June 10, 2022Comments are off for this post.

Shift from Pain-Profiting to Power-Sharing

In this talk from June 2021 for Possibility Project, Ivellisse Morales, Founder & CEO at bombilla, joins Tania Anaissie, Founder and CEO at Beytna Design, to discuss our collective responsibility as creators to pass the mic and co-create the stories we are telling in ways that are equitable, authentic, and not replicating harm.

In the sector, we use stories and images to capture the interest (and care) of community members and potential donors.

  • How often are those stories and images used in extractive ways, that reproduce the dynamics of giver/receiver, service provider/recipient?
  • How do the stories we tell and the images we choose, replicate harm and perpetuate false narratives?
  • Who is collecting, shaping, and telling stories, and for whose benefit?
  • How can story be rooted in powerful and authentic co-creation, and be shaped by the voices and leadership of those at the center of the work?

We are thrilled to highlight the perspectives of:

Ivellisse Morales, Founder & CEO of bombilla

Tania Anaissie, Founder and CEO at Beytna Design

May 11, 2022Comments are off for this post.

Introducing bombilla’s™ Little Bright Branding Book

bombilla's™ little bright branding book is a playful poetry book for small businesses who care about heart-centered branding. The book launched in February 2022, in celebration of bombilla's 4th birthday.

You can get a copy of bombilla's™ little bright branding book here!

About the Book

  • Gorgeous matte hardcover, full-color book at 6×9 inches and 36 pages. Born December 29, 2021. 
  • Poems are personally written by me (Ivellisse!), designed by Kimberly Cho, edited by Jesi Hanley Vega. Includes poems like The Branding ABC’s, Chief Everything Officer and Stories: as well as exercise pages for you to reflect and play.
  • 5% of net sales will be earmarked for bombilla’s small business fund, a scholarship for Black, Brown & Queer emerging entrepreneurs (>2 years old) who seek our branding & design services.

My hope is that you'll walk away feeling #litonpurpose. And that you feel inspired and empowered to build your own heart-centered brand.

Ivellisse Morales

Get your own copy of bombilla's™ little bright branding book here!

May 11, 2022Comments are off for this post.

From Side Hustle to CEO: Taking Back Control of Your Career

In this talk from March 2021 for Boston University's College of Communication, alum Ivellisse Morales speaks alongside a panel of communication entrepreneurs to discuss their professional journeys and the added obstacles faced by women and communities of color.

About the Panelists

Ivellisse Morales (COM’12), Founder and CEO of bombilla
Ivellisse Morales (COM'12) brings a decade of experience in using marketing as a force for good—for brands of all sizes from inside major creative agencies like Ogilvy, Cone Communications and IDEO and nonprofits like Year Up. Since 2018, Ivellisse has served as the visionary behind bombilla, a branding & design agency for social change. Bombilla (lightbulb in Spanish) is fueled by a national network of diverse creatives who conspire with systems-changing organizations to make the world brighter. Learn more at www.bombilla.com.

Manpreet Kaur Kalra (COM’11), Founder of Art of Citizenry
Manpreet Kaur Kalra (she/her) (COM’11) is a social impact advisor, anti-racism educator, speaker, and activist working to decolonize storytelling. She navigates the intersection of impact communication and sustainable global development. Having worked in venture capital and startups, Manpreet founded Art of Citizenry to support impact-driven brands prioritizing people and the planet. She collaborates with businesses to address inclusion in all aspects, from business development to marketing strategy. Furthering her vision to address equity across the fashion and lifestyle ecosystem, she co-created and launched Reclaim Collaborative, a community of brands and content creators dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression. Her activism focuses on the interconnectivity of economic, social, and climate justice. She educates using a variety of mediums, including the Art of Citizenry Podcast, where she shares her nuanced and unfiltered insights on building a more just and equitable future. Her work unpacks history and addresses systemic power structures. She serves on the board of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition and co-established the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Fair Trade Federation.

Anya Cherrice Gonzales (COM’15), Founder of Navigating Culture and podcast host of The Homesickness Cure
Anya Cherrice Gonzales (she/her) (COM’15) is the founder of Navigating Culture and host of the podcast, The Homesickness Cure. Born and raised in Trinidad, she started her American journey by attending Boston University. While taking journalism and advertising classes, her love for storytelling deepened. Reflecting on her own experiences, Anya decided to create a community for immigrants and first-generation immigrants who struggle to navigate the intersectionalities of living in between two cultures. Essentially, her company’s mission is to encourage these folks to learn how to self-validate, remove self-doubt and redefine archaic ideas of success. Shortly after her 2015 graduation from COM, Anya moved to San Francisco to work in Silicon Valley. She creates marketing programs for Miro, one of the world's fastest-growing start-ups.

