Michele Hamilton Randall is a self-employed art director, creative director and client collaborator. Her business of 21 years, Hamilton Creative, has helped great brands (Terry Cycling, ABVI-Goodwill, Cohber and Jewish Senior Life) solve big challenges, navigate unchartered territory, and reveal amazing potential. Her work has won multiple silver and gold Addy Awards at the local, regional and national level. Michele is always thinking—about her clients’ businesses, about design, about where to take her dog Gus on his next walk. It’s how she solves challenges of work and creates a life that matters. When she’s not working, she’s cycling, doing yoga, hiking, gardening, and taking Gus for another walk—all with her wonderful husband.
What has been your favorite project you worked on in the last 12 months?
A community notebook for Jewish Senior Life. I love spending time listening to the senior residents, their stories are inspiring!
Who was your very first client?
My Uncle Stu. In 1997, he had built a new facility for his electronic components company in Cleveland, Ohio. He needed a marketing campaign with print materials plus a virtual facility tour. At the time I was a graphic designer at Windsor Street Design in Rochester. When Uncle Stu asked for a proposal, plus my business plan, I jumped at the opportunity to become an entrepreneur — with my business-savvy uncle as a great mentor.
What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
Traveling, practicing yoga, cycling and working with smart, courageous people.
Name someone who inspires you.
My husband, for his dedication to serving our community.
Do you have pets?
Gus is our 6-year-old yellow lab. He takes my husband and me for walks every day—rain, snow or shine.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Nature and our creative community.
Have you ever thought, “advertising might not be for me anymore?”
After more than two decades in advertising, I’m increasingly needing my work to help improve the lives of others. So, in addition to my design career, I’ve been taking classes in Gerontology and yoga teacher training with the intention of teaching yoga to seniors.
When did you decide advertising was your thing?
I was influenced by summer internships during my first two years at RIT - Hafner Associates (interior design) and News10NBC (graphic design).
What’s your greatest fear?
Losing my freedom of choice, the greatest benefit of self-employment.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
The Breakfast Club for its writing, characters, quirkiness and coming-of-age theme.
What’s your idea of happiness?
A sunny bike ride followed by dinner, wine and dessert with my cycling girlfriends, The Bettys.
If you could choose one food to eat for rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Popcorn with butter. I’ll go to a movie at The Little just for the popcorn.
What do you do if you “run out” of ideas?
I get moving outside. A walk with Gus, gardening, cycling. I connect with a friend. Pinterest works, too.
What do you think the Rochester ad scene needs?
More diversity and less ego.
Who inspires you locally?
All the people who make up Rochester’s ripe entrepreneurial environment.
Is there a place you like to go in Rochester to clear your mind and that gets you inspired
Cobbs Hill Reservoir. On a clear day you can see the city skyline and Lake Ontario.