Three(i) sets sights on 1st Memphis office by July

Upstart communications consulting firm Three(i) Creative Communications is setting its sights on opening its first brick-and-mortar location by mid-summer. The firm, founded by Kenneth Worles Jr. and run by young Millennials of color, is building its reputation by carving out space in specific niches of its industry.

“Our goal is to magnify messaging and support the superheroes who are leading political campaigns, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies,” said Worles, whose experience working in Washington D.C. helped shape the company’s focus. “Three things we focus on are design, messaging and outreach.”

Three(i) is the creative force responsible for branding for local candidates and causes like City Councilman Berlin Boyd, Senator Lee Harris, County Commissioner candidate Tami Sawyer, former Mayor A C Wharton, Stand for Children, and Shelby County Democrats, and the firm also supports national campaigns in the D.C. area.

“We saw a need for small organizations, local candidates and smaller agencies to have the branding and creative appeal of visual designs that compete on a national level,” explained Worles, who previously handled digital work for Tri-State Defender. “When you think of a local campaign race, like a school board race or a small city council race, you think of really quick, easy-to-design logos.”

The new firm offers services including branding and logos, graphic design, web design, print materials, content creation, press releases and media outreach, and social media management with a mind for reaching younger audiences and voters.

“Not only are our campaigns unique, but our approach is unique to reaching the next generation of changemakers,” said Worles. “We’re good at what we do because we’re truly invested in the campaigns we take on.”

Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, a former Memphian, called on Three(i) for help with her campaign running for Prince George’s County Council.

“They knocked it out of the park and exceeded my expectations,” she said.

The firm is currently working with Tennessee State Senator Lee Harris on his campaign in the race for mayor of Shelby County. Harris is the youngest ever senator in the state and also the first African American to serve as Senate Minority Leader. Three(i) is also responsible for branding of and Maxine Water’s run for Congress in California.

For Worles, his interest in graphic design sparked while attending college at Middle Tennessee State.

“It became a means of not only supporting organizations on campus, but also a way to make a living,” he said. “I saw there was a need for high-quality design work.”

After working at a local ad agency and Tri-State Defender, he began forming his own business.

“There weren’t many communications firms with a niche in politics that were run by people of color, so it was hard to find mentorship and really hard for me to have the resources that I need to elevate my career,” said Worles. “So I took a break from Memphis and moved to D.C.”

Once there, he built relationships and learned the game of how to build the type of firm and how to support the type of candidates and organizations that he wanted.

“One of the main reasons I came back to Memphis is because I want to make sure that our firm provides that opportunity for other creators, designers, and communications aspirants to have that voice and the resources unlike I had,” Worles said. “I want to make sure that someone else in Memphis doesn’t leave because they lack the things that I went and found.”

Three (i) created the logo, brand and website for Memphis Black Restaurant Week (which ran from March 5-11 this year and featured 11 black-owned restaurants) for Cynthia Daniels & Co. event planners. Daniels met Worles through a mutual friend back in in 2014 after he relocated back to Memphis, and they instantly hit it off.

“At the time of the connection, I launched an event series for young professionals and I knew Three(i) was the perfect company for the job after viewing Kenneth's design samples,” Daniels said. “I was so impressed with his forward-thinking approach to graphic designs at such a young age.”

She has now worked with the firm for the past four years.

“Three(i) has a unique eye when it comes to design work for clients,” Daniels said. “Their designs are modern and clean compared to design firms that make every client's projects look the same.”

The four-person Three(i) team operates virtually now but will be opening their first Memphis office by July. Worles has narrowed down final prospects for potential locations to Midtown and the East Memphis Poplar Avenue corridor. Three(i) will possibly hire a few additional staff members between now and then.

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Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.