Santa Fe News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
5/18/2016 General
Local Entrepreneur Profile - Fred Cisneros

The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce presents Local Entrepreneur Profiles, a monthly series highlighting some of Santa Fe’s most successful businesspeople. Writer Andrew Koss is a creative writing student at Santa Fe University of Art and Design and is a former editor for the 2014-2015 Glyph literary journal. Local Entrepreneur Profiles will be published in the Business Advocate newsletter, ENews updates and online at santafechamber.com.


Local Entrepreneur Profile – Fred Cisneros Written by Andrew Koss

The exterior of Cisneros Design looks just like every other modest structure in the business park where Fred Cisneros set up shop in 2000. But inside, visitors are greeted by the swooping black hair and checkered overalls of Big Boy, the cartoon mascot of the eponymous burger restaurant chain. “I wanted the space to be kind of a surprise when you walk in,” Cisneros says. From the giant red Mobil Pegasus sign to the 1950s-style refrigerator, it’s clear that one has entered the environment of a serious designer. Cisneros began his career as an intern with William Field Design. After graduating from college, his boss brought him on full-time. As he continued with the firm, he developed a substantial pool of clients. He attended Chamber of Commerce meetings, and networked as much as possible. “By the time I went on my own, I was established here. The business community knew me very well.” He started his company in 1994, just after the birth of his daughter, which provided him with great motivation to succeed. Cisneros thinks many of his clients followed him just to ensure he didn’t fail. After only a couple of months, he had to hire support staff. Cisneros Design currently employs 13 people, including its company founder. “That’s a pretty sizable firm,” Cisneros says, “particularly in our industry.” Amid the nostalgic memorabilia, the design team volleys critiques back and forth in an open atmosphere of collaboration. “They all have something to offer, which is why they’re here. We utilize each other as a sounding board.” When it’s time to take a break, there’s plenty of opportunity to recharge. “Foosball’s a big distraction,” Cisneros says. “This is a high stress business. We create opportunities to have fun.” Out of this lighthearted melee comes a company that excels in its unique form of branding. “We act as part psychologist, business planner, strategist, therapist, a little of everything,” Cisneros says. Many of his clients approach him with little in the way of a business plan. “They don’t really have a clear understanding of what their unique position in business is. What’s different about what we do is we provide a lot more strategy.” As Cisneros Design has grown, its clientele has branched out to include companies as far as St. Louis and New York. “One of our large accounts had actually started their business here in Santa Fe and moved to New York. It’s been a really long, mutually beneficial relationship for both of us.”Such a loyal customer base comes from the relationships that Cisneros has nurtured for many years. “If I’m treating my clients well, they’re going to continue to be my clients.” Though Santa Fe is a small market, he says there’s plenty of business to go around. “It’s kind of easy to embrace the full reach of our city. You know what all the resources are. You know who the players are. There’s friendliness about doing work here.”

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