After studying industrial and fashion design at the University of Cincinnati and The Savannah College of Art and Design, Brad Shaffer moved to Thailand where he began designing a furniture line for David Jones Australia. He spent the next few years traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Australia before returning to the States to work as a graphic designer. "I always felt pressure to decide and focus on a particular type of design. It was during that time, I realized the fact that my past indecisiveness had become a strength," says Shaffer, who began working for American Eagle Outfitters as an Art Director, eventually becoming the Creative Director of Marketing & Brand Concept. At AE, Shaffer did everything from conceptualizing and designing marketing elements to conceiving typography, window displays, and photo shoots. "I developed my skills and learned a lot about the industry." Proving that point, Shaffer jumped ship a year ago to start ACRE Creative with his wife, stylist Leanne Ford. Specializing in design, concept and branding for homes, businesses and brands, they've worked with everyone from Roxy to American Eagle designing retail spaces and displays, and recently had their home (an old one-room 1908 schoolhouse featured in Country Living magazine). Our favorite ACRE project, of course, is the City Gym store, which Shaffer completed in record time. "When Todd called he asked if I could be in New York the following day," recalls Shaffer. "And open the store in 14 days." The rest, as they say is history.