We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Hamburg and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kelly, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
It was kind of an accident. When I first started in the design field, I was asked the age old question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I answered what I thought everyone would; “Have my own design agency!” But I got deeply ingrained in the corporate design world. I spend over 20 years, doing graphic design for Foley’s, Stage Stores (parent company of Palais Royal) and ad agencies getting to work on all kinds of projects and major brands learning all the different hats of marketing. Print Design, Art Direction, Still Art Direction, Digital Design, Design Management, etc.

But after a corporate downsizing after years of long commutes and very long hours. A colleague said “Get your LLC and I can start feeding you some work”. I reluctantly did thinking it would be a stop-gap until the next corporate job. After getting myself out there and using my good reputation with my contacts and a few lucky breaks, by the grace of God, I quickly got a good client list and never looked back. That was four years ago.

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.
I got my Bachelor of Fine Arts from Illinois State University, but it didn’t start there. I was the kid daydreaming in school and doodling in my books instead of paying attention. I was originally studying to be an Architect, but tons of math turned me off and a basic drawing class my freshmen year changed my path forever. I loved and excelled in art but I knew that I had to make a living, so I focused heavily on Graphic Design (they were also referred to as a Commercial Artist at that time). I didn’t look like you’r typical art student. I was a fraternity guy, so I stood out in a different way. I always had to work a little bit harder to be taken seriously, and sometimes that didn’t even help.

But it became a great balance for me. I was a social person, who liked to be around people and loved to create. I dove into tons of creative outlets, playing guitar, creative writing and of course art. We had a Keith Haring show at my University art gallery that just rocked my world. Here’s someone that “doodled” like I had since I was a kid. It was a life changing experience.

When I graduated, I quickly landed a job designing a 800 page art and craft supply catalog in my small midwestern hometown. I saved everything I made and moved to Houston as soon as the 6 month project was over. My brother already lived there. I worked in night clubs until I got my big break as a newspaper ad designer for Foley’s. I later went on to do 2 stints designing and art directing for Stage Stores (Palais Royal) and got to work on some large national brands in an agency setting.

I give a lot of credit to my midwestern upbringing to my process. I work a white collar job with a blue collar attitude. I really work hard to meet deadlines and love clean timeless design. But since I work for myself, I also just get to go for it and design things for myself. For instance, I took on a challenge for myself to redesign album covers that mean a lot to me. I’ve named the series “Rock ReImagined” and have taken on several challenges the last few years. I believe good design should be available and affordable for everyone. I go out of my way to earn the work, trust and dollars of all my clients. I work the same for the guy with a landscaping company that needs a logo to a large corporation that needs complex branding. I’m pretty proud of that.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I get friends and family that visit from the midwest so I always have some places up my sleeve and new ones to take them to. I’ve been visiting Houston since I was a teenager in the 80’s and living here full time since the mid 90’s so I’ve seen a lot come and go. But here’s a few of my favorite spots.

Pappasitos. I used to go to the original one on Richmond in the 80’s when you had to wait 2 hours to get seated. But to me it’s the prime example of Tex-Mex. It still tastes the same after all these years.

Truth BBQ. It’s a newer spot, but it’s amazing inside and out with some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had.

Titas Taco House. I live just north of Houston and it’s the best breakfast taco spot I’ve ever been to. Just make sure you ring the bell if you want corn tortillas!

La Carafe in downtown Houston. It’s Houstons’ oldest bar. I just love the place because I like things low key.

Warrens in downtown Houston. Right down the street from La Carafe, best jukebox in the city.

A few other spots depending on which friends are visiting. Discovery Green, St. Arnolds Brewery, Karbach Brewery, Phoenicia downtown grocery store. I could go on and on, I love it here in Houston.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Jared VanBruaene from RedVan Creative

Website: www.hamburgsolutions.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hamburg_solutions/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyhamburg/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hamburgsolutions/

Other: Dribbble: https://dribbble.com/HamburgSolutions

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.