I grew up in Ethiopia, Thailand, Egypt and Germany and studied art & design at the Cooper Union in New York.
I have worked at the New York Times and at Google's Creative Lab in New York as web and interaction designer. After my first startup experiences in retail and public opinion I decided to start my own design practice in 2011.
I now run a multidisciplinary design studio in Brooklyn. We've helped clients like AirBnB, CUNY, NBC Universal, New York Magazine, NYU and Time Inc. among others to tell their stories and communicate visually through their online and offline presence. We design, build and make everything from digital to physical products in a collaborative process at our studio. We also rent desks to other creatives as we try to integrate and grow the local community.
In the 10 years I've been here, the US and New York City in particular, have made many things possible for me, from earning a full tuition scholarship, to starting my own company, to hiring top talent and working with incredible companies. Dealing with immigration has unfortunately been one of the bigger and more unpredictable challenges. A lot of time and expensive lawyers are required, both of which are serious burdens for a startup. But worst is the uncertainty of the process - its unclear how long it takes, weather or not you will be approved and the reasoning behind the decision. As a result, many brilliant people are turned away and businesses can't hire the people that are essential to their growth. As more straight forward and transparent visa process especially for start ups would yield mutual benefits for all involved.