We had the good fortune of connecting with Fanisia Bundage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fanisia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started EMUNAH (Hebrew for faith) to help jumpstart my career as a communications and creative director. My focus was to provide visual art and strategic communication assistance to ministry-based organizations. Months in I found myself veering away from my concentrations trying to cater to all things communications which became overwhelming. So, I decided to turn my focus solely to digital marketing, graphic and web design. Starting my own creative agency also stemmed from wanting to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with services that they can afford without having to break their pockets but after each project I saw my love for my craft, the ingenuity, being able to discover something new through my imagination. This love wasn’t realized or taken seriously until I actually took the time to see how much effort, being a stickler for making the smallest details stand out, and being able to visualize things before my hands would touch a piece of paper or stroke a key on my laptop. I ultimately realized that I needed to stop short-changing my gifts and put a matching price tag.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Aside from my entrepreneurship journey, I am a full-time academic advisor, I have been in the higher education field for a total of 9 years. Definitely like night and day when you’re a creative so from 9 AM- 5 PM I’m Ms. Bundage, from 6 PM-until (the hours of operation of an entrepreneur) I’m Fanisia the entrepreneur. Deciding to juggle both is definitely not for the faint just as it would be for someone who is has chosen to pursue full-time entrepreneurship. It’s a decision that requires full commitment and a hell of a niche for time-management but, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There are times where I can be mentally exhausted from the full time gig but out of nowhere this burst of energy will shoot through my body and I’m able to push through and I can give no one else but God the fullest gratitude for it. At the end of the day the word (my) is in front of brand for a reason. You are the person who builds it, sustains it, and watches it grow everyday. Being authentic can seem to be the easiest thing to portray when building a brand but it is also super easy to fall into the pond of comparison if you are not willing to do the work and self-reflection that it takes to really give your audience or in my case, clients the best experience possible through my content and my work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First, I’m a huge introvert so my favorite place to be is at home. But for the sake of the interview, I do have a few gems that I patronize. My absolute favorite restaurant is Lucille’s (IYKYK). The fried green tomatoes, croissant French toast and chicken wings with the collard greens on the side, my lawd. Oh, yes I’m also a food evangelist as I love to eat. A few other spots that I love for food and drinks are Ritual, Hungry’s, Barnaby’s, Tacos A Go-go, and Crafty Crab (if you love seafood as much as I do). For the vibes, I am a huge fan of spots with live music and art-deco aesthetics so Cafe 4212, Taste Bar, 5th Element, and Phil and Derek’s.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely have to recognize the people who were there during my humble beginnings when I was literally sobbing and being so scared of my own potential but they always told me to suck it up in the nicest way (sometimes) lol. So I want to dedicate this to my all things communication mentors Candace Johnson and Yolanda Bevill, two women who gave me my first internship opportunity within the Office of Marketing and Communications at Prairie View A&M University, Dr. Danielle Hairston who I have claimed as my “campus mother” was the advisor for Panthers United, a community service based organization for which I served as the special events coordinator. Dr. Hairston was also responsible for providing me with my very first large scale event planning experience and guest lecturer opportunity. Dr. Michelle DeSelle and Mr. Daniel Kennebrew, my two all-time favorite professors at PVAMU and mentors for all things entrepreneurship and self-empowerment, and lastly Mr. Kenyatta Simmons who became my spiritual advisor and helped me to launch my very first business as a college student.
Feature Photo: Cory Dixon (@cdixonphotos)