2020 People To Watch: Nakita Pope

NAKITA

GDUSA’s 57th annual People To Watch special feature is now at the printer. While we wait patiently for the presses and bindery to work their magic … we are previewing our selections … here is Nakita M. Pope of Branding Chicks … a respected branding expert specializing in women-owned businesses, teacher and energetic volunteer for, among others, AIGA and Smart Girls on Campus. Watch for more ‘People’ later this week.

NAKITA POPE, BRAND STRATEGIST & CHIEF CHICK, BRANDING CHICKS

Nakita M. Pope is the Chief Chick and Principal Brand Strategist at Branding Chicks in Atlanta GA, a boutique branding studio. Branding Chicks specializes in branding women-owned businesses and femme-focused brands. She helps clients narrow their focus, gives their brands a voice, slingshots their confidence, and clarifies their message so that it resonates directly with their target markets. She also helps businesses large and small brand or rebrand to attract and grow their customer bases.

Over the past 25 years, Nakita has worked as a strategist, graphic designer, creative director, and brand manager in a variety of industries which has given her experiences that inform how she works with her clients. That also led her teaching advertising strategy, branding and design at the Creative Circus for the past 11 years. In 2019, she took on an additional role there as their Diversity & Inclusion Advisor. She is also involved in a variety of non-profit and creative organizations including AIGA (where she is a member of the National Diversity & Inclusion Task Force), Smart Girls on Campus (Vice President of the Board), Good Thinking Atlanta, and Practice Makes Practice.

Along with her work and passion projects, she now gets to share her knowledge with a variety of audiences on the national speaking stage for organizations like BBDO Atlanta, Phoenix Design Week, The One Club, Public Relations Society of America and the Georgia Tech College of Business. As always, Nakita’s goal is to wield her crayons for good.

GDUSA Q & A

Where were you born and where do you live now?

Jacksonville FL / Atlanta GA

A design hero?

Aaron Douglas. I owned a copy of God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson when I was much younger and I remember being struck by Douglas’ illustrations

Favorite social media?

Facebook. I’m old school that way! LOL

Favorite television binge watch?

I just finished Don’t F*ck with Cats and I’m revisiting my old favorite Law & Order from the very beginning.

Favorite podcast?

On Branding, Tiny Desk Concerts, Design Matters.

Favorite book?

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston had a profound effect on me as a teenager. My most recent favorite is Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.

Favorite movie?

The Wiz Favorite fine artist? Charly Palmer

Favorite cause/charity?

Any cause that focuses on the rights, mentoring or success of women and young girls. Locally I support Smart Girls on Campus and Planned Parenthood has a special place in my heart.

Favorite free time activity?

Reading, going to live music shows, painting, traveling and binge-watching all the things

If you were not a designer, what would you do or be?

Law enforcement or forensic science because I am fascinated by the process of solving crimes and I think it would use my creative and strategic skills.