Steve Jobs owned the world. Tim McAlpine just wants its credit unions.
A UFV graphic design alumnus with clients across North America, McAlpine has built a sustainable local Chilliwack-based business by serving an industry niche continent-wide.
His instructor 27 years ago — the late Mircho Jakobow — told him he’d have to build his own job, and he took that advice to heart.
The designer quickly became an entrepreneur.
Working for a sign shop while living at home, he started his company after graduating and began building a varied client base. Four years passed before he hired his first employee.
“If there was a business in Chilliwack, I did their logo.”
Then McAlpine shifted gears, dropping the rest of his clients to concentrate solely on credit unions. Currency Marketing was born.
These days, Currency creates a complete set of marketing materials monthly, built around educational financial concepts ranging from credit scores to budgeting basics that target an the 15 to 25 age demographic. Seventy credit unions have signed on from Texas to Abbotsford.
“I’ve gone through this transition of high-service, customized selling hours to being in a place where I can productize something many clients want.”
Currency’s physical space has evolved with its client base. McAlpine’s latest endeavour is Cowork Chilliwack, created to provide work space for creative people.
“My thought is if I can get some creative like-minded people together, then why not?”
Away from the office, McAlpine is a popular fixture on the credit union speaking circuit, plus a well-received TEDx and Pecha Kucha presenter. He also serves as a director for Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.
“Constantly be aware that you’re probably not going to be doing the same thing in five years. We’re a 26-year-old company but we’ve had to reinvent every five years.”