Voted Class Clown
Disc Golf Champion
Mad Men Enthusiast
Husband & Father
My name is Chris Taglia; I’m a Partner and the Marketing Director at Tag Marketing.
I remember when I was going to college full-time for Multimedia Production & Design, working at Jewel part-time as a cashier, and helping my brother Carm here and there with his one-man graphic design company. I would get a homework assignment for something like designing a brand campaign, and I would ask Carm if he needed help with a brand campaign, and I would get paid basically for learning and doing my homework.
Not even realizing it at the time, this would be the start of something big to come.
I remember my teachers saying that they felt bad for my generation, but did not understand why until I graduated. Everyone in my graduating class was struggling to find a career. Businesses were either not hiring or they were offering a low wage dead end job. I remember saying to myself that I would make more if I just went full-time at Jewel with much better benefits & room for growth, so why did I just pay six figures for a college education?
Not knowing at the time what the adults already knew, that the economy was getting worse and we were about to get swallowed by a housing market crash in the near future.
After a few months of job hunting, I found myself at a crossroads, realizing I had to do something. I now knew what my teachers meant as I saw some of my co-workers struggling and losing their homes. Seeing them in tears, angry, and stressed out. This worried me, for my future and my family’s future, especially as my mother got sicker and sicker before our eyes. It was getting so bad that I started to take care of her from the moment she woke up until my dad got home from work. She couldn’t be left alone.
Fed up with everything, I decided to call my brother and do something about it. I told him I wanted to quit Jewel and partner with him to expand from just a graphic design company to a graphic & web design company. Carm was open to the idea but wasn’t sure there was enough work to support him and me. I knew right then and there that we needed to bring in more business somehow which meant working more hours.
I still worked at Jewel part-time, I had no choice because I had bills and student loans to pay. I also started working with my brother well over the usual 40-hour work week. On top of that, I was taking care of my mom full-time. She was getting so bad that I had to start taking her 3-4 days a week for 4-6 hours a day for various physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Plus, lots of doctor’s appointments to try and figure out what was happening to her.
Struggling to find time to sleep, juggle work, and my mother, I was forced to learn organization, multi-tasking, and efficiency. I would bring my laptop to doctor appointments and Marian Joy Hospital so I could work on my lap in the corner during and in between her appointments.
Not many people know this, but I didn’t sleep at all 1-2 days per week, pulling all-nighters like that every week for over 3 months. Living off fumes, energy drinks, and coffee. My hair started to become gray, my body felt constantly like it was about to shut down and collapse.
Finally, after about a 3-month struggle, my two sisters were able to help me out with mom more, relieving much-needed time. Then a few months later my dad retired from work and took over a lot of her care. I remember having a huge feeling of relief as I started to get more sleep and back into a normal pattern.
A few weeks after that my brother and I finally had enough consistent work that I made the decision to quit working at Jewel and just focus on my family and Tag Grafx.
A few years later we expanded again. Based on market and client demand, I started to self-learn SEO and digital marketing. It was a new and upcoming market that we saw as a major opportunity. And it was as it accounts for the majority of our revenue today. We realized our brand didn’t make sense anymore so we re-branded to Tag Marketing.
Then, my sister Kim joined us, self-learning website design and development. A position we needed help with.
Hurdle after hurdle, goal and goal… I’m humbled and proud of what we have accomplished. I can’t even count how many American jobs we helped create and how many dreams we helped local small business owners achieve.
I learned that no matter how bad life gets, to just keep fighting through it one step at a time, it’s worth every minute in the long run. The American dream is still alive and well. It just requires focus, drive, help from others, the willingness to learn, and patience.
If you ever said to me that I’m lucky because I get to work from home or that I own my own business, you know my response already. I always say luck had nothing to do with it, with a huge smile on my face, knowing what it took to get here.