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Origins of the Fresh Tilled Soil name


“So, Fresh Tilled Soil? Is that a landscaping company?”

“You deliver mulch too?”

“Interesting name, what’s that all about?”

For over twelve years we’ve heard versions of these questions. Sometimes in jest, sometimes dead serious. That confusion is not something that will ever go away – and we like it that way. Why would you want a business name that creates more questions than answers? Simple, it starts a conversation.

Solving problems with design is what Fresh Tilled Soil does. Our clients bring us their user experience and digital product problems, challenges, and opportunities and we use design to unpack those problems and discover solutions. We believe that conversations, both structured and unstructured, are what reveal the best path forward. Great conversations lead to great relationships. And great relationships are everything when you’re solving problems.

The Fresh Tilled Soil name is a metaphor. A metaphor for nurturing the fertile creativity that’s inherent in all relationships. We imagine ourselves as farmers tending to our crops. To get the best yield from our crops we need to keep the soil in great condition. The fertile soil is the relationship. Solutions grow in that fertile soil.

The opposite of this nurturing creativity is a ‘slash and burn’ approach. We’ve all witnessed how companies burn through their clients or customers by treating them like commodities. We chose the Fresh Tilled Soil name to remind us every day of the importance of taking care of what we have. Our focus should be on making our team and clients healthy. This can only be done when you invest in the right activities.

Since 2005, our clients have trusted us with their digital product and user experience solutions. They trust us so much that more than two-thirds of our work in 2016 was from existing clients. That’s a big thumbs up for a design firm with a weird name.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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