May 3, 2022Comments are off for this post.

Shifting from Hustle to Self-Care Mindset

In this talk from March 2022 for Boston University's College of Communication, alum Ivellisse Morales moderates a panel on the importance of self care in both personal and professional spaces, and disrupting the "hustle" mindset.

Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.

Audre Lorde

How many have heard the phrase “hustle hard”? Society told us that the hustle makes people more successful and get ahead. Yet, studies have shown that hustle culture takes a toll on people’s emotional, mental, and physical health. For people in marginalized communities, the damage to their overall health is worse.

During the pandemic and racial reckoning, various campaigns filled our social media timelines with resources for consumers to address their mental health and wellness. Self-care became popular. As communication professionals promoting these campaigns, what are we doing to change our mindset to practice self-care and wellness in our lives? How can organizations implement best practices to ensure that we have that work-life balance to keep our overall health in check?

Join our panelists as they provide:

  • Insights and data on hustle life
  • Signs to look out for to avoid extreme burnout
  • Tips to add self-care practices in your personal and professional life
  • Ways to welcome and encourage companies and colleagues to practice wellness at work

About Our Panelists

Yi-Hsian Godfrey (COM’97), CEO & co-founder of Apiari
Yi-Hsian (pronounced "E-Schwan") Godfrey is CEO & co-founder of Apiari a curated childcare platform helping families find, book and manage vetted and experienced night nannies, babysitters and enrichment leaders in minutes.  A former corporate executive turned entrepreneur, Yi-Hsian is also a mom to school-aged children, daughter to elderly parents, wife, sister and friend, she understands the challenges parents face in pursuing the proverbial "work-life balance."

Alice Hu (COM’10), Founder of Woo Woo Company
Alice Hu is the founder of Woo Woo Company, a guide for all things woo, spiritual, and holistic wellness. Going through your Saturn Return or have questions about your career? Alice will use all the tools and modalities that helped her discover her calling and purpose to guide you in your journey. 
Alice also just released season two of her podcast Into the Woo and an ambient music album titled Dreaming Abundance. She is currently working on creating a career-focused astrology app. You can sign up via www.yoursaturn.com.

Charmain F. Jackman, PhD, Psychologist, Speaker, Writer, Consultant, & Founder/CEO, InnoPsych, Inc.
Dr. Jackman is a Harvard-trained licensed Psychologist with 23+ years in the mental health field. She is the founder and CEO of InnoPsych, Inc., an organization on a mission to disrupt racial inequities in mental health. She also consults with organizations on topics including mental health, and racial trauma, employee wellbeing. She has won several awards for her impactful work including the 2021 American Psychological Association’s (APA) Citizen Psychologist Award and City of Boston’s 2021 Innovator of The Year award. Dr. Jackman has been featured on national media outlets such as the New York TimesNPRPBS, and the Boston Globe

MODERATOR: Ivellisse Morales (COM’12), Founder of bombilla
Ivellisse Morales brings a decade of experience in using marketing as a force for good—for brands of all sizes from inside major creative agencies like Ogilvy, Cone Communications and IDEO and nonprofits like Year Up. Since 2018, Ivellisse has served as the visionary behind bombilla, a branding & design agency for social change. Bombilla (lightbulb in Spanish) is fueled by a national network of diverse creatives who conspire with systems-changing organizations to make the world brighter

December 18, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Scaling Soulfully Together in 2020

Scaling Soulfully Together in 2020

Dear Community,

Every day, I wake up blessed to be building the business of my dreams. Thank you for helping me make this all a reality. We're doing it through creativity, community and collaboration. It's amazing what unfolds when one steps into their purpose. 

One too many burnouts forced me to re-evaluate my creative career in corporate social responsibility. Like a flip of a light switch, I knew it was time for me to build my own purpose-driven agency. I left the corporate world in February 2018 - I needed to be the change I wanted to see. It’s been history ever since! To date, we have built a brilliant core team, a talented national collective and a bright constellation of world-changing clients.

Our goal in 2021 is to deepen our financial resilience and to keep shining bright. You can play a role in our story by: hiring us and referring us for mission-driven brand strategy, visual identity and graphic design. Think of us as the go-to creative agency for small teams inside organizations with big dreams. Check out examples of our kick-ass work on our website.

