Pittsburgh Technical Council

Let’s Catch Up With a Few of Your 2017 Co-CREATORS!

Let’s Catch Up With a Few of Your 2017 Co-CREATORS!

Article Published: September 1, 2017

Pittsburgh Technology Council’s inaugural Co-CREATE was a great success for its participants and the attendees of the 2017 CREATE Fest. The program brought together six entrepreneurs and helped them elevate their uniquely creative businesses over a 10-month cycle, providing grants, work space, education, mentorship, and community engagement opportunities.

Year two is officially underway and we’ve released the names of our new class of 2018 Co-CREATORS. But as excitement builds and progress begins, we want to take some time to catch up with a few members of our first round of Co-CREATORS. We asked three members of the original class two questions: What did the program do for you? What are you going to do moving forward?


Christine Bethea

Christine Bethea of Art City Pittsburgh (formerly the Passports Art Diversity Project) presented a fashion show of eco inspired apparel at CREATE Fest. Of her experience with Co-CREATE, Christine said, “It gave me confidence that the ideas I have in my head are not only viable...but achievable.”

Moving forward, she said, “I’m reorganizing and taking some good advice from my PTC mentors. More excited than ever!”


Ashley Cecil

Ashley Cecil used her time with CREATE to address conservation issues and solve them creatively. She said, “The program was a great opportunity to network with professionals who had specific experience and skills relevant to my business. Through the insights, I was able it iterate on my work more quickly than what would have been possible otherwise.”

At the 2017 CREATE Festival, Ashley announced the launch of her bird-safety window film, which was the product she focused on during the program.  When we asked what was next for her, she said, “Now that my work is successfully licensed with an established manufacturer and distributor, I’m collecting feedback on the product with the goal of improving on future iterations and designs.”


Monica Yope

During CREATE, Monica Yope ran Pop Craft workshops where you could work on block printing and create 8-Track Wallets. She now sells Pittsburgh-made gifts at love, Pittsburgh.

She said, “The Co-CREATE program helped me build connections across industries as well as with other creative professionals. The access to mentors was a huge benefit to being a part of the program. Through Co-CREATE I was able to improve my Pop Craft website, develop new products, place in a pitch competition and focus on growing my private party offerings. And to top it all off, at a PTC event I met my current business partner in my newest venture, love, Pittsburgh, a gift shop in Mount Washington that carries wares exclusively from Pittsburgh-based artists and makers.”

“I am continuing to operate Pop Craft’s pop-up crafting workshops and private parties at venues around Pittsburgh. And now love, Pittsburgh is open, where Kelly and I are managing the store and starting to work on refining our business processes, launching our ecommerce store, and creating new love, Pittsburgh branded products and gift boxes. There are even plans for special Pop Craft workshops to be held at love, Pittsburgh. Visit http://popcraftart.com for information on upcoming workshops, and http://lovepittsburghshop.com to learn about our shop full of Pittsburgh-made gifts.”

Remember to keep track of your favorite 2017 Co-CREATORS as their endeavours unfold, and stay tuned on our website for more information about this year’s entrepreneurs. Follow their journey to CREATE Fest ‘18!


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