21 of 50
Hattiesburg, MS
Hattiesburg, MS
Rodney Richardson
RARE Design

RARE Design does graphic design and advertising work, but we've really become specialists in the brand experience. When I opened, I had a goal that 50 of our business would be local or regional and 50 would be national. Today, we work with many local small businesses, and we also just designed a new uniform for the Portland Trailblazers.

Hattiesburg, for me, was a life decision more than a strategic business decision. My wife and I are both from southern Mississippi, and I went to school at the University of Southern Mississippi. I worked for Nike out in Portland after college. But you start to realize where your roots are, and the benefits of living in this region start to stand out to you. For instance, we couldn't buy a ditch in Portland for what we could buy a house in Hattiesburg -- and the salaries weren't that different.

In Hattiesburg, I can very quickly get a meeting, or a phone call, or a face-to-face with our local government and business leaders. They're very attentive with our concerns, and certainly not just from a level of placating us. Even in small ways, there's been a personal investment to help small businesses such as ours do things right and give us guidance. -Sheena Harrison

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