Inside EP+Co's CoLab Workshop, Haven for the Lost Arts of Making

A look at the agency's space at historic Taylors Mill

Every day, EP+Co delivers on the mantra of "Unthink Everything." Not only is this our belief and our purpose, it's a commitment from our agency to always change, evolve, rethink and push the boundaries of problem solving for our clients.

Since our founding in 1986, this mentality has evolved throughout our agency, across both offices in South Carolina and New York, and is a driving force behind one of our key disciplines, Content Engineering—the creation of analog elements that tell visually compelling stories.

Tucked away just miles from our headquarters in Greenville, South Carolina, is historic Taylors Mill, home of the CoLab shop and studio. At the heart of CoLab is our highly specialized Content Engineering team—a quick-reaction force of experienced builders who draw on a rarified mix of agency skills and lost arts to realize any creative vision with a fully functional, camera-ready prototype in a matter of days. They have a compulsion to create with a fearless curiosity and an unlimited capacity to learn how. 

What the team can produce in CoLab is limitless, from shooting stills and video, to editing, to woodworking, bladesmithing, coppersmithing and more. The team is constantly Unthinking the way traditional creative is produced in the advertising world—whether with the slice of a blade, the turn of a screw or the hammering of a hand-made copper nail ... yes, they made their own copper nails from recycled copper power cables and computer boards. 

While our agency offices are pretty awesome, they couldn't completely house everything we needed to truly develop our Content Engineering practice. Taylors Mill is a 100-year-old, 800,000-square-foot maker community filled with a supernatural mix of materials, knowledge, tools and renegade maker gear. Over 80 vendors are part of a revival of one of the region's most historic textile mills … and we are constantly inspired by that community. 

This space also holds a special place in EP+Co's heart because it allows us to preserve the rich history of Greenville's textile industry that dates back to the early 1800s. The city was built by entrepreneurs who founded factories and created entire mill villages. We keep this maker mentality alive not only with CoLab, but also by bringing part of it into our office space, a place we like to think of as "a warehouse without sawdust on the floor." 

When employees and guests step through our office doors, they are greeted by the Hi sign, an electrified metal sculpture made 100 percent in-house by our Content Engineering team. 

We like to think of ourselves as a 30-year-old startup, and together we have the unique ability and creative freedom to conceptualize and make, well, pretty much anything using our 100 percent in-house team. Because ideas don't have time to wait.

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Con Williamson
Con Williamson is president and chief creative officer of EP+Co.

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