Thanks to your projects, connections and support, here are some major milestones we made possible this year. Join us in the celebration:

With your help, connections, and creativity, here are several major milestones you made possible this year:

September 24, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Bombilla CEO Named ADCOLOR 2020 Honoree

The One Club ADCOLOR Creative Award Honoree, Ivellisse Morales

Congrats to our Founder & CEO, Ivellisse Morales on receiving The One Club | ADCOLOR Creative Award during this year's 14th Annual ADCOLOR Awards!

The theme for this year’s conference, “Here For It”, is about showing up, being present, continuing the fight and striving for progress.

About the Award

The One Club | ADCOLOR Creative Award recipients are creative professionals of multicultural background who have demonstrated noteworthy talent and achievement within the media, creative, digital and traditional advertising disciplines. It’s sponsored by The One Club for Creativity, an international nonprofit organization seeking to inspire, encourage, and develop creative excellence in advertising and design.

Bombilla CEO Ivellisse Morales featured in Adweek with fellow honoree Soham Chatterjee
Bombilla CEO, Ivellisse Morales, featured in Adweek with fellow honoree Soham Chatterjee.

Ivellisse shares this honor with Soham Chatterjee, Global Associate Creative Director / Writer for WhatsApp and Creative X at Facebook. Other notable award winners this year include Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, Founders of Black Lives Matter, Don Lemon of CNN and Valeisha Butterfield Jones of The Recording Academy.

Rising Up and Reaching Back

Since 2007, ADCOLOR has honored individuals and companies that go above and beyond to make a difference in the creative and tech industries. As an entrepreneur and a creative, Ivellisse has embodied ADCOLOR’s values of "Rising Up and Reaching Back" all her life and especially now through the cultivation of bombilla and its ecosystem of diverse creatives, vendors & suppliers and systems-changing clients.

I’m rising up because people are lifting me up, and I’m reaching back because there’s an abundance of opportunities to share. Thanks to my community I’m #HereForIt.


In the News:

2020 ADCOLOR Awards: Celebrating the DEI Difference-Makers
ADCOLOR Announces 2020 Nominees, Honorees and FUTURES

July 1, 2020Comments are off for this post.

The Power of Creativity and Self-Expression

What keeps me inspired is the power of creativity and self-expression to spark action. We're the creative directors of our shared future in this beautiful blue planet we call home. How are we going to step up to solve the great social, political and environmental crisis of our time?

Read more

September 18, 2019Comments are off for this post.

From Side Hustle to CEO

This feature was originally published on NFTE.com.

It’s been twelve years since Ivellisse Morales was a NFTE New England student on her way to the National Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, but the entrepreneurial mindset she cultivated back then shaped the landscape of her life.

“The NFTE program planted a seed that has since blossomed into a mission-driven career in communications with my own creative agency."

Ivellisse Morales, Founder & CEO of bombilla

Her business began as a side hustle. A self-taught graphic designer, she was taking on some small design projects outside of work as a way to earn extra cash. But burnout in her corporate communications career led Morales to reevaluate her career. She decided to go out on her own and, in a calculated leap, she left her job in early 2018 with five paying clients and a small savings cushion.

“They say the best businesses solve personal problems,” Morales says. “I knew it was time for me to build my own values-based creative agency.” Like a flip of a light switch, Bombilla–which means “lightbulb” in Spanish–was born.

With Bombilla, Morales is reimagining the agency model.

She’s creating economic opportunity by connecting her clients to diverse, talented creatives to, as she puts it, “deliver creative kick-ass work and spark social change. The creative design industry isn’t diverse and has its own barriers to entry. We are addressing that!”

She credits the entrepreneurial mindset she developed with NFTE for allowing her to navigate the choppy waters of uncertainty that come with business ownership.

“As a woman of color and a first-generation American, I had to figure out a lot of things on my own that my parents couldn’t support me with. Because of barriers and challenges, I’ve had no choice but to be flexible and adaptable in handling anything that comes my way.”

Mentorship is something she also is passionate about. Morales received abundant mentorship herself. Those who helped guide her as she struck out on her own, who listened and helped her see solutions to problems are very important people in her life.

She believes mentorship is just as important as networking and that it helps entrepreneurs thrive.

As a west coast transplant, Morales has connected with NFTE Bay Area as a volunter. “They welcomed me with open arms and provided me with a number of ways to give back, including mentoring NFTE students through their business development process."

"It’s very important to me to make sure black and brown young people and people who identify as first-generation American can see what’s possible for them. That’s why I share my own story and lived experiences.”

