Hrothgar’s Hoard, New Marshfield, OH
This summer I had the honor to work closely with the management of Hrothgar’s Hoard, a small startup on the outskirts of Appalachia dedicated to designing and creating hardwood gaming products that are affordable and accessible. Having grown up in this region and spending a significant portion of my childhood involved in both woodworking and tabletop gaming, it was an eye-opening experience to have the opportunity to see the marketing side of my childhood hobbies and to work side-by-side with a small, focused team to promote a business in a community I knew and loved.
Being a full-time member of a team with limited resources meant that my work as a marketing intern covered several different responsibilities. The first half of the summer I spent focusing on research, listening to seminars on how to best utilize and budget advertising over social media platforms, how to structure effective online storefronts, and how to organize plans for long-term promotional campaigns. Prior to 2020, Hrothgar’s Hoard had relied significantly on in-person venues for sales, making appearances at gaming conventions across the Midwest; in the midst of a global pandemic, however, alterations had to be made and sales had to be converted to online outlets, requiring a drastic shift in strategy. Later, I focused on defining potential effective strategies and reporting my findings to Hrothgar’s Hoard management on a weekly basis through cohesive summaries that would detail what I had learned and what changes I would suggest to apply directly to Hrothgar’s Hoard’s business model.
For the remainder of my internship I redirected my focus towards active promotion of Hrothgar’s Hoard and worked to apply what I had researched to the business front. I created and managed daily posts, advertisements, oversaw customer surveys, and organized the data collected from these posts in spreadsheets for the owner each week. I also developed a crowdfunding page, designed a wholesale catalog, and created original art that could be used on future products, which was exciting for me as a young artist. As the summer went on I was given significantly more freedom to apply my critical and creative choice towards decisions that would directly affect the business and its campaigns.
This summer was rich with learning, decision-making, and creative energy. The movement of a small business from in-person venues to online frontiers is a challenging one, and to participate in this transition was a remarkable and informative experience. Whether or not I decide to pursue marketing as a career, I can say with certainty that my horizons have been broadened by my work with Hrothgar’s Hoard and that my future interactions with both small and large-scale businesses will be enhanced by my summer experience. In a world that is increasingly geared towards business promotion and advertisement, this knowledge and experience is invaluable. I am incredibly grateful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and to the Estate of Bruce C. Davey for this fantastic opportunity.