery to boot. Personally, our business has seen substantially more buy-in from local startups who recognize the need to invest in their marketing and communication.
The growth of a brand and marketing agency like ours may even be considered a harbinger for future growth.
Highline Design Company:
136 2nd street West, Kalispell