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The Hustle

Name: Anthony Freese (Wax & Hive)

Posted By Kendel Burke

Wax & Hive is a graphic design studio that collaborates with local businesses on a creative level. Co-founders Anthony Freese and Jimmy Breen's unique branding and designs fit right in with St. Pete’s art community, but their work can easily be picked from a crowd with bold and colorful imagery. Their artwork is not limited to shop signs and advertisements; Anthony and Jimmy play with different media, stamping their brands on T-shirts, dad hats, stickers and even pins. With more than 50 clients and counting, St. Pete residents can expect to see Wax & Hive creations at their favorite spots, and at some up-and-coming businesses within the area.

Years in Tampa Bay


Hustle (job)

Founder / Art Director at Wax & Hive

What do you do?  

I’m the Co-Founder and Art Director at Wax & Hive. My role requires me to provide direction and feedback to our creatives. Working closely with our team, I help brands and businesses communicate to their customers through visual design. Our studio specializes in illustration & branding, although we believe our wide range of abilities and unique perspectives separate us from other companies in our industry. Other than fulfilling creative services, I spend my time planning ahead to make sure Wax & Hive is prepared to overcome future obstacles, and to grow with the ever-changing environment of the creative industry. We pride ourselves in providing an atmosphere where our team can continuously improve.

Why do you do it?

The never-ending learning experiences that design provides. Once you think you have it figured out – new trends appear, standards change, and applications evolve. As graduates of the USFSP Graphic Design program, Jimmy and I try to foster a positive & collaborative design community in St. Pete. We find it humbling to be able to provide jobs for other creatives. Curiosity and the urge to create is what continues to fuel us.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

A conversation, involving whiskey, that took place in a hot tub and the realization I wanted to work WITH people, not FOR people. Jimmy and I would always have these hot tub rendezvous where we would spitball ideas and scheme on how we would make our fortune. One of those steamy ideas was to team up and create a creative studio. So I quit my job and voilà: Wax & Hive was born. Fast forward a little over a year later, we have six employees, over 50 clients, and a studio in Historic Uptown.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

Artists shouldn’t starve and creative juice is very real.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Educating clients about the power of design.

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

“The average man usually thinks he isn’t.” I read this quote a few years ago and it resonated with me. Remaining humble and striving to constantly get better is the best advice I could give anyone.

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