We had the good fortune of connecting with Sly Roque and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sly, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I started The Clever Group, It was a part time thing. I was doing freelance/contract work as a graphic designer and that was just the name I used to solicit business under. I never really just wanted to be an entrepreneur, that was never in my original life plans but God sought different. I often tell people that I accidentally became an entrepreneur and I would’ve easily taken a nice paying salaried design job before this any day. Even before this, I was working a contract job with the potential to be a permanent nice paying salaried design job at the beginning of 2020 but then of course, the pandemic hit. By the 3rd quarter of 2020, I was forced into The Clever Group full-time. We’ve re-branded ourselves as a Creative Entertainment Agency, which focuses on creative branding and marketing for artists, talent & small businesses in Entertainment. Business has been booming rapidly ever since! It’s almost as if I don’t have a choice but to tend to it full-time at this point and I wouldn’t have it any other way. No matter what I’ve ever done in my career, It seems like I’ve always been pointed back to building up The Clever Group. I’m very happy with how far we’ve come and I can’t wait to see everything that the future holds for our company!
What should our readers know about your business?
The Clever Group is a creative entertainment agency focusing on unique branding and marketing for artists, talent and small businesses. We also provide a full creative and design services as well. With over 10 years of experience and expertise, our team of creatives have collectively worked on creative & marketing options for major corporations and known recording artists across the country. We know exactly what it takes to push your business and/or brand to the next level and beyond! One of our main principles is “Branding is Therapy”. We believe that understanding who you are and really understanding your vision for your business sets you up for absolute success. It also helps us create better branding and more accurate marketing plans that reach your target audience and goals more perfectly. We understand that sometimes that means you have to dig deep and evaluate things. Brand Therapy™ is a service that we provide to our clients to help guide them on their journey of proper branding or rebranding. Our one-on-one sessions will help you find comfort in knowing that you are on the right road for building your brand to be successful. As a creative entertainment agency, we aspire to help people achieve their goals in the most unique & innovative way possible. We believe the ultimate idea comes from learning the past, embracing the present and creating the future all at the same time. We’re not the perfect agency because of our accolades and accomplishments. We are ideal because once we understand your dream, our goal is to do whatever we can to make sure it comes true.
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?
My favorite places to casually hang out have been the beer gardens lately. I frequent the east downtown area more often nowadays than others. If I had a friend visiting town, I would take them to Tout Suite for brunch and then maybe Truckyard & 8th Wonder Brewery. On the other side of downtown, there’s another one of my favorite chill spots, Axelrad. It’s a cool place to catch up with friends and also bring a laptop grab a brew and work if you wanted to. There is also the third ward area where we would be bar hop along a strip of small black owned businesses. And then for dinner, I would take them to Upper Kirby Bistro, which is also black owned. The food is amazing! They also have a bar next door with music as well as a rooftop.
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?
Shoutouts to my best friends & business partners, Jarred Buggs, who is the Director of A&R of The Clever Group & Eva Nelson, who is the Chief Operating Officer of The Clever Group I wouldn’t be this far at all without their encouragement and belief in my dream. They really have supported me the whole entire way. Shoutouts to my brother, OG Ron C. I wouldn’t be in the entertainment business if it wasn’t for him. Of course, shoutouts to my family who has supported me through this journey, especially my God Family. They have definitely supported me in all ways imaginable through this. And a DEFINITE shoutouts to other friends and family who have supported me since I’ve started this endeavor. Also, special shoutouts to my mentors Lump & Venus because if it wasn’t for them trusting my expertise and their recommendations, business wouldn’t be booming as it is now for us. Thanks again everybody!