January 29, 2018

Joshua Kissi, Co-founder of TONL

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m Joshua Kissi I’m from New York City specifically. The Bronx but I have also spent time living in Brooklyn. I’m a 28-year-old photographer, creative director, and entrepreneur. My dream is to empower creatives to continue to tell stories that challenge the world we live in today; Resulting in a better tomorrow by any medium necessary.

What’s the story behind TONL. What made you start it?

TONL was started by myself and partner Karen Okonkwo, I knew as a photographer I was never interested in stock photography, but a more impactful opportunity presented itself which was to tell our narrative through imagery.

The unfortunate murders of Philando Castile & Alton Sterling by Law officers during the summer of 2016 left me feeling helpless during the tragedy. It also motivated me to want to present a change in some way from my perspective and gift. I knew it would have to do with photography and storytelling but launching TONL was a direct product of a tragedy.

How does operating TONL compare to Street Etiquette

Great question, TONL takes a ton of legwork because of all of the moving parts of selling a tangible product which is the purchase of photographs. Anything from meetings with TONL web developers, photographers, sales, PR businesses or possible business opportunities can happen in a typical work week for the company. TONL is run to be scaled to grow and be the premier diverse stock photography company. In comparison to Street Etiquette is a lifestyle + fashion based content focused Creative Agency run by myself and Travis. For Street Etiquette there isn’t necessarily a tangible product, but there’s the trust, idea, relationship with the following we’ve built over the past ten years.

What advice would you give to your younger self 10 years ago?

I would tell myself to appreciate the moment more and don’t spend too much time thinking about the future it takes away from your present.

Where can we find you

Thank you! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter

Michael Berhane

Co-founder and CEO of peopleofcolorintech.com & pocitjobs.com. Also the co-host of the #Techish podcast! Full Stack JavaScript developer by trade.

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