LIMA — In the past few years, Cody Ridenour and Chad Stearns have made an effort to change the perception and the energy of downtown Lima.
Now, “you can’t really go anywhere in this town without seeing something we’ve done,” Ridenour said. “You drive through town, you see our stuff.”
The two own Modo Media, a creative and design studio in Lima, that has worked with about 40 clients overall, many businesses near their own offices downtown.
“I think when people want something creative and something different, they think of us,” Stearns said. “If you want something a little bit out of the box, that’s us.”
As the two work to grow their business, others are recognizing what they’re doing, as Modo Media is a finalist for Lima/Allen County of Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Business Award, an honor it was a finalist for in 2014 as well.
“It is great to be acknowledged for the work we’ve done,” Stearns said.
The company, which employs about three people other than Ridenour and Stearns, works or has worked for several local companies, including: The Civic Center, The Met, Nitzas, The Vein Care Center, Happy Daz and Old City Prime.
The two longtime friends started the company in 2011, when, each working in different careers, they needed a change.
They realized one day that there was a lack of websites for businesses in downtown Lima.
“There seemed to be a need in the community,” Stearns said.
The two taught themselves their craft, which includes website and graphic design, video production and campaign planning.
Though hiring employees has allowed the two to do less of the production and more creative directing, they still “stay up late when we have to,” Ridenour said.
As a local company, Modo Media has a “vested interest” in Lima, Stearns said.
“We want other businesses here to thrive as well,” he said. “We definitely want to make Lima stand out.”
Stearns and Ridenour also participate in community organizations and are involved or donate to Lima City School District, the Allen County Historical Society, Downtown Lima, Lima Symphony Orchestra and more.
“I think just by the nature of a lot of our clients, their goal is to help people and if their names aren’t out there they wouldn’t be able to help as many people,” Ridenour said.