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October 3, 2013

Windham firm building around home-grown talent

Creative firm attracts young Granite Staters


Chris Massie, 33, is a senior designer with 36creative who grew up two minutes down the street, graduated from Salem High and came to work for the company after graduating from Quinnipiac.

“Just coming home meant a lot — friends, family,” said Massie, a Salem resident. “To come home, you’re all excited.”

Massie admits he’s a country boy who wouldn’t be happy in Boston, but derives satisfaction from what 36creative is getting done from Windham.

“I take pride in the fact we’ve all created this company and atmosphere that could be in the middle of a design hotbed like New York or Chicago,” he said.

Madison Harold, 25, is a project manager from Derry, working on a degree from Southern New Hampshire University.

“I was really happy when I found this place,” Harold said.

She always thought she would end up somewhere like Boston, not two exits down the highway.

But Harold said she is pleased professionally and personally in New Hampshire.

“I love the atmosphere inside an agency like this,” she said. “You don’t get the stuffy, corporate feel when you walk inside.”

Sanders and Gabriel don’t want a corporate feel.

Sanders wears sandals. Gabriel avoids collared-shirts. That’s their dress code, even when they are doing business on Wall Street.

They tell a story about discarding the dress shirt and uncomfortable shoes before one client meeting.

“We just looked like bums,” Sanders said.

But they still landed the account.

The company targets emerging firms. 36creative aims to stay small. The business plan is for maybe $10 million a year, never more than 18 associates.

The creative atmosphere and team culture are important to the company founders.

“The people downstairs were hired to fit in with the family,” Sanders said.

“It’s all about the people,” Gabriel said.

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