Jen Rarey was enjoying a successful eighteen-year career as a Creative Director at Hallmark when her name was among the hundreds who found themselves suddenly unemployed in the Hallmark layoff of 2015.  While she knew layoffs were coming, she thought her position was secure, but she was wrong.  Her head spinning from the shock, she decided to use the opportunity to explore a retail store concept she had dreamed of. Her new “Dislocated Worker” status led her to the Small Business and Technology Development Center where she enrolled in ElevationLab New Venture at no cost thanks to the Dislocated Worker scholarship(INSERT PROPER NAME HERE). She found herself in a room full of diverse entrepreneurs from around the Kansas City region. “We were all from different backgrounds and going in very different directions and yet you can still learn so much from each other. I got to interact and get diverse opinions and feedback from people in class each week. I’ve kept in touch with several people from my class.”


Through ElevationLab New Venture Jen’s eyes were opened to the many resources available to entrepreneurs here. “It was so nice to know that there are people out there willing to help. My guess is that one of the biggest things holding people back from starting their dream business is that they don’t have help and they are afraid of what they don’t know.”


Jen’s walked away with a new found confidence she needed to start any business. “The principles apply everywhere.” So when freelancing opportunities in creative design, branding, and marketing began coming her way, she shifted her vision from the retail store to what is now Jen Rarey Creative. “I had confidence because I had been through New Venture. I knew I could make a go of this and if I came across some obstacles I could take advantage of the resources available to me.”


Today Jen’s client list is an impressive array of major corporations like Garmen, Coca-Cola, and Hallmark, and local names like Restless Spirits Distillers and the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City.  “I’m looking to grow and expand in 2019. I’ve been blessed with enough work that I feel like I’m ready for growth. So I’m looking at bringing in more support so I can bring in more clients.”


“I love what I do.  It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, but I love every minute of it!”


You can learn more about Jen Rarey Creative, her services and her portfolio at