Industry News 7/20/2015

B$Z: Starch Creative Celebrates Launch; Acquires Orange County Based Airtime PR


Starch Creative, an emerging creative firm based in Orange County, CA, has officially opened their doors and is rapidly growing since its conception. Established in April 2015 by award-winning environmental design executives Michael Hurst and Brandon Ball, Starch comes from a passion for creating stunning retail environments, many of which were made at iconic shoe brand Vans. In addition, Starch has quickly expanded their core services with the acquisition of Orange County public relations firm Airtime PR.

Michael Hurst brings to the collective a rich and broad range of environmental design experience, which includes his most recent tenure with leading action sports brand Vans. In addition, Hurst had success with his own multi-disciplinary firm that, for many years, partnered with some of the largest names in retail.  Hurst left Vans as Senior Director of Global Environmental Design and was responsible for the retail identity of Vans retail positioning and branding around the world. Hurst is a partner at Starch and will lead all creative efforts for the company and clients.

Brandon Ball spent the last 13 years at Vans and played a critical role in helping develop the Vans foundation worldwide. As Sr. Manager of Environmental Design, Ball focused on driving global brand consistency across wholesale & retail channels. Ball was also responsible for marketing ideation and implementation for high profile projects such as House of Vans, US Open of Surfing, Vans Customer Culture, trade shows, as well as heading-up the Field Visual Merchandising Program. Ball is a partner and will lead business development and marketing for Starch.

To fully round out the team and core service offerings, Starch Creative acquired Airtime PR, a growing Orange County public relations and marketing firm. This is a strategic move leveraging the abilities of both companies to create new opportunities for current and potential clients. 

“Michael and I have created a concept that wouldn’t be possible without our experience working together at Vans. Our synergy is electric and we are excited to have a growing team that shares our vision, goals and creative thirst for next level ideas. We want to create memorable experiences for our clients and their customers, and 2015 will be a huge year for us.” - Brandon Ball / Partner

Airtime PR was formed in January 2014 by PR and marketing executive Bob Bradley, who quickly grew the company into a firm that attracted notable hospitality and product clients including Creamistry, Bacchus Bar & Bistro, Calivino Wine Pub, HIIT Bottle, Atticus Creamery & Pies and Orox Leather Co. Airtime provided services including public relations, social media, copywriting, branding and as a part of the acquisition brought over their current clients and team to Starch.

Starch Creative is quickly building a strong name in the creative industry and has partnered with many exciting brands including:

  • Vans
  • Adidas
  • Station A; A NRG Company
  • Shoe Palace
  • Wrangler
  • eONe Licensing

Service Offerings:
  • Retail Store Design
  • Brand Experience Design and Activation
  • Pop Up Retail
  • Marketing
  • Brand Identity
  • Event Design, Strategy and Execution
  • Public Relations
  • Creative Services