Her story as a business owner is still just beginning. But Morales feels she gets to be her authentic self every day and gets to work on causes she cares about. She’s excited to see where this takes her.

Currently, she is in the process of refreshing the Bombilla brand.  It may be a wild ride but she embraces it as one of ongoing learning and growing. Keep in touch with all things Bombilla as they keep growing!

June 5, 2019Comments are off for this post.

Why I Left the Corporate World

I left the corporate world because my health depended on it. 

Empty American calories of success fueled me. Promotions and recognition, pay raises and perks. Like a hungry hamster on a wheel, I chased and chased and chased. I chased willingly, and with the shiny ambition typical of a child of immigrants...until I couldn't any longer.

This isn't new news. Truth is, I’m a recovering overachiever. As a kid, I hid from the summer heat and humidity at the local library instead of playing outside. In high school, I excelled with straight A's and served as school president. TIME Magazine likened my college internship hustle to an Olympic gold achievement. I spent my early career at top-notch organizations. Of course, an MBA was in my 5-year life plan. Because that’s what I was "supposed to do"...but according to who? To be continued in a separate post. 

Collaboration, creativity, cool clients, and constant learning. All attractive aspects of agency life that I enjoyed. Agency is the perfect playground for generalist skills to develop. It's fast-paced, intellectually challenging, and fun. I gladly accepted the challenge to become faster, better, and in demand. I thrived and had incredible opportunities to contribute to exciting, impactful projects.

But the agency model is broken.

(This isn't a secret.) It operates on human capital and tight profit margins. This means that the business excels with healthy and happy employees who contribute their creativity, time, and skills. The downfall is that our value as an employee is measured by the productivity produced in a billable hour. Everyone at some point ends up overworked.

Time is money. The more hours you clock, the more money the agency makes. This manifested into never-ending high-priority lists, late night emails, and working weekends. Chronic stress is part of the culture (but nobody talks about it). Everyone's stressed, overworking, and high-achieving. PR agency jobs rank #8 on the top 10 most stressful occupations in America.

It’s no surprise that I found myself unhappy, unhealthy, and deeply depressed. 

The Big Burnout arrived September 2017. It was the second fizzle and burn to greedily rob me of my mental and physical health. My grandmother Luz brightened this dark moment with meaningful advice: El trabajo siempre estará ahí, pero la salud se va. Work will always be there for you, but your health won’t.

“El trabajo siempre estará ahí, pero la salud se va.”

- Mamá Lucy

Her words were my wakeup call. Like a flip of a light switch, I knew it was time for a change. Gracias, Mamá Lucy. I took weeks of paid leave to re-calibrate my wellbeing and re-ground myself in my values. The recovery process included gracefully resigning from extracurriculars, learning how to say no, protecting my time, and, ultimately, creating a plan to escape the corporate world. 

They say the best businesses solve personal problems.

My personal problem was the lack of empathy, understanding, and human-centered decisions in how ‘business’ is traditionally done. My personal problem was investing blood, sweat, and tears for thankless work. For not being on purpose and aligned with my personal ethics.

bombilla creative is my phoenix rising from the ashes.

I'm grateful for the painful The Big Burnout - it led me to a new beginning. I’m taking a chance on myself by starting my own consultancy. I take on projects that I enjoy and collaborate with causes, socially conscious companies, and entrepreneurs I believe in. I’m here to help amplify the brands and businesses of changemakers on the move — on my own terms.

I've chosen to accept perpetual uncertainty in exchange for what doesn't serve me. I choose work that aligns with my values, interests, and skills. It feels liberating, empowering, and pretty amazing! I'm learning so much, every single day.

Thank you for reading my story. If you're currently unhappy, unhealthy, and depressed because of your job:

You're not alone.

How can you take small steps to create an alternative for yourself?

You deserve better.

We are a proudly AfroBoricua-led small business, shining bright from sunny Oakland, CA. We are based in xučyun (Huchiun), on unceded territory of the Lisjan Ohlone people. 

We are a proudly AfroBoricua-led small business, shining bright from sunny Oakland, CA. We are based in xučyun (Huchiun), on unceded territory of the Lisjan Ohlone people. 

We are a proudly AfroBoricua-led small business, shining bright from sunny Oakland, CA. We are based in xučyun (Huchiun), on unceded territory of the Lisjan Ohlone people.

We are a proudly AfroBoricua-led small business, shining bright from sunny Oakland, CA. We are based in xučyun (Huchiun), on unceded territory of the Lisjan Ohlone people. 


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