Hope Strikes Back
is a new initiative cultivated by Giving Beyond the Box founder, Professor Sandra Enos. The newest launch highlighted small businesses owned and operated by people of color. We hope to shed light on the awesome work of the vendors who participated beyond the launch of the box. A tremendous asset to the creation of the box was its design.
Chris Fagbayi Design was responsible for the graphics and visual design of the box. Chris is a brand designer based in Houston, Texas responsible for aiding startups with defining their brand identity with a thorough focus on customer acquisition. Before his move to Texas, he previously worked with Riverzedge Arts in Woonsocket, RI as the Graphic Design Studio Director. He was a major influence with their graphic design program! Chris was introduced to Professor Enos through his work with Riverzedge Arts, and they developed a strong business relationship. He actually helped design the logo, business cards and packaging for three of the boxes for Giving Beyond the Box before being asked to assist with Hope Strikes Back!
Chris was always the creative type. The interest started in his youth, and continued through the rest of his academic career. Twelve years ago, while working at an investment firm, he decided to invest in his future. The recession triggered anxiety, stress and tension but Chris dug deep. He recognized his interest and passion with concept creation for brands. He took a leap of faith and got to work.
Chris Fagbayi Design has welcomed quite a bit of success since its early beginnings. One of the company’s first major accomplishments was a breakfast with Harlem Run, a social running club in Harlem, NY. The club is women-owned , and has achieved its own success by expanding to other states, doing press featurettes on platforms such as CNBC, Viceland and Women’s Health Magazine, and even being sponsored by Under Armour. Little did he know, Harlem Run would be his most successful client. Chris notes how proud he was to be an asset to a growing small, women-owned business. From the sidelines, he watched a client from the early stages of development, thrive. It’s all about lifting each other up!
The best part about Chris’s work is the vector development process. After meeting with a client, Chris drafts his concepts and vision to propose to the client. He loves the anticipation of showing off his vector concept to clients. It gives great pride and excitement to showcase the vision.
Of course, it’s easy to highlight the positives without ever acknowledging the obstacles and frustrations. Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Chris is just now devoting his energy to Chris Fagbayi Design full time. For years, the company was a side hustle he would squeeze after his day jobs. He now relies on his efforts with Fagbayi Design as his primary source of income, which has driven him to work even harder. Chris claims that the most challenging part of establishing his startup was “learning how to market myself… It’s a competitive field.
You need to be unique and different. At the time, I didn’t know how to go about it. It took some time to figure out the target audience, how to network, who to network towards. It’s a challenge for sure! I wish I knew how much work it took. I didn’t mind the work, but it would take some time to find a sweet spot”.
His advice to other entrepreneurs? Get ready to work your butt off, and prepare for rejection.
Chris mentions, “When marketing and selling your services, you will be rejected a lot, but you will eventually get a few yeses, and they will be valuable. You will have pride and compassion for being able to fulfill clients’ expectations.” He recognizes how diligent, attentive and focused he is as a newfound full-time freelancer. He is confident in his abilities and the service his can deliver.
Being a smaller, minority-owned business is an important aspect of Chris’s work and his greater purpose. He expressed how fulfilling it is to accomplish all he has with Fagbayi Design, while supporting other small, minority-owned entrepreneurs. “It’s more valuable than ever”, he stresses.
We appreciate the talent and dedication Chris has provided through his designs with Giving Beyond the Box, and we look forward to future collaborations.
It’s only up from here, Chris!