published Friday, August 31st, 2012

Small Biz: Visually Appetizing Designs touts customer focus

Antonio Tate, creative director of Visually Appetizing Designs, discusses a recent photo shoot with his client Brenda Odom on Wednesday. Tate is seeking to grow the photography side of his business and is using Odom, an aspiring model, as the face of his photographic services.
Antonio Tate, creative director of Visually Appetizing Designs, discusses a recent photo shoot with his client Brenda Odom on Wednesday. Tate is seeking to grow the photography side of his business and is using Odom, an aspiring model, as the face of his photographic services.
Photo by Allison Love.

Name: Visually Appetizing Designs

Location: 100 Cherokee Blvd., Suite 2009, Chattanooga

Contact information: 423-402-0841, MyVADesigns.com, Facebook.com/VisAppDesigns

Products/services: Visually Appetizing Designs' owners want it to be a one-stop shop for any company looking for help with a visual part of the business. The design firm specializes in print design for items such as leaflets, posters and handouts, but they also do Web and logo design, interior decorating, photography, posters, event displays -- whatever a customer needs visually designed.

Age: Opened April 2012

Finding a passion: Owner Antonio Tate didn't have much experience with graphic design before the pastors at Faith Family Chattanooga Church asked him to help out with the website and other promotions. "They gave me the tools I needed, the experience I needed," Tate said. "They gave me the opportunity, and that was the biggest thing."

Target market: New and small businesses. Tate targets companies where he and the owners can work closely together to form a vision of how that business will be branded. He said developing that close relationship with customers helps him create content specific to that business rather than the more formulaic, cookie-cutter-type results some national companies offer.

Biggest hurdle: Figuring out a pricing structure. Visually Appetizing Designs works with several different-sized businesses, and finding a pricing structure to suit all of them has been difficult.

Advice: Develop close relationships with clients and customers. Gaining those relationships not only makes business more fun, but leads to referrals, future work and better end products.

Five-year goal: Grow the business to a marketing design firm, expanding their service offerings to a larger variety of media.

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