I am excited to present some new content on the blog, entitled, “Man/Woman on the Move.” These series of posts will highlight people who are making a positive impact, whether on a professional, spiritual or personal platform. These posts are intended to provide motivation to those who are in need of a push to follow their own dreams and be successful at it. The first “Man on the Move” is a good friend of mine, Georges Etienne.
I met Georges in undergrad at Florida International University (FIU). Our common interest brought us together through our Greek Affiliation. He came through the Tau Delta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. We are PHirst PHam. We have maintained a great friendship and I have enjoyed watching him become into the professional that he is today. If there is one thing that I know about Georges, is that he has always been talented at graphic images and was always very sought after by his colleagues. Whenever I needed a design done, he was the first to come to mind. He graduated from FIU with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and also got his Master of Science in Management Information Systems. Meet the CEO/Founder of 84 Studios, LLC and the man behind the “Your Fashion Highness” Logo, Georges Etienne.
Q: How did you get into graphic design?
A: I use to draw and doodle as a kid. I was actually supposed to go to Arts and Graphic Design Magnet Program for high school but it was too far from home. I got my hands on photo shop in college, made my first flyer and things just took off from there.
Q: When did you realize this could be a possible career?
A: Once people really started contacting me to do some work for them and encouragement from my peers…that was probably my biggest motivation. I didn’t initially go to college for graphic design. I initially started in computer science but I found myself enjoying graphic design a whole lot more.
Q: What is 84 Studios and how did you come up with the name?
A: 84 Studios is a company that provides quality graphic images for graphic and web designs such as flyers, newsletters, banners, logos and more. The name is pretty simple; I was born in 84’. “Studios” was used in order to not limit the company to just graphic design because my overall vision for the company is to be a one stop shop in all things for creative media. I would like for the company to eventually expand to mobile apps, videography, photography, etc…
Q: What have been some challenges with starting your own business?
A: The biggest challenge is time. Since I am currently not in a place to quit my fulltime job, I have to juggle between fulltime work and my own business. Between the two responsibilities, I work 11 hour days. Another challenge would be marketing myself and turning my business into a brand. I do need to learn more marketing tactics and work on getting my name out there more, but that all falls back into the timing of things.
Q: What has been your proudest moment?
A: My proudest moment would have to be me seeing the company experience its most profitable week in a short amount of time. It showed me the potential of my company and reaffirms that I am doing the right thing, because I love what I do.
Q: What has been your best tool of marketing your brand?
A: The best marketing tool for my company thus far has been word of mouth. My circle of people are the ones giving me props and referring people to my company. However, I am still working on additional marketing tools.
Q: Where do you see yourself 5 years from today with your business?
A: In 5 years, I would like to do this fulltime, have my own office and provide opportunities for people to work for my company. I want to branch out and expand into a creative studio that provides more than just graphic and web design. I would like to create internship programs for recent college graduate students and allow them to get their foot in the door in the creative industry.
Q: Society has depicted black men as being lazy, uneducated and can only succeed in sports, music or drugs. What do you say to the naysayers? And what do you say to other black men, young and old, out there?
A: If you have the desire to do something, just stay focused and forget the naysayers. Know your goal and stick to it. As black men, we will always have to work harder. Experience is always the best thing. Try to limit your mistakes and not prove the naysayers right. We exploit our own selves and that’s something that we should keep to a minimum or rid of altogether. Have your goal and keep at it.
Q: I’ve seen your talent and have personally worked with you and am so glad to know someone with such talent, drive and motivation. If there is a message you could leave to provide motivation or words of encouragement to anyone who needed it, what would it be?
A: Don’t ever limit yourself. Everyone has a dream and everyone has doubts. Don’t let your doubts limit you, so turn you dream into reality.
Q: For anyone out there wanting your services, how can you be reached?
A: My website www.84studios.net has all of my contact information readily available.
See pics below to catch a glimpse of his work process from beginning to end:
I expect nothing but great things in the future for 84 Studios. Georges is an expert and allows his work to speak for itself. Don’t take my word for it, check out his website and you will see for yourself. Nothing but pure talent! Proud of you Georges 🙂