Students’ Company Uses Communication Studies Skills to Promote New Artists

Senior applied communication major Jada Hobson has had the opportunity to begin her career early and create INDI, which is a startup media platform for artists. It started in 2013 when she went to South Africa for a student business and charity trip. There she met six entrepreneurs whose goal was to inspire young people to start their own businesses. One of the entrepreneurs, Adrian Lucas of the KENO (Kid Entrepreneurs Need Opportunities) foundation, sent Hobson back to Ohio with a business plan that entailed aspects of her four primary interests: videography, photography, fashion and charity. 

Upon her return, Hobson took her plan to Blackstone Launchpad, an on-campus organization that helps students bring their businesses to life. There she developed more ideas for her business launch, which she initially planned as being a fashion business. After meeting with Launchpad, she wanted to engage Lucas once more about her business plan in order to develop her ideas, this time in Atlanta. There Hobson decided to narrow the company’s goal to promoting new artists. With her clearly defined vision, she was able to get started.

With INDI’s first project, Destination Dream, business partner and fellow communication studies senior Jowan Cole was brought into the picture because of his talent for creative direction. Destination Dream is a video series (!destination-dream/c21m9) that focuses on up and coming artists so that people can get a taste of who they are. They consist of all types of talented and creative individuals including musicians, designers, fine artists and dancers. Cole currently works as the marketing manager for INDI.

“INDI is a new company, but our reach is already across the United States. We have plans of reaching out to artists internationally very soon,” Cole said.

Today, INDI is a platform by which artists can express themselves through individuality, fashion and charity. Hobson saw the need for this type of outlet because many new artists do not have a serious platform to get noticed and make their contributions to culture.

“I want INDI to encourage and inspire millennial artists with the same entrepreneurial spirit that I received during my time in South Africa,” Hobson said.

Hobson said that her communication studies courses have been tremendously helpful in creating and growing INDI. Communication studies advisor Lori Hopp first recommended Hobson pursue the applied communication concentration because it includes classes in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the School of Visual Communication Design, which teach skills that are important for a media company such as INDI. The communication aspects of her major have taught her skills needed to market INDI to the masses, and the other disciplines have filled in the gaps to help her become a very well-rounded entrepreneur. 

“I think the main way communication studies has helped me with the production of INDI is by giving me the platform and strategies to be able to communicate with different individuals from different backgrounds. Comm studies has encouraged me to make several marketing strategies and plans in terms of how we brand our business and artists,” Hobson said.

Hobson and Cole will continue their dedication to INDI after graduation and will be able to utilize the skills they are currently learning in the classroom.

POSTED: Monday, October 26, 2015 - 12:04pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 11:09am
Vincent Siciliano