Parallel Design Group Parallel Design Group

Client Stories

From Downtown To Midtown


On a notable block with Cake Bake as it’s next door neighbor in Broad Ripple, there’s much foot traffic on the streets in front of Wayfinder Financial’s new location at Carrollton and 65th Street

Parallel Design Group sat down with Russ Ford, Founder and CEO of Wayfinder Financial. Russ shared his inspiration for Wayfinder’s move from downtown to midtown.

“Personally speaking, we wanted to build a business close to our personal community in the midtown area. Planting an office space in Broad Ripple aligned with and allowed us to contribute to the community that we are all a part of. Moreover – many of Wayfinder’s clients were located in Midtown, so the location was a better opportunity to serve their client base.”


Previously off of Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis, the old space was only 100 square feet and Russ simply needed more space to expand. Obtaining a larger space allowed Wayfinder to hire more teammates. Working with Jake Sturman from JLL in early 2020, they found the perfect space for growth relatively quickly, signing in March of 2020, right before COVID hit.

When discussing the design features for Wayfinder and brainstorming through what was important in the new space, Russ was clear to point out that Wayfinder meets people in their mess – at every stage of life and with empathy and care.

“We wanted a space that felt welcoming and homey – not stuffy and over-professional,” Ford said. To that end, you will see this vibe played out in their current space as the Client Session room is filled with comfy chairs and couches.

Additionally, Wayfinder wanted to allow families to bring their kids; which is why we designed a kid’s space. They didn’t want their clients to have to worry about childcare and wanted to essentially make them a part of the process, which is why the kids corner was born (tying in the Wayfinder brand colors of course).


Although Russ knew what he wanted the space to feel like, he needed assistance from our professional team with the design process.

“Parallel made it super easy and took all the confusion and overwhelm out of my head. It was easy working together and not over-whelming. From the moment I communicated my feelings, vision and purpose for the space, it was seamless.”

Outside of building a comfortable and cozy space, Russ had a true intent to make the space different and include important pieces to make his space unique.


Russ reiterated that money isn’t the easiest to talk about in our culture. Spending most of his career in the Finance field, he had experienced clients not feeling comfortable and at ease, which is why Wayfinder was created.

“Talking about money comes with a lot of emotional weight; whether conscious or subconscious. The physical space has to go along with this too. A corporate board room feel would not evoke sharing, etc.”

Parallel sure was eager to translate this mission into the interior design of a XXX square foot Broad Ripple bungalow by way of using mixed textures, neturals and splashes of the Wayfinder brand colors throughout.


The timing of Wayfinder opening its doors to the public lined up right with the tragic killing of George Flloyd and at a time where recognition of injustice as a country was booming. It was important to Wayfinder to support the undersupported and marginalized communities. If we were going to hire an artist, why wouldn’t we hire a black artist?

Local artist Courtland Blade bought into this purpose as well and commissioned a 4 x 4 acrylic piece for Wayfinder, showcasing his rendition of a messy kitchen table, which reiterated that they meet people in their messy places and those messy places are welcomed by Wayfinder.

Additionally, Russ visited the Purposeful Design showroom and factory in Indianapolis, immediately buying into their mission of supporting previously incarcerated and homeless individuals who helped make custom wood pieces for business and homes.

“We wanted to support a mission that was close to our hearts and in our city.”


“Designing a new space for your company during Covid was a little bit of a mental game”, Russ shared. “Of course I questioned my decision a few times, and doubt did creep in. However, looking back, I am glad that it played out the way that it did.”

Wayfinder has big future hopes and dreams for this space! Russ and his team hope that Wayfinder will be known as a place where they can host people for a meal and also serve business leaders around the conference table. Right now, they are opening their doors to folks who don’t have a place to work and/or don’t want to post up in a coffee shop.

Eventually we will join Wayfinder for their grand opening and cake and champagne will be involved!