Trailhead Design Co. is a boutique consultancy headquartered in Boone, North Carolina. We bring together strategists, designers, teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs and more to help clients move their organizations forward. Trailhead was started with a deep seeded belief that creative solutions to organizational challenges result by integrating analysis and creativity in a systematic process and while leveraging the diversity that exists across stakeholder groups. Our approach and core principles influence our work and the impact we seek to achieve for our clients.

Our Approach

We help organizations carve out a unique and sustainable position within their industry through an integrated and human-centered approach. In doing so, we work to engage the entire organization.

Our Principles

Unique Positioning

An organization's unique position results from organizational strategies, products, services, brands, processes, experiences, etc. that are value creating for all stakeholders and distinct from what other organizations offer within an industry. We help organizations carve out unique positions, continuously.

Sustainable Positioning

Competitors are constantly trying to copy and outdo successful organizations, so to sustain a unique position, organizations must continuously innovate strategy, products, services, etc. to maintain distinctiveness. We help organizations build this internal capability to continuously innovate and transform themselves, while meeting short-term obligations and objectives.


Continuous innovation can not be accomplished through the lens of one discipline or function, but must leverage the tools, methods, and perspectives of diverse functions and approaches.


Innovation happens when people work together to create value for all stakeholders.


Innovation if the result of engaged employees working collaboratively to solve problems. Our expertise is in building internal capabilities that engages the entire organization.

Our Team

Mark Lewis

Mark is the Co-Founder of The Innovation and Design Cooperative at Appalachian State University and the Co-Director of AppLab, an interdisciplinary program using design thinking to develop sustainable solutions to real world problems. His passion is helping individuals and organizations become more innovative and agile so they can strategically position themselves for competitive advantage.

Richard Elaver

Richard develops and teaches Industrial Design courses, from Introduction to Product Design to Senior Studio courses. He also maintains the digital fabrication lab and 3D printing resources at Appalachian State University.