UpClose: Branding Your Passion with Fritz Colinet of Retna Media
About Fritz Colinet
Fritz Colinet, the creative force behind Retna Media, has worked for more than 20 years as a creative director, designer, and brand builder. Colinet’s career started when he was young enough to hold a pencil. Art has always been a part of his daily life, where sketching and drawing preceded any other activity. Inspired by master artists such as Michael Angelo, Rembrandt, and Paul Rand, he pursued communications and design at Pratt in New York.
His stellar skills paved the way for opportunities to be the creative mind behind the rebranding of major brands such as Lady Foot Locker, The Houston Open, Marlena Stell, The Astorian, FullyRaw Kristina and the Houston Dynamo. This rebranding initiative was a testament to many successes to ignite an illustrious career recreating iconic brands for modern times.
The passion for building brands led Fritz Colinet to start his own full-service branding and marketing agency, Retna Media, based in Houston. Since 2005, Retna Media has built brands from blue-chip companies to small businesses in diverse industries. This unconventional advertising agency uses strategic communication principles to analyze, target, and created campaigns with unrivaled results.
He has successfully branded and managed over 200 strategic marketing campaigns including the Houston Open, Houston Dynamo, Maker’s Mark, USST, ILA Union, Revicore, Rawfully Organic Co-Op, Car Pro, Respira Health, the breakfast klub, Briggs True Texas Sauces & Seasonings, Sekai Electronics, Everest Funeral Services, PhoenixIFS, Nutex Health, and the YMCA to name a few.
Specializing in strategic communications, Retna Media has carved a niche as a multifaceted branding agency offering full service offline and online marketing solutions powered by strategy, public relations, social media, and traditional advertising campaigns.
Colinet continues to develop a corporate culture with a “whatever it takes” attitude so their customers can continue to reap the rewards of dedicated, intelligent processes. His philanthropic and giving attitude, Colinet has spearheaded many pro-bono campaigns that have given back to the community and highlighted corporate social responsibility.
Colinet, continues to develop strategies for the globalization of brands and incorporate technology-based solutions to support its clients’ goals. Attainable ambitions for the future include establishing themselves as the go-to advertising agency for brand marketing.
DT: How long have you been a Creative Director? What imprint does Retna Media bring to clients?
FC: I have been a creative director since 2001. I launched Retna Media in 2005.
My approach to all clients big or small is with strategy in mind, once I gather information from them. And, we set out an aesthetic, strategy, color, association, and how to amplify “your brand.”
DT: In the business world that is constantly changing, share some of your favorite branding tools for fashion and beauty brands?
FC: We use 5 to 6 tools to extract what exactly a brand wants. Is it luxury? Be specific? Get into the minutia of what your line/brand is for you and your audience.
DT: How important is it for your company to monitor top trends and shifts in social media?
FC: I think like any other form of communication, it needs to be monitored, depending on the clients’ needs.
It doesn’t drive a lot of the experience; but, it’s used as a tool for “branding.” [However], for “marketing,” use the platform that BEST connects with the audience the quickest.
You will find many new platforms are transforming. For instance, Vines that is not as prevalent to apps, like TikTok, that are popular now, platforms are constantly evolving. Be consistent and secure all social media platforms whether you use them or not is my advice.
DT: What intentions have you set forth for Retna Media in the new decade? How has the COVID-19 pandemic shaped your current business decisions?
FC: [To understand] what is currently happening in the marketplace due to COVID-19, we have to [first] understand how followers are consuming information. As well as, [we need a real] understanding of how to move the needle and how influencers can react to clients personally and connecting with consumers in a very personal way. You can no longer just gather likes and followers; personal interaction is paramount.
DT: What great lesson would you share with younger people? And as a father of two, I know you have many (smile).
FC: Don’t be afraid to fail and lead. Read as much as you can about what you want to do as a profession. Commit to reading about 5-10 pages a day, which is a small investment in your future but invaluable. It really shows how invested you are.
DT: What is your purpose, personally and professionally?
FC: My purpose personally and professionally is “to let anyone know that it is possible.” It comes from my own personal experience as a kid in the South Bronx attending Art & Design in NYC, then attending Pratt Institute, winning awards…I appreciate the journey, lessons, and experiences fully.
DT: Finish this sentence, “the shift I would like to see in the world is…”
FC: “…more humanity.” We have lost the art of caring for a stranger, friends, and family.
DT: Name three fun projects that Retna Media has spearheaded?
DT: Fritz, thank you for taking the time to chat with me and our Soulivity readers. You are a maestro at what you do…all the BEST and continued success!!
D’angelo Thompson is a three-time Daytime Emmy Nominated Hair and Makeup Artist, “Guest Hair” Daytime Emmy Award winner for the Wendy Williams Show, an accomplished Author, and Podcast Host.
His most recent credits include Law & Order SVU, Season 21, MTV/VH-1/LOGO (Viacom), Amy Trask (CBS Sports), Food Network, Joy Mangano, Amber Stevens West/Andrea DeBordeaux for Run The World (Starz), and Author, James Patterson. His expertise extends to bridal, editorial, commercial, film, and television. Additionally, for over 20 years, D’angelo has been a consultant and educator in partnerships with Il Makiage, Glamour Dolls Makeup, Chic Studios, Makeup For Ever, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, LORAC, and others.
As an Author, D’angelo penned and published “Enhanced Beauty”, “Enhanced Beauty for Teens “, “Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming”, and “A 100 Days of Gratitude”. All are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other online retailers.
He is also the host of “Gratitude Is A Journey” available on Anchor.fm/dangelo- thompson and “Beauty & Gratitude” a series on Soulivity Magazine’s ‘SoulivityTV’, available on Youtube.
D’angelo was educated at Pratt Institute for two years in Fashion Merchandising and Fine Art and through mentorships with Alfred Fornay, Byron Barnes, and Sherry Lee. He further attended The Makeup Institute of California, MAC Pro, Makeup Forever Pro/Academy Workshops, Lash Extension Certification through NYIB, and Basic FX lessons from Daytime Emmy Award-Winning artist, Ingrid Okola. He also holds practitioner licenses and accreditations in Emotional Intelligence, Reiki, Crystal Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Currently attending National University, studying Psychology.
As a community activist, he organizes yearly fundraisers to support AIDS research, education, and advocacy with The Latino Commission on AIDS (2009-2017), youth initiatives, domestic violence, and sex traﬃcking awareness (2000-Present), social justice, and LGBTQ rights & safety (1990-Present).
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