Creative brand development by Alex Joachim
Alex Joachim had creative entrepreneurship in his blood from day one. In middle school, he launched his first gig designing trendy buttons and selling them to fellow students for soda money. In high school, he launched a social-justice-oriented clothing brand and got his photographic footing shooting each look. Now, he runs a multifaceted branding business providing creative storytelling to clients that run the gamut from local mom-and-pop shops to Fortune 500 companies.
“I work on brand development the majority of the time … I’m kind of a one-stop-shop for a lot of people,” says Joachim. His services cover everything from photography and website creation to logos, merchandise design and advertising strategy. These creations can be seen at businesses like La Taqueria Taco Bar and Grill in Roslindale and Wingz and Tingz in Roxbury, among many others.
If that already seems like a plateful, buckle up. When Joachim isn’t building entire customer-facing brands for businesses, he shoots weddings, celebrities and personal projects celebrating Black beauty and love.
Running a creative, independent business is extremely challenging, especially for creatives of color. Joachim has faced barriers like strapped finances, lack of inspiration and energy drain from the constant hustle of staying afloat. “It’s all been difficult, but the reward of owning your own schedule, of making clients happy, is something that a lot of people might not experience within their lifetime,” he says. “And I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Joachim says he doesn’t yet feel like he’s “made it” and keeps his eye on constantly growing his client base. But his portfolio tells another story. He’s been published in a half-dozen magazines, works with Fortune 500 clients to develop their brands and capture events, and has photographed high-profile celebrities like Kendrick Lamar, Rita Ora, Big Sean and Ed Sheeran.
On his own time, Joachim puts his creative energy towards social justice causes like The Ride for Black Lives in Franklin Park. He designed the apparel for the event and worked with the other organizers to bring it to life. His Instagram account (@byalexjoachim) displays powerful video and photographic captures of the event and the passion in its participants.
Joachim’s personal photography also focuses on promoting Black beauty, success and love.
“It’s in my daily life being Black every day. I try to make a point to work with Black models, to accentuate Black love, to instill in the community and the viewing eyes that Black is beautiful,” he says. “It’s not showcased enough in anything in our society, so I think it’s vital to inject love in every space possible.”
There were times during the journey when Joachim hit walls, when he had no inspiration and no resources. But that didn’t stop this creative force. He describes a studio he constructed in a dilapidated basement in 2016, where he photographed an iconic image of a Black model bathed in gold paint and strewn with gold jewelry. The image went viral and was published by Dark Beauty Mag in a feature spread.
It’s that making-something-from-nothing mentality that has allowed Joachim to achieve creative success. “You can do whatever you set your mind to, as long as you want it enough,” he says. “Your want and hunger is your greatest advantage.”