The path Adrienne Ezell took to get where she now owns and operates a creative agency called “Her Designs” was not a direct journey, but one that now allows her to tap into her business savvy and creativity to help businesses with their marketing needs.
A self-described “military brat,” Ezell was born in Meridian but lived in several locations with her family as a child growing up. She enrolled at Mississippi State University for its renowned veterinary school. However, she discovered something she couldn’t overcome that kept her from that career path. It did not prevent her from getting a degree, just not as a veterinarian.
“I am allergic to everything with fur and feathers,” Ezell said. “Luckily, I found that out in my undergraduate work, so I switched from a double-major in molecular biology and biochemistry with a minor in art to communications, so I have a journalism degree. My adviser and I sat down and after 10 minutes we learned I had just one semester left to graduate in communications. I finished a four-year degree in two-and-a-half years.”
Ezell also has other passions, such as writing and being creative, that she turned into her post-MSU career start.
“I actually went to a job fair for engineering students because I was a technical writer, where I met a slot technician for Tunica at Hollywood Casino,” Ezell said. “We hit it off and I was recruited out of college for art and design. I was a graphic designer and marketing assistant.”
The work with Hollywood Casino and a local printer in Southaven helped her hone other skills together while gaining many contacts in the business world, so that in March she decided to go off on her own and start what she calls “Her Designs.”
“I managed to put together an impressive smattering of skills to help small businesses,” Ezell said. “That’s been kind of my niche and what I decided I wanted to do. I was very fortunate to be able to bring over a lot of clients who offered to come with me. I was very forthright about it and I’d say about 10 percent came with me anyway. That’s how I got my start.”
Today, Ezell’s company works to offer brand development, target markets, offer ideas and technology to provide tailored solutions and unique designs for small businesses.
“I help small businesses get started with a marketing plan,” she pointed out. “I do consulting to save them money and get them something concrete to start with. Unless they are getting a bank loan, they are generally not going to have a marketing plan. So, I offer consulting services, if they need that.”
After designing a brand image and setting a marketing plan in motion, Ezell can come up with unique but meaningful logos and printing services.
“I can handle printing needs for small and medium businesses,” Ezell said. “I can farm out things for larger businesses because I have a lot of good contacts with commercial printing and mail distribution, as well. I can also start from the ground up with design, as far as getting a logo or helping choose a business name.”
All of Ezell’s work is done with an eye on effective impact, while also done to be mindful of the bottom line.
“I’m a firm believer that you invest profits in your marketing,” Ezell said. “You don’t increase your overhead with monthly expenditures in marketing. Not in the beginning and not as a startup. Small business is a very special niche.”
Even without a storefront, since clients contact her through her website, herdesigns.com, by phone or by email, Ezell believes she is in a great place at a great time for business in DeSoto County.
“We have a lot of businesses starting up,” Ezell said. “We have some very active Chambers (of Commerce) to meet people. I think we’re really growing and we’re at a turning point where people are moving away from corporations and where their hobbies are becoming sustainable businesses. I see that a lot here. It’s a great time to be here specifically.”
For more information, call Ezell at 662-536-1905 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.