Pride Month Highlight: Meet Natasha
In honor of Pride month, Lahlouh would like to take a moment to recognize our design agency partner, Rev One Design. Rev One was established in 2011 by Lahlouh 3rd generation family member Natasha Lahlouh after she recognized a gap in the market for design agencies specifically designing and revising for print manufacturing.
Located within the Lahlouh headquarters in Burlingame, California, Rev One has a direct line of communication with the Lahlouh pre-press and production team to ensure all files are optimized for production. Although many clients Rev One works with collaborate with design agencies, they’ve learned through the years that revisions were often costly for clients and in many cases were not done correctly. Design for web vs print can be quite different and understanding those nuances is where Rev One shines.
Since opening its doors back in 2011, Rev One Design have been recognized as a minority, LGBTQIA+, and women-owned small business. They work with many national companies, focusing a majority of their efforts currently within the pharmaceutical and healthcare space. They’ve also expanded their services from primarily revision management to include print/design creative design, 3D renderings, illustrations, translations, creative concepting, proofreading and copywriting, digital photography, legal review submissions, and quality assurance.
For more information about Rev One Design, check out their website: https://www.revonedesign.com/
Natasha has been the President and owner of Rev One Design since its founding in 2011. She attended Notre Dame de Namur University, receiving a BA in Communications and her Masters in Business Administration. She lives in the Bay Area with her wife and 3 children.
Q: Hey Natasha, can you tell us what initially made you want to create Rev One Design?
A: Absolutely. While working in Quality Assurance at Lahlouh, we noticed errors on one large job that had a strict deadline. While Lahlouh, as a printer, does not manipulate files, we knew we had to step in if the job was going to print on time. After discussions between the client, sales rep, pre-press operators, and QA, we agreed to update their files so that everything was accurate and would print on time since the AOR (Agency on Record) did not have the time and speed to correct the issue. After the job went through successfully and on time we did a little more digging and realized there was a gap that needed to be filled. Rev One was then born.
Q: How have you worked within the LGBTQIA+ community since founding your company back in 2011?
AORsA: We’ve been certified by the NGLCC (National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce) and since then have joined the GGBA (Golden Gate Business Association), which is the first LGBTQIA+ Chamber of Commerce located in San Francisco. We’ve been active in the community by attending many events (pre-pandemic) and learning more about how we can get involved. We’ve also had the privilege of working with specific brands at Gilead Sciences, like Truvada for PrEP, that has allowed us to have a secondhand impact on the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
Q: Where do you think Rev One provides the most value to customers? Can you share an example of when a client has come to you versus their agency of record (AOR)?
A: Our primary value to our clients is revising existing files. A great example is the majority of the work we do for our pharmaceutical clients. Brands go through a label update on average every 6 months to a year. Normally it includes verbiage changes needed once they’ve learned more about the drug. Instead of bringing in the AORs that create the pieces, they contact Rev One. We quickly update the files, send them through legal review and release them for print quicker and in a more cost-effective way. The reason for this is that we were built for these types of tactical pieces and do not have the same overhead costs as larger agencies.
Q: What makes you different from a typical design agency? What does your process look like?
A: We are built different, as the saying today goes. The larger agencies of record (AOR) are capable of handling large-scale projects and include highly creative pieces involving marketing research. We built Rev One as a smaller agency to handle the tactical pieces so that the AORs can focus on what they do best and to give our clients a solution that saves them time and money.
When a need arises for updates, the client will contact their project/account manager and send over the request with redlined PDF (sometimes with or without native files). We’ll send over a quote within 24 hours and if approved, we create the job in our system. In our first round, our designer updates the piece and a second designer will do a quality check before they send it to the project manager. Once the PM does their own quality check on the piece, it is sent to the client for review. The client will send back any edits needed and we communicate back and forth until the piece is approved. Once the client approves the art, the primary designer will send it to a second designer for a last quality assurance check to ensure everything is accurate and print-ready (if it goes to print). Files are then released to the client.
Q: Have you learned from your customers exactly how much they’re saving by working with your team on their revisions?
A: We did put out a survey to learn more about our client’s experience to gain insight into how we can continue to provide the best service and value. We’ve learned that our clients see a minimum savings of 25% by using Rev One, but many others have seen an average of up to 55%.
Q: Have you faced any hardships while starting your business that you can share with us? Has any of it been because of your sexual orientation or gender?
A: While we are grateful to live in a state that is mostly open-minded and welcomes inclusion, we have had our difficult moments of gender and sexual orientation discrimination. There have been companies that have dropped us from bidding on projects as soon as I mentioned that we are an LGBTBE-certified company. Given that we work in a male-dominated industry (like many others), there have been multiple occasions where we have been treated unfairly, made to feel like we do not belong, and have been patronized.
Q: Do you have any advice for members of the LGBTQIA+ looking to start their own business?
A: Do not let anyone stop you, no matter who it is, not even yourself. Sometimes we have to work twice as hard to get what others achieve with half the effort. But when we do it, it paves the way for others like us to not have to work as hard (for unfair reasons). It might not be fair, but our hope is that one day, we’ll be part of the change that we want to see in this world. Always keep your head up and be proud, because there is no one like you which means you have something to offer that no one else does. You. Can. Do. It.