Lauren Atherton Featured in Voyage Denver

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Atherton.

Lauren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
From an early age, I loved drawing and painting, but I didn’t discover graphic design until my senior year of high school. I studied Fine Arts and Graphic Design in college and had an internship with a Michigan-based advertising agency where I learned the ins-and-outs of design as a business and creativity as a profession. Through hard work and attention to detail, I was promoted from an intern to an art director in just four years and had the opportunity to work on national accounts such as Chick-fil-A, Henry Ford Health System, and Hungry Howie’s Pizza. I moved to Colorado over seven years ago and worked with several startups, advertising agencies, and DISH Network’s internal creative team before starting my own freelance business.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey has been anything but easy! But through it all, I’m so thankful for the challenges that have pushed me to new levels of courage.

In December 2017, I was rushed to the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery and my odds of survival were a mere 1-3%. I miraculously survived the procedure but was later diagnosed with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome – a rare connective tissue disorder primarily that only affects one in one million people. This diagnosis changed my “normal” life, forcing me to reduce stress, stay active, and focus on my health.

After overcoming such alarming survival rate statistics, I felt burdened to not waste another day, but to live with an unwavering purpose to help others. For years I dreamt of building a creative studio dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations, but after a near-death experience, I knew it was time to make that dream a reality. Thus, HeartSpark was born.

Please tell us about HeartSpark Design.
HeartSpark Design is a design studio that helps nonprofit organizations build strong brands. From brand strategy to visual identity and marketing, we help nonprofits develop or refresh their logo, create or improve their website, grow their social media following, and create marketing materials. All of these pieces of the brand work together to help amplify their message and multiply their impact. Our goal is to motivate the public to support incredible causes and ultimately empower them to do more good in the world.

Our creative team consists of talented professionals from around the country who are dedicated to using their skills to empower nonprofit organizations. My dream is that HeartSpark will become a pillar in the Denver community, providing outstanding branding, creative resources, and support to help nonprofits do the most good.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The people of Denver are incredibly kind, innovative, and dedicated to impacting the world. These values pair perfectly with our mission to help nonprofit organizations. Most social impact agencies are located in New York or Chicago, but iI believe Denver is the perfect location for a social impact agency. Our people have the heart to help and there are a myriad of local nonprofit organizations who are in need of better branding and creative support.