By: Miles McQuerrey, Contributing Writer
Jennifer Dodson is in the midst of an entrepreneurial streak.
The 2009 Towson alum first began her ‘career’ as an entrepreneur when she was a child.
Every summer she would construct a lemonade stand out of cardboard boxes large enough for her to sit inside of, and sell her sugary drinks.
Today, Dodson has ridden that streak straight into her very own marketing agency, Adashmore Creative, where she works as the company’s Chief Creative Officer.
The small but growing agency is located in a huge glass building just off the Timonium exit on I-83. Among a myriad of awards inside the building, the most recent is from the TU Incubator, celebrating Dodson’s remarkable entrepreneurship.
“Towson has what’s now called the TU Incubator, and it helps start-ups get access to resources to run a business more efficiently,” Dodson said. “Being an alum helped open the door to that conversation to be involved, and that gave us some connections, it gave us someone we could talk to about struggles as a business owner.”
And Dodson had plenty of struggles to overcome.
“What happened was almost exactly two months before my wedding,” Dodson said. “I was shopping for craft supplies to finish up stuff, had a seizure, and went to the hospital for two days.”
Despite testing, Dodson said, no diagnosis was made.
Yet the seizure didn’t stop Dodson from pursuing her goals.
“I finished doing the whole getting married thing, bought some business books on our honeymoon in Fiji,” she said. “Within three months I had filed the LLC and within five months I was quitting my full-time job.”
After Dodson and her husband invested the time and capital to start the business, they had to attend many events to get the Adashmore brand out and into the marketplace.
Dodson applied her unconventional education, consisting of an art degree from Towson and a business degree from MICA, to launch an agency that challenges conventions.
“The name Adashmore Creative is our philosophy,” she said. “Our vision is: as long as it’s fun.”
Dodson said that her time at Towson helped her to understand a lot about operating a business.
She started a design group that helped her understand Student Government Association funding, and helped her understand the process behind raising money and managing a team.
“That’s probably my first real adult experience,” she said.
Dodson said that there are opportunities for students at Adashmore.
“There’s definitely a chance for people to work here,” she said. “Someone with a good resume who thinks they could contribute to our team, we’re definitely willing to talk to.”
Adashmore has already worked for clients like Towson University and the University of Delaware, having produced websites for both.
“There’s a lot of competition, but what it ultimately comes down to is our relationships with our clients which sets us apart,” she said.
To students still working to complete their degree, Dodson offered some advice.
“Get involved,” Dodson said. “Don’t just think of your time in school as taking classes and partying at night. Find an organization that is relevant. Find an internship in the community that will help you understand where you want to be when you graduate.”