Today we’d like to introduce you to Renard Ragsdale.
Renard, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. My mother and father were both educators and I was exposed to a wide array of culture and arts at an early age. I attended Northside High, a performing arts high school. After graduating, I was accepted to Florida A&M in Tallahassee, FL. Once enrolled, I quickly determined that my creative expression would be best served through advertising. I went on to complete my Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design with a secondary emphasis on web development. Upon graduation, I returned to Atlanta with dreams of planting my flag and being my own boss. However, my resume and the economy didn’t align with my dream at that time. So, I landed a job at an ad agency in Buckhead where I got up to speed on how things work. In hindsight, it was the best thing that could’ve happened to me at the time. I learned a ton about the industry and made connections and lifelong friends. After seven years, I decided to strike out on my own again. In 2008, I formed Ragsdale Design Group (RDG). The first few years, I operated from Suite 100 (the guest bedroom in my house) and took everything that came my way! By 2012, we had gained momentum and established a strong reputation as a trusted agency vendor. It was at this time that we acquired office space in Midtown. We’ve been buzzing along over the past few years turning out exceptional work for both larger agencies as well as our own direct clients. In fact, I was recently reminded by my biggest supporter (my wife) that we are rapidly approaching our 10 year anniversary.
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?
Smooth road? LOL! Not so much! RDG was officially founded in April 2008. We had big dreams and goals that were quickly (altered) by the economic crash that came a few months later. Suddenly, all the planning and forecasting that seemed so conservative came into question. We had to readjust our expectations, goals and worst case scenarios. Keep in mind we are 100% bootstrap. No trust funds or angel investors to bail us out if we get in trouble. I’m happy to say we stayed the course and toughed things out. The first few years were kinda dicey but we made it past the freshman cut off and are proud to say we were truly baptized by fire.
Once we got our footing, we embraced the business world and everything it had to offer. The next challenge we encountered was the mass adoption of automation and globalization. As refined as our process is, there’s always someone coming to try to eradicate or replace your position in the ecosystem.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ragsdale Design Group story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a creative technology/digital media boutique that specializes in web development, rich media and video production. We create best in class digital experiences that live across screens of all sizes. We partner with agencies in a vendor capacity. For our direct clients, we provide high-level strategy and insight that offers them a competitive edge in the marketplace. Our tagline is Boutique Hustle. Big Agency Results. As a boutique, we have to work smarter, faster and more efficient as we don’t have an army of team members assigned to every project. Our relationships with larger agencies have shown us the details and nuances that Fortune 100 brands have come to expect.
We are a 100% self-financed, minority-owned business that is navigating an ever-changing digital landscape. Our tagline is our brand differentiator. We have start-up hustle with agency polish.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Let’s be clear, timing is everything. That being said, timing and luck have some correlation. Although, the timing wasn’t in sync when I decided to leave corporate, thinking back it was actually the right time to pursue my entrepreneurial spirit. I go back and forth on this all the time. Chance meeting at a networking event or divine intervention? “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity”.
- Address: 695 Pylant Street Suite 109 Atlanta, GA 30306
- Website: http://rdgatl.com
- Phone: 404-410-6429
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @rdgatl
- Facebook: @rdgatl
- Twitter: @rdgatl