A Look Back at 10 Years of Service, a message from Shala

  • by Shala Graham
  • 0
  • 0


Ten years ago today, I began a journey with no clear vision or goals for the company you now know as SW Creatives, LLC. It was just a little freelance something when I had a friend or colleague who wanted me to design something. I had no idea that 8 months later, I would be operating full-time under the SW Creatives name, and 10 years later I would be running a “real business” larger than just “Shala Wilson (Graham) doing creative projects,” hence the name.

Over the past 10 years of business, we’ve accomplished quite a few things that our team is extremely proud of:

  • Completing almost $100K in pro bono projects;
  • Donating over $18K in cash to nonprofit organizations;
  • Serving over 90 nonprofit organizations; 
  • Serving over 150 clients all together; 
  • Hiring 7 creative professionals and four paid interns;  
  • Increasing revenue and turning profit for 9 consecutive years (the 10th year we launched a new business);
  • Launching a coworking space, Creative Colony, serving over 35 businesses in its first 10 months; and 
  • Sponsoring 4 children who live in poverty in the Philippines, through Compassion International. 

We couldn’t have done this without great clients who trust us, come back to us time and time again, and refer us to their colleagues. It is an honor to serve so many organizations, allowing us to fulfill our mission of serving those who are serving others with powerful design that drive mission forward. It’s always exciting to work with great causes, building their brands both online and offline, whether it’s an annual report, a website, or an event. It truly is rewarding work. And I couldn’t have done this without the support of an incredibly talented team who have been so loyal to me and to this company. Thank you!

Last night, we threw an anniversary shindig at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. We all felt so loved and encouraged by the friends, colleagues and clients who showed up in support. Preparing for that evening, I found myself laying awake at night answering the question of “Why serve nonprofits?” In the beginning, it was by coincidence or influence of prior employers, but it continues because my life was molded by nonprofit organizations! 

I’m a proud Head Start child, Boys and Girls Club kid, Salvation Army summer camper, free/reduced lunch student, public school graduate, daughter of an immigrant, Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle captain, and various summer enrichment programs participant. I’ve had countless teachers, coaches, church members, and more pour into me as a young person, wanting me to grow and succeed despite what my family’s economic status may have been. So when we get the opportunity to work with organizations that are helping inner city youth, empowering women across the world, fighting for civil rights, working for more affordable housing solutions, and helping those in poverty all over the world, it ignites something in me that I can’t put out. My heart starts beating because I know how much their work can change a person’s life, because their counterparts changed my life. The work of nonprofits leveled the playing ground so that a little girl from a disadvantaged family in Kentucky could one day thrive, and be the “boss lady."

At SW Creatives, we’re more than just a design firm that is talented and patient. We’re agents of change and we take great pride in battling poverty and fighting for equality with our weapons of design. We look forward to serving many more nonprofits in the coming years. Again, thank you to everyone who has been a part of this amazing journey!

Shala

P.S. Check out our highlight photos and photo booth photos from our anniversary party.