A man of quiet confidence, Donnie Rogers lived the simple life before he moved to the big city of dreams and became a graphic designer in the boy’s division at the Sears/Kmart showroom in New York’s SoHo neigborhood.
“I am originally from Marion, S.C., and I worked in the electronics department at a Sears store in South Carolina and another one in Georgia,” Rogers says. “I majored in studio art at South Carolina State University. After graduation, I moved to Savannah, Ga., transferred to the Savannah [Sears] store and enrolled in the master’s degree program at Savannah College of Art and Design [SCAD] and majored in illustration. Shortly after I finished SCAD, the Sears Georgia/South Carolina district manager asked me what I was doing career wise. I told her I was looking for a job in my field. She asked me to send her my résumé and some examples of my work.”
Then the fairy tale unfolded. The district manager made a few phone calls and within a couple of days, Rogers was making arrangements to fly to New York for an interview. “I received a call from human resources … and was offered an opportunity to freelance for a little while to gain some experience. Once I gained the experience, they liked my work and they hired me full time.”
The transition was tough at first, but Rogers quickly adopted an “Empire State of Mind,” he says referencing the Jay-Z and Alicia Keys hit single.
Rogers initially lived in Brooklyn prior to his recent move to Harlem. “I am used to everything being slow, but I like it here. After three years, I am starting to get used to it and am feeling very comfortable here now,” shares the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. member. –yvette caslin
Go behind the scenes by logging on to www.KmartDesign.com, which offers a refreshingly honest, unexpected peek into the worlds of the outstanding talent at the Kmart Design studios in SoHo (New York) and Chicago.