Dawn Hancock

Since opening in 1999, Firebelly has produced solid work that they believe in and clients trust. Though the studio remains Dawn’s focal point and her center of gravity, Firebelly has expanded into a bustling little world that she hustles across daily.

A world built with her own two hands, the fearless work of her team, and an abundance of neighborhood support. Already coordinating the annual Grant for Good, a charitable award that supports one non-profit for a year, she decided to launch her own organization, which evolved into an entire socially-minded enterprise.

The Firebelly Foundation, established in 2006, includes several programs, each a reflection of Dawn’s passion and ethic. Under the Foundation’s umbrella, she established the Humboldt Park non-profit Reason to Give and runs the 10-day intensive Camp Firebelly for hungry young designers. Most recently, she started Firebelly University, an entrepreneurial incubator that emphasizes taking risks and doing good. Yet Dawn continues to ask what more she could be doing.

Dawn knows that sustainable innovation and social responsibility are not simply badges or buzzwords. They are principles. Ways to live. Through the Foundation’s work and her civic and social engagement, Dawn is ceaseless in her dedication to building and inspiring, to connecting ideas to individuals, and individuals to each other.

And still more. Always more. Dawn is thrilled to occasionally speak at design 09 schools, workshops, and conferences near and far. Presenting at TEDxWindyCity in February 2010 was an honor and a challenge — terrifying, uplifting, and wholly exhilarating. As most things are. She is ready.