It is rare for longtime friends to have the opportunity to work close to each other, albeit in different companies.
In the case of Norman residents Nathan Lofties and Chase Spivey, this takes place in a new office they share together in the city’s arts district.
Spivey Media and Creative Home Designs share 120 Tonhawa St. Suite 103, which is adjacent to The Crucible Foundry.
The couple met almost 20 years ago playing progressive rock in bands such as Farmer, Ghost of Monkshood and Magnificent Bird. Now they are both married and fathers make a living to support their families.
One of Spivey’s recent work projects was to design a sophisticated website for Creative Home Designs that employs Lofties. It has proven to be effective in attracting clients from out of state.
“Our goal was to potentially sell our home designs through the website,” Lofties said. “We have offices in Edmond and Tulsa, Norman being our most recent. “
Other nearby neighbors on Tonhawa are Yellow Dog Coffee Company and Equity Brewing Company. Norman owner and investor Gary Clinton envisions the area becoming more of a Second Friday Art Walk business. Spivey recently painted a mural on the nearby Legacy Trail Bridge.
The artistic atmosphere of the region is growing.
“Moving here has been an opportunity to spend everyday time in a part of Norman that I love,” Lofties said. “I come downtown every day, where I can walk to lunch on Main Street, in Norman’s artistic heart. ”
Spivey’s clients have become more art-centric, including The Depot and Norman Arts Council.
“I really enjoy working for interesting companies that are related to music and the arts that are not-for-profit or that are friends,” said Spivey. “I got to do some group photos here for The Lost End the other day which was really fun. My friend, Tanya Felter (Bishop), is in the group.
Spivey is the founder of the Norman Film Festival and has a background in marketing the groups he’s been in, as well as others.
“I spent a lot of time bringing the creative world into a marketing perspective,” he said. “A lot of artists are afraid to ‘sell’ and end up doing nothing with their art. It’s heartbreaking because, for me, it’s as easy as communication. Art is a form of communication, and the whole point is to be heard, seen or experienced.
“What business owners do is not that different from art. They have a product that can help someone, or there’s always a story that I feel like I can creatively connect with. I help them see their business from a different perspective. It’s finding art in all types of businesses and the creativity in it, which is exciting.
In other organizations, Spivey has become the go-to “weird person”.
“I’d be the one with some weird or catchy ideas,” he said. “I have a lot of fun coming up with crazy ideas for people who probably wouldn’t sit in the same room as me most of the time. “
There are many businesses in Oklahoma and across the country where you can meet with a home designer and develop a floor plan.
“Creative Home Designs offers this very basic service,” Lofties said. “If you don’t have a plan or have some but want to change it, you can meet someone like me and we help you through the process of designing the house you want to live in. At the end of the process, you have a set of blueprints you can take to a builder. “
One aspect that sets Creative Home Designs apart from its competition is that Spivey’s website design consolidates many home plan concepts from across the region in one place. There are over 70 visions to consider.
It is significant that Lofties designs are often influenced by his life or his visit to historic residential neighborhoods. He often mixes modern sensibility with timeless concepts.
“Tulsa is at the forefront, in terms of weird trends or things to try that are exciting or fresh,” Lofties said. “We brought some of these ideas to the OKC metro builders, highlighting the things that work and those that don’t. The Spivey website helped us disseminate this image.
In the past few months, Creative Home Designs has grown from an almost exclusively central Oklahoma company to one that works with builders in Texas, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas.
“These are all the people who stumbled upon our website (creativehomedesigners.com),” Lofties said. “The consensus is that our local builders have been doing the same for 30 years, and we need something new and exciting. People call me and tell me they want what we’re selling because it’s new and updated.
Both Spivey Media and Creative Home Designs pride themselves on providing personalized service to clients, not only by pitching formulas to people, but by listening intently to what they want.
All of this creative knowledge developed over the past 20 years by the duo is funneled into the services clients need and want.
“In the project I’m currently working on, clients know exactly what they want,” Lofties said. “They just need a professional to let them know what works and what doesn’t. Others have no idea what they want but have pictures of houses they like. Sometimes the only place to start is to want an open concept. I never lose sight of the fact that I can be creative which is really cool. “