Welcome to part two of our black business spotlight. This week we are highlighting FAU alumnus, Halston Shannon, who graduated in 2017 with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management Information Systems and again in 2018 with a Master of Education in Adult & Community Education Leadership.
Shannon’s self titled company, Halston Shannon Visual Artistry and Branding, LLC, offers graphic design and brand development. “My company slogan is “Originality. Creativity. Excellence.” And those also act as my core values. Long story short, every brand that I have the pleasure to work with has their own unique identity,” said Shannon.
His entire life he has had an interest in creativity, art, and making use of his imagination. He paired that with his interest in computers and technology and became a graphic designer. He started out during his freshman year at FAU by doing free work for organizations and classmates to give him a chance to practice and perfect his craft.
“Over time, the requests started to really grow as I became better and I decided to capitalize off of that momentum by charging for my services,” said Shannon. “The thought of becoming an Entrepreneur was an intriguing possibility and it also helped that there were a few established business owners that I personally knew to guide me in the beginning.”
Since the pandemic started, Shannon has received more work requests. He attributes this to the fact that many people have had more time on their hands since they haven’t been able to work or are working remotely. “I certainly have experienced a spike in requests ever since the beginning of the pandemic. I have received logo requests from all over, and you can even say logos are my niche now,” said Shannon.
When asked why it is important to run and support black owned business, Shannon said that he believes we, as a people, are the most talented in the world, “Running a black business is important simply because it would be counterproductive to not build up our own brands, support one another, and invest in one another,” said Shannon.
Starting a new business is something that requires a lot of time and dedication. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year.
When starting a business, Shannon advises young entrepreneurs to make sure it revolves around something that you thoroughly enjoy and are great at, “It wouldn’t be fair to any future clients to provide underwhelming work/customer service and you wouldn’t want that as a part of your reputation. Once you actually start your business, please remember that the easy part is making the logo. You gain customers from not only producing quality but also being CONSISTENT. That means your networking, social media marketing, and ability to come up with unique ideas at all times must always be strong to succeed. Never compare yourself to others or allow a dry period in sales to discourage you, because if it’s something that you really want then your time will absolutely come,” said Shannon.
Be sure to visit https://www.halstonshannon.com for all of your graphic design needs and follow @halstonshannon on Instagram to stay up to date on his amazing work.