My name is Mark Gentile and “Tastebuds” is pseudonymously attributed to the work I do with people like you, on behalf of the small businesses you own and/or manage. On an as-needed basis, the services that Tastebuds provides to its clients may also involve a small team of skilled specialized collaborators. To broadly describe these services with umbrella terms like design, content development, and marketing may be accurate, but they only begin to tell the story about how my work with clients has evolved over the years.
Context: My Journey, in A Few Words
Crisscrossing the country a few times during my lifetime, I’ve lived in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle. Born in South Florida, these periodic travels have been for reasons of education and adventure. I returned to Los Angeles over eight years ago, where I live now, and find myself in a place — and in time — more fulfilling than ever before.
I began working as a graphic designer in the mid-1990s, ultimately becoming the Creative Director for a niche-magazine publisher in New York City until 2008, when I set out to work independently on a variety of projects. On the side, my once-passionate hobby of DJing evolved into programming music for high-profile fashion, beauty and hospitality clients. Professional and playful occupations converged to a greater degree in 2009 when I launched Groovemine.com (now offline), which sought to become a de facto resource guide for fans of independent music. A mix of website building and social media marketing, the experience dovetailed with my background in design and publishing. It’s just one example yet it’s indicative of how my professional experience inevitably intertwines with other life pursuits — hobbies, side hustles, etc. — yielding a unique skill set that clients benefit from, and count on.
I’m fortunate that much of the work I do today is the result of enduring relationships with many of my clients. Sometimes it translates into ongoing “retainer” arrangements or it may play out in project-to-project fashion, sustained over several years. New clients are often referrals, underscoring the earned trust and confidence — attributes that I’m most proud of.
Like most of my small business clients, your motives probably extend beyond profit. Your reward is a unique sense of freedom mixed with the stress caused, in part, by working in a rapidly-shifting landscape, especially one dominated by the the digital realm. Thus, effective branding and marketing is likely implemented through creative design — and production of — visual and audio media, implemented across multiple platforms. Without question, this presents a challenge: to maintain as we seek to break through. I invite you to find out how Tastebuds can help.