In less than two years, Duane Fernandez has grown his two-employee company, Black Ops Studio, into a $200,000 business. The Tulsa company, which serves as a creative director for hire, does more than just manage marketing campaigns. Fernandez, a former graffiti artist and photographer, partnered with a local jewelry designer to create custom pieces for artists performing at Tulsa's 19,000-seat BOK Center. The arena had been giving artists a generic gift, but those trinkets didn't capture the artists' attention or generate good photo ops. "A lot of these old-school cats would accept gifts through their staff, and the arena would never get that key photo with the artist," says Fernandez. Now, with Fernandez' unique gifts in hand, the artists happily meet with the center's staff and help promote the building and city.
CAMERASI'm never without a camera, and sometimes I'll travel with three of them—my SLR, a point-and-shoot, and a Polaroid. I love that yellowish tint to everything.
BREAKFAST MEETINGSI like to engage people first thing in the morning when they're a little raw. There's a tiny breakfast place called Queenie's in Tulsa, and I like to be able to sit outside and have a morning conversation with someone.
EXTERNAL HARD DRIVESI'm a collector. I store everything.
STAPLERI dork out on staplers! I love making zines. They were a huge part of my life growing up, and I'll just make 10 if I feel like it. This stapler is amazing because it lets me do a saddle stitch. They're actually really beautiful and functional.
COMPOSITION BOOKSI always have a stack of notebooks. I'm trying to create a perfect note system. For now I have two: one for to-do lists, one for meetings and notes.
SHOESI'm a total sneakerhead. These Dunks are my favorite. I wore them the first time I pitched State Farm, and the client said she knew I was right for the job when she saw me wearing them.
SKATEBOARDSkateboarding and graffiti were huge influences on me. I got my first Rob Roskopp pro board in the second grade. It's pretty much the only one I rode for 10 years. Now I collect them.
Return to the BWSmallBiz December 2009/January 2010 Table of Contents
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