September 2020, shortly after my 31st birthday, life started down a path I could have never imagined.
I was fresh off an incredible summer having launched Hella Creative, a Bay Area community and creative collective, and leading the #HellaJuneteenth movement, which called national attention to the recognition and observation of Juneteenth. A few of us from the collective knew we achieved something truly special.
With a number of brands and organization approaching us for even more work, we started to consider making our collective energy an official venture. My mentor and boss at the time John Maeda encouraged me to seriously consider venture funding, but I remember feeling a bit overwhelmed and not confident that I had a solid business plan. However, his consistent push forward proved to be fire I needed. He proceeded connected me with a few of his friends in the tech and creative space.
Then John introduced me to executive leadership of Publicis Groupe, and things got really interesting. Several conversations turned into several pitches, and then several pitches turned into several negotiation meetings. Things moved incredibly fast. My friends and collective members Chijioke Amah, Joy Ekuta and Ajene Green fearlessly joined along for the ride.
My Interview with John Maeda on Juneteenth. June 2020.
Publicis Groupe announces Le Truc, a new creative model that brings together more than 600 creatives, producers and creative strategists from Publicis agencies in New York into one collaborative space. Founder members, from left to right: Quinnton Harris (me), Elaine Barker, Chijioke Amah, Andy Bird, Carla Serrano, Neil Heymann, Bastian Baumann, Liz Taylor, Joy Ekuta, and Ajene Green. February 2021.
And in January 2021, Retrospect was born. My cofounders and I’s shared a vision for telling more inclusive stories and building better customer experiences in the market, specifically for historically marginalized people. Especially as we collectively processed the incredible lows of 2020, we made it our mission to find, honor and amplify Black joy by any means necessarily. We believed the pursuit of our own Black joy could heal the world, and creating a space where our diverse professional backgrounds could co-exist in harmony would be the x-factor how we shaped experiences for businesses.
Several conversations turned into several pitches, and then several pitches turned into several negotiation meetings…
My co-founders and I's story on the origins of Retrospect. June 2021.
So at moment, I am co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of our experimental studio that works with small-to-large sized companies to bring culture and perspective to their products and consumer experiences. We craft a strong brand identities, develop integrated marketing solutions, establish meaningful and innovative brand partnerships, and produce rich digital experiences.
Company Portrait, by Breyona Holt AKA Exquisite Eye. June 2021.