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Narativ Design's Love of the Boro

Jonathan Edwards, owner of Narativ, on his passion for community.

Give some insight into your background; describe the journey that led you to Murfreesboro and Narativ? Shew! Isn’t that a question. Creativity has always been a part of my life, really. I had dreams to be a cartoonist at Disney, a cast member on SNL, a writer, a musician, all the things. My senior year I actually had 4 different people in my class give me the same book about the history of Saturday Night Live.

Well, instead of SNL, after college, I got a job working at a church and that’s what I did for the next 10 years. That led me and my wife to Murfreesboro to be a part of a church here, City Church.

But I always held creative positions -- handling branding, print design, marketing, and websites. I also was always doing design as a side gig.

In 2018, I had a startup in North Carolina fail, and I was in a dark place with no job. It was a year later in September of 2019 a mentor asked me, “Jonathan, when are you going to stop being the guy that fixes people’s designs and become the guy that they come to for design in the first place?”

I took a chance and started a design firm. Over the next 4 years, it grew beyond what I ever expected. It was humbling and such a blessing.

In 2022, we moved back to Murfreesboro because we wanted to rejoin City Church and I really wanted to bring a unique flare and perspective on design to the Boro. And that’s what we did and started the journey that is now Narativ.

You're extremely passionate about giving your partners the tools they need for success both in the digital world and in print. What do you offer that sets Narativ apart from other artists in your field? If I can be spiritual for a second, I believe that everything we have in life is a gift of grace, and without Jesus we’d have nothing. When I think about God creating all that there is — I realize that God himself was the first true creative.

Our team views creativity as a cosmic act. It connects us with something that is so much bigger than we are. This also means the standard for excellence and beauty is so much higher than culture should expect. And we want to embody that.

Getting the chance to engage in such a profound act as building creative things is a holy experience, and we hope we bring that sense of awe to every project, every client, and every opportunity.

Looking at your work, it’s obvious that you enjoy serving local businesses in particular. Which types of projects have been your favorite to work on and why? We love helping develop a brand from start to finish. Whether the particular business is engaging in a brand refresh after 10 years or just filed their incorporation papers last week, helping craft the foundation and create colors, fonts, website, photography, business cards – it really engages what Narativ does best. We thrive when we are trusted to evaluate the customer experience and bring our skills to elevate that experience. You have 3 seconds to wow your customers. We specialize in helping create what happens in those 3 seconds.

What are the top 5 favorite things you and your wife like to do in the Boro; what do you enjoy doing when you're not creating for your partners?  This is a fun one. 

1. If there’s one thing we love doing in the Boro it’s sitting down and having delicious food. If I can technically use that as “one thing” - our most favorite two places to eat are Jack Browns and Brass Horn Coffee.

2. At least 3-4 times a week we attend Orangetheory Fitness together. It has been a special time for us. We also love the community within the studio.

3. At least once a week we try to meet up at Deep South Growlers for a beer or a cider. It’s a great place to sit and enjoy one another and talk about our day. Also, Greg and Alex, the owners, are some of the kindest people.

4. I don’t know if this counts, but we deeply love our church. I don’t know where we would be as people, a couple, or business owners without our church family. Having battled with mental health, they have literally helped save my life. We’ve experienced community in the truest sense with our people there.

5. I would be untrue to myself if I didn’t mention our two golden retrievers, Brinkley and Brady. We need to be better about taking them on the greenway - that needs to become a spot for the Edwards in 2024.

I took a chance and started a design firm. Over the next 4 years, it grew beyond what I ever expected. It was humbling and such a blessing.

Our team views creativity as a cosmic act. It connects us with something that is so much bigger than we are. This also means the standard for excellence and beauty is so much higher than culture should expect. And we want to embody that.

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