When I was a child my teacher gave our class an assignment: create a drawing that expressed what we dreamed of becoming when we grew up. In my illustration, I scribbled a split-screen image with a baseball player on one side, and an artist on the other. The funny thing is that if you were to give me that same assignment today, my answer would likely be the same!
I came to realize that professional baseball wasn’t in the cards for me, so instead I followed my other passion: design. In 2006, I graduated from the packaging design program at the Fashion Institute of Technology and embarked on a career of branding and packaging design.
After graduating, I was fortunate enough to land a full time position at my favorite creative agency. The following years humbled me in many ways — I grew as both a designer and as a person. After about seven years in the industry, I teamed up with my dear friend and colleague, John Natoli. Some of you know John as our purpose-first president here at Pollen Brands.
Starting our own agency was a grind that only fellow entrepreneurs can understand; aside from the physical and emotional wear-and-tear, there was the challenge of knowing that our design work would have a direct effect on the lives of other human beings. Until that point in my career, I had designed for some of the biggest companies in the world. Every project had begun with a creative brief and some (expensive) market research. There were huge teams of designers, strategists, brand managers—multiple layers of expertise, positioned to construct brands that would influence a global consumer audience.
But now that John & I were on our own, these enormous teams were no longer at our disposal and the big companies weren’t knocking at our door. Instead, our clients were purpose-driven entrepreneurs who’d never before invested in design—they were too busy waking up at 5am to turn on ovens, hop into delivery trucks, harvest fruits, and unlock doors at volunteer centers.
The majority of our clients approach Pollen for one of two reasons:
- They’re currently doing what they love, but need help taking their company to the next level.
- Have a vision for a dream they want to grow and share with the world.
Often, regarding the latter, an entrepreneur has done something they hate for years before deciding, ‘enough is enough…I’m going to take a risk on something I’m passionate about.’
At Pollen, we like to think of ourselves as dreamcatchers. We catch the essence of our client's dream, shape it and release it back into the world to flourish.
We’re entrepreneurs, as well, and we understand the risks our clients face – we don’t take this responsibility lightly! We listen, process, challenge and care. The resources we provide—brand design, careful collaboration, compelling websites, beautiful photo and video content—serve to pollinate the world with your dreams and give your audience a chance to get on board.
Let’s face it: most of us are never going to play professional baseball – some dreams we just have to let go. Let’s make room for the ones that are going to influence, inspire and fulfill the rest of our lives; while also making the world a better place.
Do you have a passion you’d like to share? Drop us a line – we’ll be standing by with our dream-catcher mitts!