40 Under 40 Spotlight: Jamie Cornelius, Executive Creative Director, ChangeUp  - Retail Innovation Conference & Expo

40 Under 40 Spotlight: Jamie Cornelius, Executive Creative Director, ChangeUp 

Consumers’ omnichannel behaviors are inspiring today’s retail store designers to stretch their creativity and push their minds further than ever before. And we’re excited to spotlight one Creative Director within the 40 Under 40 class of 2022 who lives and breathes this reality every single day — and is inspiring her clients to rethink the role (and value) of physical environments! 

Jamie has been working as the Executive Creative Director at ChangeUp for more than seven years and has reimagined a multitude of design experiences for a variety of brands. One recent design project that Jamie helped drive (pun intended) was with Discount Tire. She worked closely with Discount Tire to ideate and execute their new store concept, which gives customers a racetrack pit-crew style experience that puts them in the driver’s seat of the shopping journey.  

Check out our Q&A below with Jamie Cornelius to dive even deeper into her fascinating retail design experience!  

Retail TouchPoints (RTP): How do you explain your profession to people outside of the industry? What do you find most exciting and/or rewarding about this work? 
Jamie Cornelius: I get to partner with brands to design how their retail experiences come to life for their customers. Each brand has its unique challenges, which means I’m always exploring new ideas. There’s always that moment along the design process when you unlock an idea and then everything fits into place. That’s what keeps me going. 

RTP: What milestone or accomplishment have you made in your career that you are most proud of? 

Cornelius: I was fortunate enough to start my career at a global branding and design agency where I was able to learn and grow. The mentors from that time equipped me and led me to ChangeUp. One of my proudest accomplishments has been helping to grow ChangeUp to the agency it is today. I’m surrounded by amazing talent that inspires me every day. 

RTP: What is one notable achievement (personal or professional) that you’ve made over the past year? 

Cornelius: ChangeUp’s latest collaboration with Panera recently opened. The challenge was for Panera to embrace their baking heritage, while looking forward to how customers were engaging with the brand. The result is a café that has all the light and texture qualities you would imagine for baking at dawn, with the convenience and ease for the on-the-go customer. And of course, being honored as a 40 under 40 recipient! 

RTP: What is a piece of media that has inspired you professionally? 

Cornelius: There’s really not one place I look for inspiration. It depends on the project. And with two little ones at home, I rely on quick inspiration to keep me fresh. Some of my go-to sites are “Design Observer,” “The Awesomer,” “Dezeen,” “Retail Design Blog,” “Yatzer,” and “Brand New.” But outside of design, I’m always reading food blogs and watching documentaries. While they never directly inspire my work, I feel like the storytelling and photography give me another creative outlet. “Chef’s Table” has been a favorite watch with my seven-year-old. 

RTP: Please share one fun or surprising fact about yourself: 

Cornelius: I dislike pointy french fries! 

We look forward to seeing what project Jamie tackles next. Check out the full list of the 40 under 40 class of 2022  to read about the other fabulous award winners!  

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