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Photo of Rye Dean and Lumuku playing cards.
Anyhow Studio, a community pottery studio and the owner smiling.
Alaina Mahoney, a welder, working with a power hammer.

“I am SO appreciative of this opportunity to grow, both personally and professionally. I feel like DESIGNxRI is so special because it is building a community that can support and foster creative people at all stages of their career. One year later, I am no longer just a person with an idea. I am making it happen through concrete steps. There has been A LOT of learning along the way, but that has also helped me believe in myself more and more. All of this is invaluable.”

-Rye Dean, LUMUKU 2018

“When I first opened, I listed 1 Intro to the Wheel class; now I am running 6-7 classes per term and they sell out within 1-2 days of the listing plus a waitlist. I have 9 active members, plus more folks who use the studio space. I hired a studio manager who works part time as well as a studio assistant.”
-Liz Welch, Anyhow Studio 2021

“The Design Catalyst program allowed me to acquire new customers and ramp up my production abilities with the purchase of new equipment. The studio space that I found during the program has been essential for my business. I am still in touch with my peers from the program which helps having people to ask questions to who have been through the same experiences.”

– Maria Prus, M Designs Studio 2019

“I was able to decide which legal entity to use for my work, hire a legal advisor, and hire a designer to build out the branding. I was also able to purchase technology equipment that I very much needed to carry out the work of my Design Studio.”

-Shey Rivera, Studio Loba (formerly known as Design Studio for Culture + Planning) 2021

“I have gained so much confidence in my business and have continued to grow. I have taken on new collaborations and many new wholesale orders. I think I am in a much better place than I would have expected after the program.”

-Alaina Mahoney, A.M. Design and Fabrication LLC 2020


Over $1 million invested directly into Providence design businesses ($1.3 million is program resources)

40 business mentors engaged from the RI business community

69% of participant businesses developed a new product line and/or extended their brand

62% of participant businesses extended an existing product line and/or added production

31% added staff capacity with interns, freelancers, or full-time employment

60 design businesses in total have completed this accelerator program

21% businesses received additional funding and/or mentoring from outside sources

All businesses analyzed and re-envisioned their business model and growth capacity