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VOL. 129 | NO. 131 | Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Graber Atkinson

Michael Graber & Jocelyn Atkinson

Atkinson Joins Dermaflage Team


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Michael Graber asked that I write this week’s column to both announce my move to join the leadership team at our Ventures company, Silicone Arts Labs, and to reflect on the last seven years at Southern Growth Studio. We announce my departure from the Studio with a great sense of pride and accomplishment, as it is one of the ways we are meeting our mission and making a positive impact in Memphis.

We founded Southern Growth Studio during the fall of 2007 with a clear mission: serve as an instrument of smart growth for clients, each other and the communities where we do business by bringing southern ingenuity to the world. We set out to do our part in growing Memphis and the Mid-South the best way we know how – enable companies to innovate and enact smart market strategies. We figured if we could help many of our regional companies correct their flat-line growth by launching new lines of business, we could create a rising tide on the great Mississippi that would raise the stagnant ship that is our regional economy. A more vibrant and innovative business community attracts more talented residents that will join in the Memphis renaissance efforts.

Our work has taken us on a myriad of adventures and we have met some remarkable business and cultural leaders. I am proud of the smart team we have attracted to compete and often outperform some of the world’s best growth consultancies, right here from Memphis. I look back on our work over the last seven years to see that our impact is not just in helping companies grow in ways they never thought possible but we are also making Memphis proud by succeeding on a national stage.

In 2011 we launched Silicone Arts Labs, a start-up cosmetic company that uses innovative silicone techniques from Hollywood special effects to conceal wrinkles and scars. The leading product, Dermaflage, is massively disruptive to the cosmetic industry as it simulates skin and is unlike anything else on the market. The Studio team sourced the technology, conducted through diligence to devise a winning go-to-market strategy and recruited an internationally renowned board. One of the few successful start-ups currently in Memphis and winner of Memphis Business Quarterly’s Innovators of the Year award, the company’s early success is in large part due to the talented team of Studio strategists that directed its growth.

We have grown our own and we are beginning to meet our mission. Sold on the home shopping network QVC and internationally, Dermaflage is bringing Memphis ingenuity to the world. I am excited to embark on a new adventure, growing the spawn of Southern Growth Studio, proving to our community and the rest of the world that it can be done (again) in Memphis. The revival is now.

Like the blooming weed that grows up through the sidewalk, so too does Memphis grow. It is this culture of tenacity and perseverance that makes our city great and it is this spirit that drives the Southern Growth Studio onward.

Jocelyn Atkinson and Michael Graber run the Southern Growth Studio, a strategic growth firm based in Memphis. Visit www.southerngrowthstudio.com to learn more.

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