As part of the interview series called “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Founder”, Medium Magazine interviewed our Founder & CEO Renata Amaral Morris. She shared some interesting experiences and we hope it can be inspiring to you.
If you’re thinking about starting a company, are in the early stages of it, or would like to ask any questions to our CEO, please, contact us.
We’re not from here, and for a long time, we tried to hide that. We hid behind our work, hid our accents as well as the fact that we were working together but from different time zones.
“The value of experience that such a diverse leadership team has might be clear to us now, but as both Morris and Seibel explain, this wasn’t the case in the early days of EAT. The pair say they would go to great lengths to hide their differences.”
But today, we celebrate our immensely talented team of designers from all over the world by putting our diversity front and center. Our radical rebrand honors our status as a women, LGBTQ+ and immigrant-owned design studio.
“It’s been a journey toward this point, Morris and Seibel say. This year’s rebrand sought to top off what has been years of learning.”
This is about living truthfully and we hope that our honesty with ourselves will help inspire others to be comfortable existing outside of what’s “normal” too. Design Week has been gracious enough to help us celebrate our rebrand as well as ourselves with a thoughtful piece ahead of International Women’s Day. We want to thank Design Week as well as everyone on our journey who helped make this happen.
She was a young college graduate from Brazil with a Bachelor’s Degree and lofty ambitions. So, she took a leap of faith and bought a one-way ticket to Los Angeles to begin her career. She began setting down her roots, enrolling UCLA’s Master’s Degree program in Public Relations and Entertainment Publicity. This all seemed like a fast-track to success, but things took an unexpected turn.
While working on her Master’s, Renata applied for dozens of internships and entry-level jobs at creative firms. Much to her dismay, no one was willing to hire her, and she was forced to work an array of minimum-wage dead-end jobs. Her fate was similar to many who move to LA to make it, daydreaming of a fulfilling career while delivering pizzas and serving at fast-food restaurants. However, she never felt this work was beneath her. Renata approached her situation with humility and kept listening to the inner voice that reassured her she was on the right path.
Eventually, Renata was tired of hearing “No” from the gatekeepers. She had to make a decision: either take a huge risk and start her own business or continue to toil away for meager pay. Well, she would never have been the subject of a Forbes article if she chose the latter.
Her new firm EAT was born out of her passion for people, art, and design. This newborn powerhouse would eventually amplify the branding and aesthetics of companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Adidas, Twitch, Red Bull, Activision, NBC Universal, EA Games, and the New York Times.
The companies weren’t interested in giving her an opportunity, so she created her own opportunity. Moves like starting your own business, learning a new skill, or asking for a promotion can be challenging but offer some of the highest rewards from a personal and professional standpoint.
To create your own opportunities, don’t get yourself down and listen to negative self-talk. Focus on your skills and talent, and expand them if need be. Applied knowledge is power. Also, find like-minded similarly-driven individuals who push you to perform to your highest ability. Meet as many people as you can! This will increase the likelihood of meeting someone you vibe with. Take classes, attend lectures, and surround yourself with experts. When you finally get an opportunity, knock it out of the park and overdeliver. Word will travel fast about your work ethic and you’ll soon find yourself flooded with inquiries.
When our COO, Gabriel, was only a teenager he won first place in an admissions exam at his University in Brazil. Since he had little money to pay for school, winning this prize was a godsend. The winds of change carried him to Paris at the age of 19. Arriving with nothing but lint in his pockets, Gabriel didn’t speak a single word of French.
The 19-year-old version of himself would be elated to discover he would one day be telling this story in a TEDx Talk at ParisNanterre.
By a mixture of serendipity and hustle, Gabriel met two fellow Brazilians online who lived in LA and shared the common goal of selling design services.
Together, they formed a transcontinental mastermind called EAT. As a result, Gabriel began to travel the world which would significantly transform his perspective. His newfound camaraderie would inspire him to achieve greatness.
However, this remote working relationship was not without growing pains. Companies that are untied to a physical location use only discipline and heartfelt collaboration as glue. If either of these central pillars erode, the company will face challenges.
EAT was able to survive and thrive, thanks to Gabriel and the rest of the teams’ steadfast persistence. Gabe used to believe being a boss was a necessary evil. Now he sees it was an inevitability and the truest expression of his life path.
This was not a sudden drastic “Revolution,” Gabriel explains, but instead was an “Evolution” that took place over a decade in the peaceful environment of artists’ studios, connected only by the internet and intimacy.
The CMX Summit recently invited our CEO, Renata Amaral Morris, to speak on her expertise. She gave a lecture called Creativity and Life Experiences: A Brainstorming Kit for Creative Community Professionals.
The presentation argues that creativity is not a birthright bestowed upon a chosen few but is a skill that anyone can learn. Creativity is not a gift; it’s a process. Imagination and focus are the key ingredients to get started, and you can use methods to further spice things up.
At Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), Renata and Gabriel taught a workshop about how EAT gives life to brands. They elaborated on the process that made us the first high-end design studio in the gaming industry.
You may think we’re just a creative agency, but what we actually sell is empathy.
Renata and Gabriel explained how our company’s work culture cultivates a safe space for our clients to have catharsis. We led them to look inward and discover what emotions they would like their brand to invoke. Niche communities have values and rituals that need to be nourished by their community leaders.
Nick Eh 30, a professional Fortnite player, is one such leader. He recently signed an exclusive streaming deal with Twitch, and EAT finessed the rebrand. Renata and Gabriel presented a rundown of Nick’s Brand philosophy: “Work Hard. Be Nice. Have Fun.”