Centric Design Studio turns layoffs into brand new business

Saundra Little, Damon Thomas, and Christopher Bruner didn’t wince when they heard the word layoffs cast in their direction. Instead they used a couple of layoffs as an opportunity to start their own firm – Centric Design Studio.

The Southfield-based company actually started in 2002 as a part-time gig for the three friends while they worked away at their day jobs in architecture. They jumped into it full-time after receiving pink slips last November.

“We felt it was direction for us,” says Little, COO of Centric Design Studio. “When we were both laid off at the same time, we thought this must be it.”

The minority-owned start-up is composed of the three partners and four independent contractors. They specialize in sustainable architecture and green building practices. They also have a graphic design component.

The three principals are all Lawrence Technological University graduates and have a combined 21 years of experience in architecture. The company plans to fine tune its business model in its first years and then look at adding people as necessary further down the road.

Source: Saundra Little, COO of Centric Design Studio
Writer: Jon Zemke