Today we’d like to introduce you to Kātrina C. Taylor.
Hi Kātrina, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m from Philadelphia but grew up in a neighboring suburb in Cheltenham Township, PA. I’ve always been artistically inclined but never took being a creative seriously until I was introduced to Graphic Art. My high school guidance counselor, sophomore year, recognized how smart, creative and bored I was with school. (Made evident by the countless drawings and doodles all over my test papers) She suggested that I enroll in a program where I’d spend half the day at our partnering vocational school learning Art and Design and see if that would spark some inspiration. Up until that point, I had never signed up for an art class outside of elementary school. (And all I cared about was music and playing basketball). After a month in, I fell in love with Graphic Art and Design, and I am forever grateful for her taking that interest in me. I went on to study Advertising and Graphic Design in college, and as of today, I’ve been designing professionally for close to 15 years. I’ve had the opportunity to work for companies such as Comcast-Spectacor, The Design Studio at Disc Makers, Wegmans Food Markets, and the SLD of the Adidas Group/Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. (Where I worked for close to 10 years.) Two and a half years ago, I chose to walk away from corporate and become a full-time entrepreneur. Over the short span of time, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some amazing people and notable brands such as PUMA Hoops, Universal Music Group, Live Nation, The George Washington University, The Intersectionality Training Institute, The National Black Women’s Justice Institute, THE MOST, COLORS Worldwide Inc., and Republic Restoratives Distillery.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth road? Not at all, but I come from Philly, home of #PotholesandPlotTwists. I’ve learn to adapt quickly. One challenge I had early on was questioning if I was “good enough” to be hired and work in some professional spaces I explored. I didn’t see ANYONE who looked like me and shared my experience or skill set. (It would be a while before I did). When I finally landed my first full-time job and began to flourish, I was blinded sided by a lay-off along with several of my colleagues following the crash in ’08/’09. From this, I adopted the entrepreneur spirit to ensure I’d never depend on one entity for career advancement and growth. Another challenge I’ve faced over the years was trying to overcome groupthink. When I worked in corporate, I would become apprehensive to speak up at times when I had a difference of opinion with a process or creative direction based on my experience, prior knowledge or expertise. I found a lot of pushback for doing so. It makes it hard for me to hear stories about spaces that celebrate the diversity they have in ethnicity, gender and backgrounds of their team members, but don’t take the time to listen to the concerns and suggestion of the same people, to implement new ways of improving processes, company culture and workplace efficiency with the resources available. From this, I’ve learned to put myself in situations where sharing a fresh perspective is welcomed and I’m celebrated, not tolerated. I encourage others to do the same.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Outside of being a graphic artist and designer, I’m known for helping friends and associates gain clarity on the start, process, or issues with a creative endeavor. When I decided to start my design company, I wanted to echo that sentiment. So through our services, we help fellow creators flush out their creative vision and sort out their brand in order to design products and services that make them feel seen and their customers feel heard. One key thing I strive to do during a project is empower our clients with the necessary information to control an engagement with their vendors and customers. Most of our small business clients are often referred to us because they’ve either been burnt by or confused about the design and production process while working with other creatives. So our time together is more collaborative than anything in order to remedy those effects and build confidence in what they’re building. I’m always proud to receive a call or text from a client who was able to recognize a potential situation we might of gone over and how thankful they were to have had the knowledge to troubleshoot it.
Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
Something that makes me happy is seeing small wins! Doesn’t matter if they’re personal ones I have or my friends, family or clients. I find joy in hearing about overcoming whatever was in the way and what was learned during the experience.
Joseph ‘Holla’ Long