Marketing Operations Agency Takes ‘1 Bold Step’

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Just as the name implies, local marketing operations agency 1 Bold Step is all about making bold moves.

"I quit my job, only knowing I wanted my work to really matter," Jennifer Jurgens, Founder and CEO, told West Michigan Woman back in 2018 when detailing her journey to founding the marketing agency while also being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011.

Today, 1 Bold Step is continuing to live up to its name with the recent purchase of the former CK & Co Media Production building at 1255 Front Ave NW in Grand Rapids. Jurgens—alongside co-owner Adam Clarke—worked with the City of Grand Rapids Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to acquire the building. The company was able to purchase the property in collaboration with the Small Business Association (SBA 504 loan program) and Consumers Credit Union. The Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) was also integral in helping the agency navigate the loan and purchase process.

"This entire process has made me incredibly hopeful for small businesses and the support they can receive," said Jurgens. "When you hear about economic development in the news, you always hear about big companies like Amazon and Walmart. But, small businesses employ nearly 50% of the workforce in Michigan. This is where we need to put our resources."


Recognized as one of Michigan's 50 Companies to Watch and a Platinum HubSpot Solutions Partner, 1 Bold Step plans to move into the building come fall time and is working with several other local companies to renovate the property, including Kentwood Office Furniture, CS Erikson, DHE, Bouma Construction, Vos Glass, and Architektura.

The 3,700 square foot building will house the company's 12 employees and includes two executive offices, three conference rooms, an open kitchen and "family room," shared working space and more. In the last year, the company has added four employees, one intern, and 20 clients.

"We all love the flexibility of being remote but genuinely miss each other and the in-person interactions," said Clarke. "The space will provide quiet places, small group places and large meeting places to accommodate the different ways in which a marketing team needs to work. We're looking forward to welcoming our clients and colleagues into the space."

A portion of the funding was granted to 1 Bold Step through the City of Grand Rapids' Brownfield Redevelopment Program, which helped cover the costs of environmental testing and assessments required by the State of Michigan. The Brownfield Redevelopment Program helps to offset some of the extraordinary costs associated with the urban development of contaminated or functionally obsolete properties. This program is a partnership between the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

"We couldn't have done it without the support from SBAM, the City of Grand Rapids, and the SBA—having these organizations to lean on at the city and state level was absolutely critical for this next step in our business," said Jurgens.

Read more about Jurgens' by revisiting our Mid-Career Jump and 2012 cover profile articles.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

 Photos courtesy of 1 Bold Step.


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