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Featured on Nov 04, 2011

Kingsley Harris

"Keep grinding."


Big agency art director turned boutique creative studio partner turned startup founder. I ride the line between designer and strategist. My past work includes ad campaigns and digital experiences for some of the worlds biggest brands. I have a healthy obsession with Craft Beer.

  • Title: Co-Founder of Pistashio / Partner at Freshthrills
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Brooklyn, DUMBO
  • Contact: @followking

Are there any aspects of working at a big agency like RG/A that you miss now that you are working on a startup? Where did the idea for Pistashio come from?

The paycheck. But seriously, I miss the people more than a steady paycheck or the big brands I was able to put in my portfolio. I miss the mentors who helped me become not only a better designer but, a better leader — that’s invaluable and is greatly missed.

Pistashio came out of personal frustration between me, my co-founders and a lot of other people. Most of us sit at a desk all day, and we’re bombarded with all kinds of messages, which within are valuable nuggets of information that one might actually enjoy doing. I personally had a couple of broken and ineffective ways of trying to capture things like restaurant recommendations, or design books I wanted to buy. It ultimately just ended up being a quagmire of good stuff I cared about, without a streamlined way to getting it done.

So Pistashio is trying to solve that by changing the way you interact with social content, we’re hell bent on helping you discover, organize and do stuff from your social stream.

Recommended craft beers for the fall / winter?

Okay, I'll try to keep this list short.

First, you should run to Bierkraft and get yourself a nano keg of Sixpoint Autumnation. If by the miracle of the beer gods you are able to find a bottle of Life & Limb, a collaboration between Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada — then snatch it off the shelf, stash it till the dead of winter and enjoy it by yourself, share if you're feeling kind. Of course, no winter craft beer flight would be complete without a taste of Kelso of Brooklyn Chocolate Lager and because it’s brewed locally, it’s probably the freshest beer you’ll ever taste.

You helped start the boutique creative studio Freshthrills immediately after your time at RG/A.  What were some of the biggest challenges for you transitioning from working at a large agency to your own studio?  

The biggest challenge was, going from being a specialist in one discipline, to wearing multiple hats. Transitioning from being a designer/art director to an, account/client services/business development person, was rough. Now that I’m a couple years into it, It doesn’t bother me much, I’ve had the opportunity to make a lot of meaningful relationships with clients, which wouldn’t necessarily happen at an Agency.

Web Designer, User Experience Designer, CEO, Design Director