Joshua Kissi, Co-founder of TONL
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
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.