Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Carolyn Walker moved to East Stroudsburg in 2018 to pursue a full time placement as a Graphic Designer at TEPSBEST (now, Tepsi Print). She quickly adapted to her role and took on responsibilities that showcased her as a true leader within the company. Fast forward two years, Carolyn is now the Chief Marketing Officer and Creative Leader of Tepsi Print leading a team of creative powerhouses in the print and design arena.
FOR THE LOVE OF ART & DESIGN
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion and natural calling for art and design. I grew up creating custom greeting cards, designing random pieces of art for my family and constantly learning from tutorial videos I found online.
Unlike a lot of designers, I started learning the art of graphic design in High School. I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to take electives throughout my high school career where I grew my knowledge in the top design programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. This ultimately gave me an advantage when I went to pursue my Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design at Monmouth University as I found myself ahead of the curve on my knowledge of the programs.
My desire to learn more and get my hands on any new projects I could pushed my creativity to new boundaries that had me falling in love with the industry even more.
I had the pleasure of interning for several small businesses and organizations and ultimately began my own design consulting firm my sophomore year of college. I deeply believe in the power of internship programs and owe it to them for giving me a firsthand look at how to deal with clients and how important a brand is for a company.
Upon graduation, I was lucky enough to land a full time placement at a new application design firm, Proscape Technologies. Throughout my internship, I learned how to help the sales team of a variety of businesses to adapt their sales techniques into an innovative approach to capture the attention of their target audience. This was done by designing custom sales applications that were used during sales presentations and trade shows. My favorite project during this internship was a creative interpretation of the FIFA World Cup, giving fans a virtual experience for the tournament.
From the end of my internship with Proscape, I furthered my experience in corporate design working as a graphic designer for three other, very different, companies. Being a fast paced designer with the desire to create new and innovative projects on a daily basis, I found out quickly that the corporate world was not the route I saw myself staying in.
GROWTH AS A DESIGNER
I’ve always had an entrepreneur mindset and used my consulting firm to drive my passions. I had a vision of working for a variety of companies and helping small businesses illuminate their brands. Doing something different every day just excited me — the tingly feeling that I was helping more than one company build a presence, both online and through print, is simply indescribable.
Throughout my consulting business, I designed everything from logos, brochures, menus, business cards, decals, signage, postcards, email campaigns, social media graphics and more. I had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of businesses across the PR, financial, healthcare, non profit, hospitality and service arenas.
My aha moment as a graphic designer was when I developed a series of wine labels for Christian Milan’s wine label, Viva Diva Wines, through my partnership with Illumination PR. I designed multiple magazine spreads that were published in top magazines such as Teen People and Seventeen.
Throughout my partnership with Illumination PR, I’ve had the pleasure of designing for a variety of celebrities and companies such as Christina Milian, JWoww, Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino, Big Ang, GBK Productions, Prive IV, Hyper Elevation, Birch Event Design and more.
I first met Michael and Diane Tepedino, the founders and CEOs of Tepsi Print, through their former Marketing Director. I was hired as a design consultant and quickly fell in love with their passion, innovation and culture. After two years of designing as a consultant, I was offered a full time placement as a designer that I couldn’t refuse.
I moved to East Stroudsburg in 2018 and, for the first time while working in a company, felt like I was finally home. Starting as a Social Media Agency, I used my past experiences and strengths to help grow TEPSBEST into a full marketing agency. I demonstrated my passion for innovation and lead the company as if it was my own. Creating the designs and marketing strategies for TEPSBEST, the highly successful TEPSBEST Restaurant Group (Trackside Grill & Bar and Garlíc Steakhouse) and a variety of clients, allowed me to earn recognition as a leader within the company and a promotion to Marketing Director.
With growth, I was able to expand the team and brought on individuals that have helped shape the company to what it is today. In the matter of 1.5 years, we went from a Social Media Agency with a single employee to a full house marketing studio with 5 key employees. Being here from the start, it has been amazing to see the growth and constant innovation of not only the company, but our employees.
Working in a start up, you need to understand that you’ll wear many hats and that the company will continuously evolve to not only the needs of their clients, but the strengths of their employees. We rebranded to Tepsi Print in late September of 2019 and added production print to our suite of services to provide clients a one stop shop for all of their marketing needs — both digitally and with print.
I took on a 6-month internship in high school at a print shop where I learned the “old school” ways of printing. So, naturally I was excited for the expansion and to bring printing in-house. Plus, what designer doesn’t love to see their work as a final product?
But, we didn’t get the average printer that does the bear minimum. We invested in a Ricoh Production Printer with a 5th Color Station that gives me ALL the feels. This means that we can not only generate a true depth of color, but can also print utilizing white, clear, infra-red and neon. With the endless possibilities of color combinations, our tag line kind of came naturally — Create in Color.
And I have to admit, the Tepsi logo is one of my favorite logos I’ve designed thus far in my career.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
I am naturally a hustler and love to be busy and knees deep in a list of tasks and projects. But, when I am not getting lost creating and leading the Tepsi team, you can find me running around East Stroudsburg with my four legged fur baby, Nala Rose; traveling with my partner in crime (is Disney open yet?); or touring all of the wineries of the Poconos.
Thanks for sticking this long through my life story, it’s a pleasure to virtually meet you! If you have any questions or want to work together, drop a comment below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop into our studio to say hello.