Located on Cherry Street in Helena, Arkansas, Thrive began by offering affordable strategic planning and graphic design services to local small businesses and non-profits. These efforts were then stabilized in 2010 through the creation of the Helena Entrepreneur Center (now the Thrive Center), a small business incubator that today serves as a work space to groups of student design teams and mentors. In 2011, Thrive created the monthly downtown celebration, The Cherry Street Fair to provide a marketplace for local merchants, artisans, and musicians—leveraging the cultural assets of the region towards downtown investment and rejuvenation of community pride. After seven years of operation, the Cherry Street Fair was adopted by the community in 2018 and is now operated by the Cherry Street Fair Committee. In 2015, Thrive was awarded a very competitive National Endowment for the Arts, Our Town grant which made it possible to launch the Design Mentorship Residency program which works within the Helena-West Helena public school system to provide industry experience to students within an existing STEM framework.
An Arkansas native, Will studied at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture for two years, received his BFA in Graphic Design at the Kansas City Art Institute (2004) and a Masters of Industrial Design from Pratt in New York City, where Thrive was birthed as a thesis project in 2007. Will was a design intern at the Smithsonian Institute and then worked for a year at the William J. Clinton Foundation in Harlem, NYC, as a Fellow in the Department of Domestic Policy. A co-founder of Thrive, Will acts as the director of the Cherry Street Fair, is Creative Director of Thrive’s Design Services department and manages all of Thrive's marketing.
Hailing from Bloomington, Illinois, Terrance obtained his BFA in Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2005. After working in the exhibit/signage design industry he obtained his masters degree in Design Management at Pratt Institute, NYC, in 2009. Terrance serves as the Director of The Helena Start-Up Program and he manages the business administration and development activities at Thrive. As a co-founder of Thrive, Terrance works with new and existing business owners in Phillips County to develop their long-term business plans and marketing strategies. Terrance’s ability to work with small-business owners and his personal creative background make him uniquely qualified to lead Thrive.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Abby graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013 with a BFA in Graphic Design. She moved to Helena immediately after graduation and has been with Thrive since June 2013. Abby currently sits on the board of Main Street Helena as Vice President, serves on the Policy Advisory Board of the Delta Cultural Center, and is a member of the board of the Arkansas Community Development Society.