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Meet Greg Corey of Porchlight

Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Corey.

Greg, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I never set out to start a business; amazingly, it just happened. To give a bit of background, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Advertising-PR, but during my time in college, I worked at The Home Depot pushing carts and working on the sales floor. When I graduated, I reached out to The Home Depot headquarters in Atlanta to see if they were hiring and to my surprise, they were opening a brand-new divisional office in Tampa. I jumped on the opportunity and took a position in the Advertising and Marketing department.

Just two years into my time with The Home Depot, my boss was promoted and I was chosen to lead the design team. After two years in this role, the national office made me an offer to move to headquarters in Atlanta to be a National Creative Supervisor – this was huge for me. I had the opportunity to work on projects with Atlanta MLB, NASCAR, and even the Olympics!

While I thoroughly enjoyed my 10 years working for The Home Depot, I decided that I needed a change and left to work for Newell Rubbermaid as the Art Director of their Commercial Cleaning Division. After only being there for 6-8 months, Rubbermaid decided to relocate our entire office to Winchester, VA. I considered moving but ultimately decided to pass up this venture and do a little freelancing while I searched for a new opportunity here in Atlanta. One freelance job led to another and another and eventually I had more work than I could handle on my own.

Working out of my dining room, I hired a few people to help alleviate the workload and 14 years later, we are still going strong. While owning a business was never something I had planned, it has been a fun challenge to continue learning and growing and adapting to new opportunities in an effort to keep the business viable. My drive to expand our portfolio, evolve with the changing technologies and learn new skills is what keeps me going.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For me, starting a business was easy. The challenge is not getting too comfortable and continuing to strive for more. Fortunately, I’ve kept strong connections with past co-workers and I’ve been grateful for the new business opportunities that I’ve had based on word of mouth. We’ve only recently begun marketing ourselves and that has been a learning process. Knowing who our target audience is, how to market ourselves effectively, and when to raise our hands for work has been the most challenging part.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Porchlight story. Tell us more about the business.
Porchlight helps people and companies to develop brands for retail. We’re a design agency with roots in the home improvement industry that has since branched out to include expertise in branding, packaging and digital. Our client list includes names like The Home Depot, Yamaha, Husky, Genie, and RIDGID.

It’s an agency made up of big talent and friendly folks who use their experience, skills and creativity to help clients succeed in the fast-paced and ever-changing retail world.

We are known for our experience and knowledge of The Home Depot, and our deep involvement and understanding of that sector sets us apart from other branding agencies. As a home-grown agency, I am proud to say that what started as freelancing evolved into the business we are today, 14 years later.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
From the beginning, my mantra has always been about working hard. In my opinion, very few people get lucky – you could say there was luck in timing or luck in knowing the right people or being in the right place at the right time, but I don’t believe we have had good or bad luck at this point. I also think luck is more about hindsight – you can never really pinpoint what was lucky at the time it happens, but maybe I have had luck and just don’t realize it yet. Maybe someday in the future, I’ll be able to look back and say ‘man, that was pretty lucky. We’ll have to wait and see.

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