Education / Entrepreneur / Lifestyle / PHREAdom Leader

PHREAdom Leader: Austin Smith

In six days, Austin Smith will wrap up his undergraduate career and walk across the stage to receive his bachelor’s degree in Digital Information Design with a concentration in Digital Commerce. This moment almost didn’t happen. Smith said he was focused on the wrong things his freshman year at Winthrop University and his grades suffered.
“It was a wake up call,” Smith said.
He contemplated enlisting in the military instead of returning back to complete his college degree. However, after consulting with his parents, he thought it was worth another shot to try another year with a different attitude and perspective.
Smith changed his major from graphic design to fit the new market of digital information and changed his entire mindset. This was his second chance so he treated his sophomore year as if it was his freshman year all over again, he said. The Lexington, S.C. native used his past situations and circumstances to push forward towards his goals and future.
The Leader & Mentor
As a young leader, he became actively involved in different student organizations including The Gentlemen’s League which is a male service oriented group where he served as a re-charter member, NAACP, Student Alumni Council and student improv Skin Deep.
“In order to be a leader, you also have to be a follower,” the past vice president of The Gentlemen’s League said.
Smith was influenced by Winthrop University alumni Kambrell Garvin and Ted Jones.
“Kambrell Garvin was a big influence in my life,” he said. “He taught me that people are always watching.”
Ted Jones, graduated last year, but he encouraged Smith to get involved.
This made it easy for Smith to mentor young members of The Gentlemen’s League and York County youth at Ebenezer Academy. The 22-year-old said he thought outside the box when he mentored young individuals.
“I asked them to set five goals,” Smith said in both life and education because “college ends quick and reality hits you.”
Nitsua, the mindset of a king
Smith always had an interest in graphic design since high school. He wasn’t quite sure how he would be able to continue utilizing those skills after changing his major. The program focus on a combination of media, social media and internet marketing, he explained. He finished a capstone course with The Hive in Rock Hill where he and his other classmates created Web sites for local organizations and developed experience using search engine optimization and Google ad words.
However, he realized there were other ways to use his gift from God. He started serving as the co-chair then later the chair of the public relations committee for The Gentlemen’s League where he designed the organization’s new logo, t-shirts and promotional materials. His graphic experience led to more opportunities for him to expand his skills into a freelance graphic designer. This year, he created Nitsua Creations which specialize in developing the creative needs of clients through logos, t-shirt designs, flyers and other promotional items within the Winthrop University community and surrounding areas.
Nitsua is Austin spelled backwards because he wanted to put a twist on his Twitter, Instagram and ultimately his brand, he said.
“You find something different by making it and creating it (to be) your own,” the designer continued.
The logo is a crown because he believes that he has the mindset of a king, but not in an “If I rule the world” Curtis Blow type of way. It’s about creating a standard.
“You have to set yourself to a standard,” Smith said.
The founder of the company is uncertain its future because he doesn’t want to speak too far ahead. However, Smith believes that God gave him the gift of graphic design, therefore, he plans to keep pushing until it stops.
“I’m going to keep my foot on the pedal,” he said.
Smith would like to explore different branches of Nitsua Creations to include music and photography which are all centered around a philanthropy.
Passion found through failures
The failures or unfortunate circumstances fuels Smith to keep moving. He believes in the cliche` expression that everything happens for a reason. Smith use those situations as fuel to succeed in life.
As a high school basketball player, Smith learned that “it takes those failures to succeed,” he shared. He was cut from the team his junior year of high school and broke his foot that same year, however, he made the team his senior year.
Overall, Smith believes he is a truly passionate person.
“It’s not always through your words, but your actions as well,” he said.
Hope to fulfill purpose
In life, the future alumnus hopes to reach his full potential and be successful at it. He also hope to fulfill his purpose and provide service to others.
He realized that everything he’s received, it is through the support of others, Smith said.
Most importantly, he hopes to take care of his family – the one he will build in the future as well as his parents and brother who is currently a sophomore in high school.
“Respect yourself”
Smith’s parents, who have been married for 27 years, taught him and his little brother to say yes sir and yes ma’am as a form of respect, but he doesn’t see it in the younger generation. He believes that sense of respect is lost.
Respect as a whole is huge, he said. “You always hear respect others, but you must also respect yourself.”
They both tie together, he continued.
In order to gain respect, one must create and set standards, Smith said.
Empowered through service
Smith is empowered by the ability to serve and mentor other individuals.
“I am empowered by knowing I can help people,” he said. “And knowing the impact is felt.”
Ambitious for happiness
“I just want to be happy,” Smith said. His happiness lies through developing his career, creating a family and impacting lives.
After graduation, he would like to find a job that he loves going to everyday. He would like to focus on the social media, internet marketing, and e-commerce side. He doesn’t want to be complacent when it comes to his career path because he understand there are seasons. Smith said that you have to keep pushing forward through those moments. He currently wants to continue residing in the Rock Hill/Charlotte area, and plans to give it his all.
The family-oriented young man is ambitious about building his family with a complimentary person.
“It’s important to remember who I’m doing it for – my family,” he said.
In everything Smith does, he wants it to be full of impact. This is evident through his brand Nitsua Creations, his civic work and his humility as a man.
Find Austin Smith
Facebook: Austin G. Smith
Instagram: NitsuaCreations
Twitter: NitsuaCreations

One thought on “PHREAdom Leader: Austin Smith

  1. Pingback: PHREAdom Leader: One Year Later with the Entrepreneurs |

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