Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

Barbara OliverMany have admired MBE magazine’s signature look—the cover. Few realize, however, that what they are looking at is an actual painting.

In the beginning, like any startup, there was not a lot of money to go around. Getting a professional photographer was out of the budget, so it was suggested that we use a student. We reached out to The Art Institute inPasadena,California, and the rest is history.

More recently, you may have noticed that the portraits have looked a lot more like photographs. That’s because they are produced using photographs.  Our cover features have always provided the photographs from which the artist produces the portrait. Initially, the covers were done in charcoal. As finances improved, we added color and the look became a painting. We have since graduated to using professionals to do the paintings. Why mess with a good thing?

The look, once found, still needed to be kept fresh and up-to-date to keep pace with current likes and trends. We’ve used a variety of artists over the years to achieve that goal. Visit our Pinterest page at to view our style changes. Tell us what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Over time, our look has become our brand. That brand is nurtured and supported by the quality of our editorial and customer service. What does your brand look like? You can’t always fall into it, as we did. So how do you find it? How do you build and nurture it?

Master Your Brand is a new department in our magazine devoted to helping you address these questions. Send Akia your questions and share your stories. You never know, you could be featured in her next column.

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MBE's Business Opportunities resource covers business-related financing, consulting, and programs available for the Supplier Diversity community and M/WBEs. Updated monthly.


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Refer to MBE's Acronyms & Terminology list for frequently used acronyms and terminology and an overview of the major organizations supporting the Supplier Diversity community.


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