Home / Blog / Business User Spotlight: Sarah Milston, The Spark Mill

Business User Spotlight: Sarah Milston, The Spark Mill

Get to know Sarah Milston – owner of The Spark Mill, and this week’s Business User Spotlight!

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Sarah Milston and I am founder of The Spark Mill, a consulting firm that specializes in the intersections between strategy, creativity, and action. I worked in development for over a decade before shifting into consulting work 6 years ago.  Consulting has provided an amazing avenue to delve into a wide spectrum of organizations at the forefront of visionary change in our community.

What is the focus of your work? 

I focus on nonprofit organizations and small businesses and their need to for change. My services range from facilitation, strategic planning, fundraising and marketing, to board development.  At the heart of all of it, is process management; helping organizations and associations decide on a future and create a plan to get there. 

What do you find most rewarding about your work? 

I love being involved with making the world a better place.  Watching transformations that have impacts beyond walls and into our region is by far the most rewarding part of my work. It truly is my privilege to work with this sector.

What are some major challenges you have faced and how you handled them? 

Most of my challenges have involved managing the delicate balance at play in organizations. Much of my work crosses staff, volunteer, donor, and board lines.  With that many stakeholders at the table it can be complicated to arrive at a shared vision for the future.  I am a true believer that boiler plate processes do not work, so coming up with custom processes and resources for individual groups can be a time consuming process. But in the end, it is worth it to take the time to work the process and involve as many people as possible. 

What?s coming next for your business that really excites you?

I?ve just unveiled {flare} a new initiative to bring creativity to teams and the workplace. We will be hosting creative retreats, scavenger hunts, and brand adventures, while using art, fire, drawing and a host of other tools to let people act like kids and engage in serious work from a creative perspective.  From two hour meetings to multi-day events, we will bring together strategists, artists, experience producers, and speakers to create a custom experience for your group with the goal of getting you to move from here to there. 

How does your work empower individuals, advance organizations, and strengthen community? 

At its very essence, strategy work is designed to help organizations and businesses move forward. I believe that The Spark Mill process is different because we take time building and nurturing relationships. Teaching classes around the state is another contribution I make to the region. I regularly deliver conference sessions and classes on a variety of topics. I try to make it a point to find tactical and useful resources, tips, templates, and programs for people to use. I want participants to walk away from a class feeling empowered to tackle their to-do lists. 

Does your business provide services to nonprofits? Register for a listing in the ConnectVA Business Network and contact info@connectva.org. for sponsorship or partnership opportunities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *