Alumni Spotlight: Chris Jarratt '02

While searching for a fitting architecture program in the region, Chris Jarratt was no stranger to Drury. His family has a lengthy Panther legacy, including his grandfather (1942), his grandmother (1948), his father (1975), and his mother, who attended Drury’s Breech School of Nursing in the ‘70s. Self-funding his college experience, Chris decided on Drury and subsequently stayed busy studying, earning money, and commuting from Marshfield every day. He is constantly thankful for Drury, saying, “Those first two years of ‘creative boot camp’ that the architecture program puts you through not only helps me in what I do now from a creative standpoint, but also helped me learn how far I could push myself.

While he started out in the architecture program, Chris would ultimately graduate in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in visual communication and an emphasis in graphic design. During his senior year, he took the opportunity to do freelance work for the then Whittaker Marketing, where he gained a lot of experience and learned more about what it meant to run a small business. “Publishing was never going to fulfill what I wanted to do creatively,” so Chris made the decision to pursue his own company.

A Natural Entrepreneur

Before Drury, at just fourteen years old, Chris started his first business. He grew up watching his grandmother run her own men and boys store in Marshfield. “I’ve always seen her work hard and the rewards of that.” While working in her store, he saw a brilliant business opportunity: sell baseball cards to young boys at a higher price than what he paid for them. “Kids were bored and their moms were happy to give them something to do while they tried to shop for them.” Growing up in that world, he knew he would own his own business one day.

Just two years after he graduated from Drury, Chris began working on his own company, Jarratt Design. He wanted to be able to give more to his clients, but struggled to do it alone. The idea for Revel Advertising was born when Chris and his wife realized they were both natural and determined leaders, and the company was officially established in 2010. They have seen tremendous success, with over forty-four American Advertising Awards (including one Best of Show) and over forty active clients. Revel has done sleek and creative work for local organizations like Mercy Research and Development, Paragon Architecture, Mother’s Brewing Company, and Missouri State Athletics, among many other notable brands. With all of these achievements in only seven years, Chris has seen his creative dream turn into reality.

Staying Plugged In

Chris loved his education at Drury, but he has advice for incoming freshmen and current students that he wishes he would have followed: “My biggest regret is not plugging in enough to Drury.” He commends the University on the many opportunities it provides alumni to “plug back in,” but he feels his Drury experience would have been a little different if he had branched out and been more involved with campus life as a student. For students finishing up their studies and getting ready to begin their careers, Chris says, “Plug in to other networks and organizations…you can know everything in the world, but if you don’t know the right people, you’re really wasting your talent.”

When Chris isn’t busy in the Revel world – which is rare – he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his family. Chris and Nicole were married in 2006 and adopted Chris’ ten-year-old half-brother shortly after. In the midst of Revel’s success, they also had a son, Jackson, who is now four years old. “He is literally a little me and it scares my wife to death.” Chris is also an avid movie-goer and enjoys golfing when he finds the time. He continues to reflect on his Drury experience, consistently reminded that Drury equipped him with the right skills and connections that are helping Revel thrive today.