Featured Member: William Hixson
YPAL Featured Member
Give us a little background about yourself.
I graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in education and I will never teach in a school setting.
I do freelance graphic design in my spare time and I love working one-on-one with people and serving as an arm of design that connects their businesses look, feel, and marketing all in one. My favorite thing to do is full brand identities for rebranding or new businesses.
What is your day job?
I am the graphic designer and head of licensing at Clayton & Crume, where we produce and sell leather goods across the country and online.
What is the best part of your job?
Graphic design has been my love since I was in middle school. I began by using Microsoft Paint and got weirdly capable of doing way more stuff on there than most 12-year olds should be able to do. I spent hours on the computer, creating sports posters and Myspace profile pictures for my friends- and fell in love. The fact that I am still doing that today and getting paid for it at the coolest company in Louisville has to be my favorite part.
What does your typical work day look like?
Another bright spot in present day Clayton & Crume; we never have any idea of what will happen that day. On a given 5-day work week, I may split my time 5 different ways. Monday, I may be meeting with suppliers about packaging. Tuesday- maybe I’m designing new products for Buffalo Trace. On Wednesday I’m building and painting new tables for the shop. Thursday, I’m stitching leather belts, and Friday, collaborating with the team to begin a new marketing campaign. But there’s always foosball. Foosball is a constant.
What is your favorite Clayton & Crume product?
No one ever asks us what our favorite product is because they assume we love and use everything we make. While I can be obnoxious when I sit down at Quills and pull out 4 leather products from my leather briefcase, there are some products I just don’t always have use for. My favorite one, even though I don’t use it every day, is the Padfolio. It makes you feel more important than you are, and it looks so good popping out of our men’s briefcase bag. I also got to design the paper pads that come inside them so it’s a nice personal touch I have on that product.
Why did you choose Louisville?
Louisville was never on my radar growing up in South Central Kentucky, until I didn’t want to spend a summer away from my girlfriend at the time. I couldn’t spend 3 months away from her and convince her to marry me at the same time, so I came up for the summer and worked at Atlantic No. 5 café. During this time, the city showed me why it’s so special. I have been here for only 2 years and I am convinced it is the best city in the country. (Also, it worked. She married me.)
Why did you join YPAL?
Being new to a city, YPAL served as a personal growth and relationship builder, while also allowing you to get plugged in to the community by going to events at the coolest places. I’ve learned a lot about Louisville, business, and just general community building via YPAL and the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) that everyone should do.
What makes Louisville weird?
Louisville is the weirdest. Mostly because it attracts all these people from across the state for different reasons. There are those who come here because it is more progressive and “hip” friendly. There are people who come here because there is so much room for professional growth in tons of different industries, and then everyone who grows up here stays, so you have the Lou-Lifers as well, who bring a real since of pride and motivation to the city. There’s also this weird thing that UofL fans do with the Cardinal bird magnets and stickers on their cars. They don’t put the point at the bottom, they use the line on the left as the base, so the Cardinal is ALWAYS crooked. Hard to explain but seriously keep an eye out – it’s weird.
Favorite restaurant in Louisville?
This will prove to be the hardest question for any Louisvillion, but my gut says Decca. Jack Frye’s is right behind and Mayan Cafe rings 3rd for me. (Best brewery would be Gravely)
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Hummus – any kind. Black bean, chick pea, carrot, I can’t discriminate.