Don't tell teenage entrepreneurs Scott Perkins and Nathan Lewis that the Victor Valley is in the middle of a recession. While others may see doom and gloom, these two see only golden opportunities.
"The High Desert is growing," said Lewis, a 16-year-old junior at Hesperia High School. "The market is becoming more and more competitive."
And their newly formed Victory Advertising, whose motto is "Web. Graphic. Print. Video," figures to be in the mix — or even leading the way.
"They are young, they have fresh ideas, and they are ultra-talented," said veteran graphic artist Chris Ackerman of Sunset Hills and Victor Valley Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. "What I saw blew me away."
Ackerman was one of nearly 100 Hesperia Chamber of Commerce Coffee Club attendees who during a recent event heard Lewis and 2008 Hesperia High graduate Perkins, present their vision. Victory Advertising specializes in flash-based website design, e-commerce, logo design, search engine optimization and print projects.
"I've seen lots of presentations in my life, but I've never been wowed like when I saw their presentation," said Ackerman, who previously was a graphic artist with Mojave Copy in Victorville.
The two met in Hesperia High's Black & Gold Regiment marching band. Lewis plays clarinet, while Perkins, also a clarinetist, served as the band's drum major. The two had something else in common: computers. So they began developing their skills, creating video content and building web sites. Bolstered by Perkins' knack for sales and web site creation and Lewis' eye for graphic design, the duo began landing clients.
Already Victory Advertising has a notable customer: the new Kid's Planet restaurant and fun center that recently opened on Main Street in Hesperia.
Perkins, who credits the Hesperia Unified School District's mock trial program for boosting his confidence and developing his public speaking abilities, was awarded a music scholarship to Fresno State. But last fall, with Victory Advertising gaining momentum, Perkins, 18, decided instead to pursue his advertising career.
"I saw this need in the High Desert," Perkins said. "It really was a decision of opportunity."
But Ackerman, who several years ago saw another talented graphic artist get a job at Apple Computer, believes Perkins and Lewis have what it takes to make it.
"They have this youthful energy and this new way of design," Ackerman said. "This is a new way of working that we've never seen up here. Their web sites are going to blow everyone away."