Peopledesign, a strategic design consultancy located in downtown Grand Rapids MI, has recently made Jake Himmelspach a partner. Previously a company strategist, Himmelspach is said to bring a unique perspective of business strategy when applied to design thinking. He started his career as a journalist working for the Grand Rapids Business Journal and, ultimately assigned to the furniture beat, he was soon drawn to creative business problem-solving. He also formed relationships with local professionals like Peopledesign founders Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim.
Himmelspach earned his MBA with a certificate in Design and Innovation Management from Ferris State University and started working in Chicago for a product innovation company on consumer brands like The North Face and Pepsico. A few years later, he reconnected with Peopledesign. “I found a great collaborator in Jake,” says Budelmann, who began working with Himmelspach closely six years ago. The two worked together to continue the evolution of a company that had begun as a more traditional design firm to a company committed to helping organizations change by becoming ever more relevant and agile. “Every business is founded on an unmet customer need. But those needs change. So you have to continually adapt,” says Himmelspach.
Adapting right along with their clients, Peopledesign has evolved itself over the years. Originally formed as BBK Studio, the company changed its name to Peopledesign on their tenth anniversary. The company also hired three new staff members within the last year. “We are very different than we were when we pivoted to become Peopledesign 10 years ago … even five years ago,” says Budelmann. “We’re very excited about our next chapter.”