Our design team had an opportunity to give back, and we jumped at the opportunity. Mike Rowe, star of Dirty Jobs is working on a new Facebook series called Returning the Favor. The latest reality social media sensation supports those who dedicate their lives to helping others in their communities. The newest episode aired on Oct. 17 with the Zoltan Design Co. team at the front and center of design and implementation. A project based in Baltimore, Maryland, this episode gives Melissa Badeker’s business, Baltimore Teachers Supply Swap, a facelift.

View Episode Here

Baltimore Teachers Supply Swap was founded by Badeker, a former Baltimore County teacher who wanted to find a solution for the local schools that are underfunded and undersupplied. Her business is open to teachers in the area that need a helping hand by providing them with items such pencils, paper, notebooks and more. 

Head designer for Zoltan Design Co., Ritchie derived the project’s creativity from Badeker’s own business vision. He knew the space should be interactive and it had to be fun. Ritchie and the team used exciting, up-to-date colors all throughout the building. The color choices aided in coding supplies and shelving systems, as well as providing modern furniture throughout the warehouse.

With the team’s expertise, Ritchie was able to help Rowe transform Badeker’s disorganized space into a vibrant, interactive teachers’ supply haven. Ritchie and his team of volunteers worked through the night to restore the warehouse and surprise Badeker. Workers reorganized the warehouse in just 24 hours, installing an interactive chalkboard, placing school supplies in colorful bins on a new shelving system, and hanging signs down each aisle to make the warehouse look navigable.

“It was a privilege and an honor to work with Mike Rowe in this capacity,” said Christopher Ritchie, head designer of Zoltan Design Co. “It was especially meaningful because this project is helping educators in a city that is right in our backyard.”

“We love this kind of work; we’re thrilled when projects like this come across our desk. It’s all about community; it’s not about us,” Ritchie said. “It’s all about giving back.”