Spotlight: Tilted Chair Brings a Diverse Team to High Profile Marketing Projects


Building a diverse team can be a great way for businesses to stand out and infuse unique perspectives into their work. In fact, this is one of the main factors that has made Tilted Chair so successful. Read about the branding and marketing agency and its team in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers advertising and marketing services.

Co-founder Jamie Rodriguez told Small Business Trends, “We’re one of the top branding, advertising and marketing agencies in Austin and beyond. We’ve worked with Red Bull, Amazon, Pearl Brewery, and the Pete For America presidential campaign.”

Business Niche

Bringing together creativity and diversity.

Rodriguez says, “All three of our partners are minorities, not by design, but just because that’s the way things worked out. Now, we’re proud to call Tilted Chair one of the most diverse and creatively staffed agencies in the land.”

How the Business Got Started

With three hard-working partners.

Rodriguez explains, “I and my two co-founders all worked college jobs as we got the agency started in our respective living rooms.

“Our business story closely mimics the story of Kyle Mcdonald and his quest to trade a paperclip for a house. Our paperclip was a $225 brochure job for a local home inspector. Today, we’re working with blue blood brands and well-regarded local love marks. Not sure if we’re at a house yet, but…we’re close.”

Biggest Win

Designing the website for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign in 2019.

Rodriguez adds, “The DNC publishes marketing opportunities frequently, and we applied to brand Mayor Pete’s campaign. We were’nt selected for that, but we were selected to build the website. In less than 45 days, we went from nothing to the class-leading presidential campaign website being used and viewed by millions of Americans.”

Biggest Risk

Going above and beyond to land a large project.

Rodriguez says, “Our first summer of existence, which was in 2010, we had an opportunity to bid on an anti-littering video campaign for the city of Austin. We didn’t have ANY of the requisite experience needed to even apply for the job.

“So, instead of packaging up storyboards and submitting our concept via printed documentation—like the rest of the applicants—we set aside a weekend and shot our concept ourselves on a Canon 5D in full 1080p HD. We went above and beyond, and it ultimately paid off: we were selected for the video shoot.

“If it hadn’t worked out, we probably would have ended up folding Tilted Chair and moving on with our lives. I personally probably would have ended up working at a bank… Instead, along with the contract came a shot of confidence and some liquid capital that indicated to us we should keep going. And keep going, we did!”

Lesson Learned

Work closely with clients.

Rodriguez says, “I would have learned to collaborate better, earlier. Meaning, our best engagements with our customers happen when we work as a true extension of their team, closely, and frequently. That’s a lesson that, perhaps, only experience could teach. But it’s the most valuable one I’ve learned in running this business.”

Company Mascot

A moose named Darrell.

Rodriguez says, “Our third and longest-tenured office space had a big moose head in it named Darrell. We illustrated Darrell and used him as a brand graphic design asset, as he became the unofficial mascot of Tilted Chair.”

Favorite Quote

“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” – Eric “ET the Hip Hop Preacher” Thomas.

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Image: Tilted Chair



Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.