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Check Out Chris Reinecke’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Reinecke.

Hi Chris, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
When I was a kid, my dad started a handyman business to fund his way through college. I remember being awestruck by his business cards and rubber stamps with his name on them – it was all so official! One night, in about third grade, I stayed up until 2:00 in the morning to hand-draw business cards of my own to hand out to friends.

I didn’t know what design was until later in life, so I attended Wayland Baptist University for Art Education. After I met and married my wife Bethany and we started our family, my goals and priorities started to shift. One of the jobs I worked before getting my degree was in advertising sales. I was a horrible salesman! But, I loved the design process and was fascinated by the stories of the people I was meeting. People who had risked their livelihood and life’s savings to go “all-in” and bet on themselves. I knew that I wanted to serve businesses like this. It was at this point that I transferred to Abilene Christian University, where I graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design.

When I graduated, we moved to Denton so I could start work in my first official design role at Sally Beauty Holdings. After a few years, I became disillusioned that the grandiose decision-making design skills I learned in college were so far removed from the corporate workflow I was living in. I believed that design was not about making over a business decision in new clothes but rather influencing the decision itself.

Determined to make a change and eventually earn a seat at the table, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about marketing and the strategies that make it tick. About this time, I also started to develop new skills while serving in various hybrid roles. I owe a debt of gratitude to each of the leaders who trusted me with additional responsibilities and gave me the opportunity to grow. These roles would go on to teach me how to lead creative teams, maintain budgets, develop vendor relationships, and project manage. I also learned several frameworks for building brand strategies beyond the visual design suite.

Then, in 2016, I started to burn out in a demanding work environment. I was working with events and was on the road often, frequently working 12-14 hour days for a company that seemed to have mass firings and layoffs every nine weeks. It was at that time that I started to put my new skills to work as an entrepreneur. I quit my 9-5 and opened Reinecke Design as a way of helping entrepreneurs that I believed in to realize their own dreams of being their own boss.

Today, I am keeping the dream alive. Due to the impact of COVID-19, More people than ever are building their own businesses and side-hustles as a way of stabilizing their income. Established, mid-sized businesses are looking for a more affordable solution to traditional agencies. Some businesses are at critical mass and looking to set themselves up for growth at scale. This is where I come in.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The year that I started, I had a major contract that ended on October 31. Because I wasn’t familiar with the business cycles yet, I did not have work lined up for all of November and December (and it’s not the time of year to find new work). We ended up seeking help at a local food bank to help us get through the Holidays.

Since that time, of course, I’ve learned a lot and have kept multiple sources of income ongoing. Probably more interesting than the obstacles are the unexpected successes. I was a terrible salesperson when I was young. But, with experience behind me and with my relationship-based approach, I find that sales looks a lot more like a friendly conversation than active persuasion.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Reinecke Design is a boutique brand studio offering creative strategy, graphic design, print brokerage and brand development. One of the things that most sets us apart is our approach to creative strategy and implementation. Many agencies build nice graphics, but they’re content to stick to their one job and then hand over the keys.

With us, businesses have a partner who can work with them from beginning to end. Our services include brand consultation, inbound marketing, social media, design, print sourcing and promotional products. By having these services available, it allows us to become more integrated with the businesses we serve and really understand the problems they face.

What matters most to you?
Our driving principle is that: “Design is the act of creating with purpose, on purpose.” It is so important that anything we create be intentional. When someone starts a business, they’ve already taken on a lot of risk, and it seems every salesperson in the country comes knocking on their door. For the business owner, every dollar needs to count. There are a lot of talented creatives out there who can draw attention, but a solid strategy is what helps our clients succeed.

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