B.O.S.S.: How long have you been in business? What industry did you come from?
James: I have been in business as the CEO of Noire3000 | N3K Photo Studios since 2008. Prior to that I worked as an advertising executive/graphic designer in Corporate America for 10 years.
B: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular business/industry? What inspires you?
J: I have decided to myself to photography because it is and has been a long standing passion of mine for over 20 years. I am greatly inspired by many things such as music, fashion, media, but in particular I am fascinated by all things afro-centric. I love telling the stories of my Black people and our triumphs that history tends to leave out.
B: What makes your business/product unique?
J: I think what makes my business/ brand unique is the way I choose to depict our history and historical icons. I love to present us as larger than life, vibrantly colorful, and beaming with brilliant prestige!!!
B: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
J: I chose to become an entrepreneur because I wanted to have my own voice and make my own decisions concerning my career. You don’t have those same liberties when you are working for someone else. Entrepreneurship is not for the irresponsible or those that lack strong business ethics. I am a leader and I always have been. Even in High School I was also the leader of whatever group I was assigned to. Even though I am a leader I have always been one that enjoyed staying the background while letting my work speak for me. Thus the reason I did not name my photography company after myself- I wanted my work to shine while I created from behind.
B: What was your last, “aha” moment while doing your business?
J: I would have to say my last “aha” moment occurred when I was in Paris, France and discovered the multitude of Black People and other People of Color that longed for true depictions of our great historical icons. One young lady that I met there was so overcome with emotion from seeing my imagery she began to cry. She said “You don’t know how important it is that we see ourselves in this light. You have done a great thing and I thank you so much”. It’s moments like those that make it all worthwhile.
B: Every successful professional should have __________.
J: Every successful professional should have a very specific vision of their purpose. We are all put on this earth for a specific reason and once we find out what that is…there is no stopping our greatness. The key is to discover exactly what your purpose might be.
B: If you could have a mogul as a business partner, who would it be and why?
J: I would have to say two people in particular: Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. They both have become two of the most successful Black people in the entertainment industry. The greatest part of their story is they did it without forgetting the same Black people that helped them get to where they currently are. They continue to reach back and pull many other Blacks up the ladder of success as well. For those two reasons alone they would be great business partners and or business mentors.
B: What is your business motto?
J: By business motto is “QUALITY OVER QUANTITY ALWAYS!!!”
B: If you could give other entrepreneurs up to five tips, what would they be?
J: My five tips I would give any entrepreneur would be:
]1. Have a specific vision of your purpose.
2. Never sell yourself short….KNOW YOUR WORTH
3. Treat every client exactly how you would wish to be treated.
4. Perfect your craft so precisely that it can NEVER be replicated.
5. SUCCESS does not come looking for you…you must eagerly pursue it!!!
B: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
J: Photoshop is a LIFESAVER TO ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS!!!! (Lol) Thank God for the person that created this amazing piece of technology. I remember when there was no such thing as a digital camera, photoshop, or any other device that helped to make our job that much simpler.
B: What is your goal for the next year? Next five years?
J: My current goal for this year is to find a distribution company that will market my imagery to the major stores worldwide. My work is currently available in my online store, however, I wish to be able to have people purchase my items at any store around the world. Next year I hope to have the dream come to fruition. I see myself in the next five years being a very wealthy man that travels, gives many speaking engagements, and major photo exhibitions worldwide.
B: When someone is talking to their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
]J: I would hope that when someone speaks to their friends about my business that they would say that it is ran by a man of excellence that believes wholeheartedly in what he does.
B: How has education been an asset to your business success?
J: Education has been a very VITAL asset to my business success!! My major in undergrad was in Visual Communications which I received from the Art Institute of Atlanta. The skills I learned while in college helped me to know how to operate in business meetings, how to meet deadlines in a timely fashion, and most importantly how to collaborate with other business professionals in order to expand my brand worldwide.
B: How are you a B.O.S.S. (success story)?
J: I would say what makes me a B.O.S.S. is that fact that I took a leap of faith into the deep waters of entrepreneurship to create a name for myself. Eight years later, I have been able to say that I have successfully exhibited my work in three European countries since 2013. First in London, England, second in Stockholm, Sweden and most recently, Paris, France. I expect to add even more locations to that roster very soon. I thank God for blessing me to achieve such accomplishments thus far and I know with his help and guidance I will continue to soar!!!
To more learn more information about James C. Lewis and his company, visit his site, http://www.noire3000studios.com/.
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TWITTER: Follow @Noire3000