When you step inside Seed Strategy’s newly built headquarters in downtown Cincinnati, prepare to be delighted. Aside from the generous light-filled spaces and modern-chic aesthetic, special design details await around every corner. Inspired by the type of innovation work for which Seed is known, countless special touches and curious discoveries provide moments of inspiration, reflection and collaboration.
Here are six (of the many) most enchanting elements you can find in Seed’s new HQ:
16 Quotes for 16 Years
As you enter the second-floor lobby, you’ll see a grand, curved wall, along which are stepped indentions to symbolize tree rings—one for each year of Seed’s history leading up to its acquisition by Burke. Mounted upon each tree ring is a quote that encapsulates the spirit of that moment in time, from “If you build it, they will come”—referencing the spirit of Seed’s CEO, Susan Jones, upon founding the agency—to, “The future is unwritten”—which honors the start of the Burke-Seed relationship and the journey into the future together. Some are silly, some are serious, but all are poignant representations of Seed’s dynamic history.
The Monkey Lamp
Perched on the wall of a private alcove on the first floor, the beloved monkey lamp holds a lightbulb, symbolizing the start of a new idea. Does the monkey himself have a reason for being? Not particularly (don’t tell the monkey that), but you can argue that monkeys embody a playful, curious, collaborative demeanor—not unlike that of an innovator.
The Bill Cherry Gallery
Bill Cherry was a prolific artist, ad man, environmentalist, and the father of Founder and CEO, Susan Jones, and EVP, Chief Creative Officer, Robert Cherry. For much of his life, Bill Cherry created a painting almost every week, later capturing the hills and vantage points of Cincinnati in oil on canvas as he worked as Director at The Hillside Trust, protecting over 250 acres of hillside lands around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Today, a collection of his oil paintings hangs in Seed’s second-floor foyer, as well as in conference rooms and offices throughout the building. Not only is his art a meaningful connection to family and the city, but also a representation of the importance of nurturing personal passion alongside career.
On the topic of passions, Jones has devoted much of her life to establishing herself as a decorated dressage rider, competing in international circuits. Two horseshoes from one of her championship rides with her horse, Four Ever (a.k.a. 40), are buried somewhere in the agency’s central café area for luck. Only a few know where they are located (they are visible—if you know where to look!), but their positive spirit can be felt simply by their presence.
Even Seed’s address—555 West 9th Street—holds important meaning. In numerology, the number 5 represents traits like growth, creativity, opportunity, fearlessness and adventure. Triple 5s signify an amplification of those powers. These characteristics all perfectly sync with Seed’s philosophies, as a company and as a partner to its clients, hoping to inspire the courage to pursue meaningful, visionary change that yields vast opportunity. Establishing this street number for the building brings those principles into practice and hopefully helps to manifest those important attributes for all who visit.
Spanning two stories, a beautiful mural titled “The Wish” adds vibrant color and inspiration to the heart of the agency: the café and communicating staircase. Created by Seed’s Senior Art Director and Illustrator, Cherlyn Varga Toth, the piece features a whimsical dandelion, whose seeds are being blown into the wind, transforming into red-tailed hawks. The imagery in the piece represents many elements of Seed’s culture. Dandelions often represent child’s play, and lore says that the dandelion was granted a long season and durability to allow for children to play with them. The legend of the red-tailed hawk originates from Native American culture, where it’s said that when a red-tailed hawk allows you to see him, it means you are on the right path. Seedlings have always had a history of seeing red-tailed hawks soaring past during pivotal meetings, so they hold a special place in Seed lore.