#AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast – Show Notes from Episode 85 with Jill Knobeloch of Grapeseed Designs and Aville Cowork

This week, Heather and Joelle are joined by Jill Knobeloch of GrapeSeed Designs and Aville Cowork. Jill works to blend a company’s voice, culture, and unique character to create a truly authentic representation of brand. She helps small to medium-sized businesses establish and grow their brand image through consistent, clean, and professional visual applications.She is also starting a new coworking space right here in Andersonville will Aville Cowork.

Jill Knobeloch, owner of Grapeseed Designs and Aville Cowork recording #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast

Jill Knobeloch, owner of Grapeseed Designs and Aville Cowork recording #AlwaysAndersonville: The Podcast at Transistor, Studio C.

Listen to Episode 85 with Jill Knobeloch!

Here are some references from Episode 85 that you may want to check out:

  • Jill grew up in Colorado, and attended RIT in Rochester, NY where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design with minors in German and Russian, and then lived in Southern California for a while, and landed here in Chicago in 2015. She started GrapeSeed Designs in 2011. “A grapeseed is a small, bitter, harsh thing that can grow into a wide variety of things. And when it comes to branding, it starts out as this small thing, and if you nurture it, it can grow into anything you want.”
  • Jill goes beyond defining branding as just a logo or color scheme. It’s your voice. The way you show up. Your character within the world. She focuses on tying together the visual and written description of your business. When working with clients, she gets to know them, their culture, how they work day-to-day, and make sure it’s represented in a truthful way.
  • Jill enjoys niche industries. A client that particularly stands out is a company that builds and maintains draft lines (for beer) for bars and restaurants in Chicago. YOu don’t typically think about what it takes for the beer to go from the cooler to the tap in a way that is clean and safe. She got to go on site and learn about beer, how to maintain it, and what needs to be considered when installing bars. She got to know their culture, and saw how passionate – aka – “nerdy” – they were about their beer, their tech, and their overall brand.


  • Most clients come to her needing a website, but don’t have much in mind beyond that. The difference with Grapeseed Designs is that Jill not only designs everything, but writes cohesive copy as well. A 3-6 month engagement with a client is optimal, it allows her to be creative and strategic. The first 80% of what she does is focus on user experience, and making sure that telling a business’ story is effective and clear. The rest is design and web development, of which she does both. “I’m doing all of the writing, all of the design, all of the coding development.” So, she’s maybe just a little nerdy, too. :) With a background in coding, she is able to customize a website to be suited exactly to a client’s needs.
  • Jill has a new venture, Aville Cowork. Her design work allows her flexibility, and Jill works from home. But with that, she noticed that sometimes working from home is challenging – in can be isolating, difficult to find and connect with community, and distracting. So, she began working from co-working spaces a couple of years ago. There has been a boom of co-working spaces in the last decade, especially in downtown areas. But Jill noticed a deficit on the northside and aims to fill it.
  • With the goal of serving and connecting with the Andersonville community, and after almost 16 months of looking for the right space, Jill aims to open Aville Cowork soon! Stay tuned for updates! The best way to get updates is to visit avillework.com and  follow on Instagram.
  • Outside of GrapeSeed Designs and Aville Cowork, Jill cultivates a love of horses, specifically volunteer work at therapeutic riding centers. She grew up with the Western discipline, then on to English, and Dressage. She participated in gymkhana events that included pole bending, barrel racing, and even stock events. After college Jill continued pursuing therapeutic riding and instructing. Even after moving to Chicago, she has continued being involved in therapeutic riding with Freedom Woods in Skokie.
Freedom Woods in Skokie.

Freedom Woods in Skokie.

  • In addition to horseback riding, at the early age of 5, Jill fell in love with hockey, and is now an active hockey referee. She played in school, and eventually began refereeing. That was 19 years ago! Refereeing hockey has opened the door to many opportunities. She worked all through high school in Colorado, continued through college in Rochester (the job was perfect for a student – super flexible and made good money), and while still in college began officiating at the collegiate and national level. Once in Southern California, she was fast-tracked and received her international refereeing license. In 2011 – she got her license and started Grapeseed Designs! He held her international license for 6 years, and got to referee in Mexico. She now focuses on collegiate hockey, specifically NCAA Division 1 & 3 hockey.

jill ref

  • If Jill could trade places with another Andersonville business for a day, being the animal lover that she is, it would be Jameson Loves Danger. She would steal all the puppy kisses she can. She hopes to have a shop dog in her Aville Cowork when it opens!

Find GrapeSeed Designs and Aville Cowork on the following platforms:
Online: grapeseeddesigns.com & avillecowork.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/grapeseeddesigns & www.facebook.com/avillecowork
Instagram: @grapeseeddesigns and @aville.cowork

This episode is brought to you by Meetinghouse Tavern, located at Clark and Winnemac where you can enjoy free pool, darts, skeeball and more. Or, play one of the dozens of board games. They have daily specials to quench all thirst, plus Thursday night karaoke and the Sunday Social Variety Show. Never a cover! Find out more on Facebook.