078: Allison Babka & Lee Broughton (STLMade)

Allison Babka and Lee Broughton on Innovation City

“Discover your own story, because you have one and you’re projecting it whether you think you are or not.” – Lee Broughton

Welcome to Innovation City—powered by Venture Cafe—where Tyler Kelley and Michael Johnson, Co-Founders of SLAM! Agency, interview innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guests are Allison Babka and Lee Broughton from the STLMade movement. STLMade is a movement that wants to help establish St. Louis’ narrative through storytelling and shining a light on the innovators, thinkers, doers, & makers in the St. Louis region. Allison is a St. Louis-based award winning journalist and copywriter. Lee has 20+ years in brand marketing. Together, Allison and Lee are sitting down with us to discuss what the STLMade movement is all about, using storytelling to demonstrate how individuals are torch bearers in the work they are doing, working towards establishing a discourse for how to project St. Louis’ perception, launching the movement on 314 Day, and much more!

They discuss:

  • What is the STLMade movement?
    • The movement is shining a light on the innovators, thinkers, doers, & makers in the St. Louis region who are driving St. Louis into a renaissance era
    • Wanting people to look back at this time in the region and realize the significance of how well St. Louis is/was doing
    • The movement wants to help establish St. Louis’ narrative through storytelling
  • Cities are competing for investments, residents, & startups to help create a narrative that the city is desirable and “the place to be”
  • They have found that people are generally neutral about St. Louis
  • Trying to target St. Louis residents to help them understand all of the great innovation happening in their own backyard
  • Through storytelling, STLMade wants to demonstrate how individuals are torch bearers in the work they are doing that is moving the region forward
  • The issue of people not seeing what’s happening outside of their own neighborhoods, so they can’t see the big picture
  • Weaving together stories to create a strong narrative people are proud to tell
  • Creating an identity of what St. Louis can build around i.e. doers and thinkers in the communities
  • St. Louis is the place where you can Startup, Stand out, and Stay
  • Some of the stories they plan to tell:
    • Mom and son playing for the St. Louis Symphony
    • Women who started a group to feed the homeless
    • Many more to come…
  • Wanting to put a spotlight on people and stories that are often overlooked by traditional media outlets
    • Allowing people to see that there is momentum happening in the region
  • St. Louis residents think that people have a negative perception of the city
  • Working towards establishing a discourse for how to project St. Louis’ perception
    • With success, the region can start recruiting the next investment dollar, the next startup idea, and have retention of talent
  • Allison’s background in journalism and passion for telling people’s stories
  • Lee’s background in religious studies and passion for using storytelling in marketing
  • If you want to get into storytelling, you need to learn your own story first
  • The future of St. Louis with STLMade’s help
    • A clear narrative to both residents and non-residents
    • Stories being heard
    • Hub of innovation in any industry
  • 314 Day will be the kickoff of the STLMade Movement
  • Launching the movement with a big event at Venture Cafe St. Louis
    • St. Louis-made food and drinks
    • Art displays
    • Free branded swag
    • Panel discussions
  • Send in story suggestions to Allison via email at [email protected]
  • Visit the website to read and learn about the stories
  • Use #STLMade on social media