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

Hi Ramon, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I actually started my design business while I was still in college. I had a professor who noticed a caricature I had drawn of myself for a class assignment, and she asked me if I’d be interested in drawing caricatures at an adult birthday party for a friend of hers. That was really my first paying gig and I began doing caricatures as a side hustle. When I went to the art supply store, I saw they had a ledger for ‘tax ID numbers / tax free sales’ and it was then that I started the inquire about really establishing myself as a real company with a state Sales and Use Tax ID number. That number was issued to me in 1992. In 2003, I set up my company as an LLC with the state because I was consulting at the time and my client required it.

I’d always done freelance design on the side, going all the way back to college, but it wasn’t until 2008, when I got laid off from my job of 10 years, that I really pursued Peralta Design full time. It wasn’t like I wasn’t trying to find a job, but in 10 months, I only received two job offers which didn’t pan out, which essentially forced me to continue freelancing and building a client base. After some soul searching, I came to believe that I was predestined to have my own company and that it would no longer be a side hustle. A 13-year overnight success, today we are headquartered in Shelton, Connecticut with 10 full time W2 employees and have just expanded into an office 3X the size of what we were in and we also have a satellite location in Palm Coast, Florida. I identify with the startup company founder’s journey and volunteer my time through SCORE by helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses with brand strategies for scaling up and sustainable growth. We Launch Brands® Peralta Design is not just a digital agency. It is built upon our T.E.S.T. Value System:  Transparency, Excellence, Service and Trust and our team is very deliberate in its skill set: designed to launch new brands rapidly with a particular focus in the areas of Branding, Web Development and Digital Marketing. Together, We Launch Brands®

What should our readers know about your business?
I was a consultant on the original launch team behind Priceline.com serving as Senior Art Director. Because I was not a full-time employee, I did not receive the windfall of stock options that most others did when the company went public. After its launch, I joined the innovation team at Walker Digital and spent the next 10 years trying to catch lightning in a bottle again and again working alongside Priceline inventor, Jay Walker as his Creative Director. In 2008, that dream came to an end as I along with many other staff members were given pink slips. It was devastating. What I want to tell everyone out there is that sometimes the worst thing that happens to you may very well end up being the best thing. Getting let go of a 6-figure full time job, with lots of perks and the prospect of a large monetary reward was heart wrenching, but it paved the way for what Peralta Design is today. Today, I am living the dream of running my own million-dollar agency with an amazing team of people that I get to collaborate with everyday. I truly feel that this is what I was meant to do all along. There are days where I really have to pinch myself because I am so grateful for what we have built together.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

We are just an hour north of NYC so that would definitely be our first stop. I really enjoy the energy in NYC! Conveniently, right off the West Side Highway there are a variety of amazing restaurants, or we would simply grab a NY Slice (Real Pizza!) and walk the High Line, a former elevated subway track that has been converted into a greenway. It is a beautiful way to be outdoors and get an elevated view of the city. Back in Shelton, CT where we’re headquartered, we’d have to hit some of our beautiful hiking trails, followed by dinner at the Spotted Horse, Little Barn or Il Palio for some great food, and probably hit a golf course or two for 18 holes. Tashua Knolls in Trumbull or Race Brook Country Club in Orange are two of my local favorites. New Haven, CT would also be on the itinerary as it is the home of the world’s best pizza and we could visit the Yale Art Gallery and enjoy a steak at Cast Iron Chophouse or Jacks. It would all be topped off with a Davidoff Cigar at The Owl Shop cigar lounge where we might even catch some live Jazz.

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?
I want to shout out my wife Nancy Lopez-Peralta who puts up with me and my crazy ideas and visions. I also want to recognize a mentor, Dr. Fred McKinney who afforded me several opportunities to attend Tuck University’s MBE Executive Business Program. My Fraternity Brothers, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. for being such a strong brotherhood and strong network of clients to this day. A shout out to Chris Jarvis, a dear friend and trusted advisor who pushes me to think bigger and to Be the Giraffe, and of course Jorge Pezo-Candelario who was the first employee I hired. He took a shot on me and this dream of building an agency and has been with me every step of the way. Lastly, the entire team at PD, without them, we wouldn’t be having so much fun using our gifts, doing great work and helping others.

Website: www.peraltadesign.com

Instagram: @peraltadesignhq

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/ramonperalta

Twitter: @peraltadesign

Facebook: facebook.com/peraltadesign

Image Credits
All photo credit Peralta Design. Team photo credit: Photography by Luis Cuevas

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