QC Made: Edwards Creative

QC Made: Edwards Creative

Owner, Edwards Creative

Quad Citizen Profile

Becoming an entrepreneur “felt a little like jumping off a cliff,” says Cathy Edwards, who owns Edwards Creative alongside her husband, Steve.

“Steve grew up in an entrepreneurial family, so it was in his blood. He had to drag me into it,” she jokes. Thirteen years later, Cathy says “I love being an entrepreneur, building this business with my husband, and giving back to my community.” She also credits much of their success to the local community, stating that it gives as much to them as they give to it.

“We became successful by getting involved in the community through the Quad Cities Chamber and service organizations. We networked and learned about the communities in the region, each of which has its own unique personality.”

Edwards Creative is a graphic design and print company in Milan, IL that specializes in signage, displays and vehicle wraps. In the early years, Steve and Cathy knew they had to divide and conquer to grow the business. They worked around the clock while also raising their two kids, with Steve focused on art direction and operations while Cathy got busy with marketing, HR, and every other aspect of getting a startup off the ground.

That hard work paid off. It wasn’t long before they outgrew the location, and through a public-private partnership with the Village of Milan, Edwards Creative moved across the street to its existing 20,000 square foot “Edwards Creative dome” that houses a showroom for their custom-build division and their staff of 14. They also turned their focus to investing in cutting-edge technology.

 “Technology helps us serve our clients better. The new printer we just installed is only the fourth of its kind in the country. Our top value is quality and technology helps us get there,” Cathy shared.

As a lifelong Quad Citizen who attended Davenport’s West High School and then St. Ambrose University, she is committed to the region and her employees.

 “We hire and develop our people. There is no educational training for many of our positions, so we train them on the job. We’re also proud to have hired two Augustana College graduates to live and work here in the Quad Cities,” says Cathy.

“The Quad Cities is so unique. We have everything here to attract young people and families to make a really great life. When more people see it, say it, and celebrate it, then the message will get out.”

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Make it Here is a celebration of who we are as Quad Citizens. We are entrepreneurs and volunteers, innovators and collaborators. No matter what your passion, you can make it here.  We hope you’ll join us by sharing your story.

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