Inventivity is our brand of creativity.
The Inventivity philosophy is simple.
We built our company around Inventivity and all of us at Creativity
Central passionately and unabashedly embrace it. In other words, we
preach what we practice.
- Everyone is born creative.
- If your creativity is "resting," it can be awakened and reclaimed
at any time.
- You may not be able to change the world, but you can change you.
Rekindling your creativity will make a difference in your life,
and, as a result, maybe well beyond.
Below you will find photos, our logo, the cover of our book, video,
and two brochures for your reference. All of the images, video, and
text are property of Creativity Central and may not be used without
permission. Please contact Charlie
Girsch for authorization.
To download the files you should right click (control click for mac
users) on the link and save link as...
Below the images, you will find links to the free software readers if
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Central St. Paul
Thriving as award-winning independent toy designers for more than
25 years, Charlie and Maria
Girsch were often asked how they came up with their ideas and how
they stayed creative. After all, marketably novel ideas were their
lifeblood and "toy biz" is notorious as a trendy and volatile arena
where innovation on demand is key.
Neither Charlie nor Maria ever had any of the credentials you would
expect of professional toy inventors. Neither had ever given much
thought to the foundation and scope of their creativity. Yet they
were intrigued by the admiration and questions—intrigued enough,
in fact, to take a year off in the mid-90s. During that time, they
not only studied creativity as an academic discipline, but they
spent many hours analyzing their own proven innovation skills. In
1998 they wrote their definitive book called Fanning
the Creative Spirit: Two Toy Inventors Simplify Creativity.
They also developed a curriculum that would become the basis for
their seminars, keynotes,
training and brainstorming.
Creativity Central was born, and to the present day its message
is highly embraced, its reach is bountiful, and its growth extensive.
It is the mission of Creativity Central Chicago to reawaken and
energize the creative spirit that is innate in everyone and every
organization. We serve Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan
on a regular basis and we are ready to travel anywhere.
Girsch - St. Paul
Charlie received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy and his graduate degree in Theology from St.Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. From 1965 through 1968 he worked at Sacred Heart Catholic parish on Chicago's South Side.
In 1968 he moved to the Twin Cities where he developed a job training program for Brown & Bigelow, set up Saint Paul's Model Cities Program, and was deputy director of the Saint Paul Urban Coalition before accepting the challenge of joining Winsor Concepts as a toy and game designer.
Over the next 25 years, Charlie, along with his wife and partner Maria, licensed over 200 products worldwide. Together they hold several US and International patents, and have even won Germany's "Children's Game of the Year Award."
In the mid-90's Charlie was recruited by the University of St.Thomas to run their Institute of Creative Studies. He also taught Creativity in their Graduate School of Business Communications as well as in their Mini MBA Programs for many years.
By 1996 he and Maria had co-founded Creativity Central, and the rest is history. Creativity Central's story and services can be found by exploring this website.
Charlie is the co-author of Fanning the Creative Spirit, and of Creativity A La Card.
Girsch - St. Paul
Maria received her BA in French from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. She is a certified French teacher and is best known for her popular French By The Fireside evening series, a curriculum she developed for adults. www.frenchbythefireside.com
Toy inventing was her primary job for over 20 years. She, along with her husband and partner, Charlie Girsch, have licensed over 200 products worldwide, and many of their inventions have won industry awards.
In the mid-90s, Maria and Charlie founded Creativity Central in answer to constantly being asked how they came up with their marketably novel toy ideas, and what they did to be and stay creative.
In 2000, Maria received her Master's Degree in Human Development specializing in Creativity and Lifelong Learning from St.Mary's University in Minneapolis.
In her spare time, she is a volunteer textbook recorder for the blind, and a freelance proofreader for a variety of clients, including Beaver's Pond Press. www.goofproofer.com
Maria is the co-author of Fanning the Creative Spirit, and of Creativity A La Card.
Holahan - Chicago
was educated at New York's Fordham University in its prestigious
In the early 70's he launched his long and successful career as
a toy and game designer, initially working with Charlie Girsch
and the crew that brought Nerf and Twister to the
marketplace. He went on to create many hit toy products such as
the Ride-Through Car Wash, the Honeymooners Game, the Teach-and-Go
Train, and the family of Silly Sports including Silly Sixpins,
Silly Golf, and Silly Soccer. These titles and others have delighted
the playful of all ages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.
After thirty years on the "inside" of premier toy design
groups, including Meyer Glass of Chicago, Ed decided to share
the myriad insights and experiences he gained by living creatively
on an everyday basis. He recently joined forces again with Charlie
and Maria Girsch and Creativity Central. Ed is a born communicator,
and his mission is to further the reach of Creativity Central's
enormously successful Inventivity training methods, and
to add his own rich experience to the practice. It's a perfect
lives in the Pacific Northwest.
More - Chicago
Jake is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago where he specialized
in Communications Design.
He is responsible for the creation and development of hundreds of
toy and game concepts. He is accomplished in all forms of graphic
and product design, and lived by his wits for many years in industries
that are demanding and unforgiving. In a multi-faceted career, he
has earned the reputation as a top-notch problem solver, communicator
and team builder.
In addition, Jake is an accomplished percussionist/drummer and recording
artist. He has played with July,
Soul, Maluka Samba and Miako. His work can be heard on several
CD's including Poi
Dog Pondedring's "Pomegranate." His insider's knowledge and
lifelong experience in all aspects of the music business---from
composition to performance---are invaluable to his creative insights.
resides in Santa Rosa, California with his wife and daughter.
Partners in the Alliance
Biography to come
Our Toy History
The toy and game industry is as competitive and volatile as a business can be. The constant need for new product in an environment that re-invents itself every year is a heady challenge for the independent, professional inventor.
Charlie and Maria Girsch, Jake More, and Ed Holahan have been in the business of inventing marketably novel toys and games since the early 1970s. That's a long time and a lot of product. It has lead to our considerable collective wisdom about the theory and practice of creativity.
Our toy biz careers spanned over 100 cumulative years and ping-ponged between two major cities. In the early 1970s, both Charlie and Ed joined Team Winsor, a St.Paul product development firm that brought the world Twister and Nerf. Ed relocated to Chicago where he joined Marvin Glass & Associates. In the late 70s, Charlie and Maria, still in St.Paul, took over Team Winsor's unsold futures, changing the name to Girsch Design. Back in Chicago, Jake joined Ed in 1997, by then at Meyer/Glass Design, another premier toy inventing group.
From our combined efforts the world got classics and award-winners like Tub Town, Wrist Racer, My Real Baby, Hose-'Em Hockey, The Honeymooners Game, Teach-and-Go Train, and the Silly Sports Games. We have licensed our concepts to numerous companies both here and abroad, including Mattel, Hasbro, Playskool, Tonka, Fisher Price, Sega, Tyco, Parker Brothers, Milton Bradley and Pressman.
a look at the photos below. You'll find some of the hundreds of toys and games
that this inventive foursome helped to create. We
are proud of our contributions, and forever honored that you and your children
have spent hours-over the years-with "our children!"