In April, alumna Patricia Aguilar watched on CNN as the U.S. surgeon general explained the outsize impact of COVID-19 on minority communities. The national address inspired FourStar Branding’s multicultural campaign “Protect to Respect,” reaching 500,000 people with a PSA about wearing face masks to protect others.
Aguilar earned her bachelor’s in integrated marketing communications from Roosevelt University in 2004. As the founder of FourStar Branding, she is out to change what she calls the “underprivileged small business landscape” in Little Village.
In collaboration with the Little Village Community Foundation and the Little Village Chamber of Commerce, the FourStar Branding Hub Program offers competitive branding services — at no cost — to small businesses in the Chicago neighborhood.
Aguilar’s firm also worked on the branding presentation to help secure funding for the Xquina Incubator Cafe in Little Village, which officially broke ground on September 21. The bilingual business incubator, co-working space and coffeeshop gives entrepreneurs in the neighborhood a new place to grow their businesses.
Aguilar spoke with Roosevelt University about her student experience, starting her own business, and her work in Little Village.
On her time at Roosevelt
Roosevelt University opens its doors and offered a strategic academic plan, including welcoming my credentials as a professional advertising executive. Roosevelt’s timelines and custom curriculum were the keys to my success.
As a Latina, balancing life's challenges has always been part of my DNA. My hard work ethic and family have been my go-to in overcoming hurdles and struggles life has thrown my way. Both have inspired my life motto: Work hard and work twice as hard when life's challenges come your way.
My desire to learn and explore and my creativity were critical skills to my advancement in the male-dominated print industry. These skills gave me the flexibility to obtain a bachelor's degree and continue working while expecting our son, Paul Wrigley.
On FourStar Branding
As an alum of the 10,000 Small Business Goldman Sachs Program, our goal has always been to bring branding services to entrepreneurs. Two years ago, we launched FourStar Branding.
Branding is essential to the growth of a business or nonprofit as you set your stage within your industry. But as a small business, it is difficult to obtain professional branding services due to budgetary restrictions.
FourStar Branding levels the playing field for small businesses and nonprofits in their competitive industries.
Our brand identity system for the Street Vendor Association of Chicago is a success story, especially during COVID-19. The group received the Chicago Region Food System Fund grant to distribute meals to the community. Their branding is playing a significant part in the presentation of their vision and mission to funders.
On launching her own business
Don’t travel your entrepreneurial journey alone. You must build business relationships, network and align yourself with professional business resources.
These resources are available through the following groups, who will all guide your entrepreneurial goals for success:
Her advice for future Roosevelt students
Roosevelt University will welcome you with their diverse faculty and administrative personnel to enable you to reach your professional and personal goals, and expand your growth as a socially conscious member of society.
About Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated marketing communications is the term for the broad field that includes advertising, public relations, direct marketing, sales promotion and numerous other forms of professional persuasive communications activities.
Through course work and a required professional internship in the field, bachelor’s degree students are prepared for entry-level work in any area of this broad field, including agencies, organizations and companies in advertising, public relations and marketing.