Member of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10
Director of Creative Services/Owner – Stella Frances Creative
Nicole Cosides ’08 was born to be an artist.
“I’ve always been creative ever since I was very young,” she said. “I was always drawing, coloring, or making something with my hands. My mother is also creative. I think it’s a family trait.” Cosides, a Lynbrook native, excelled in art classes in school. As a student at Lynbrook High School, Cosides’ talents were noticed by art teacher Thomas Sena. “Mr. Sena guided me and encouraged me,” said Cosides. “He got me involved with the Saturday classes at Adelphi.” Cosides was one of two students chosen from Lynbrook High School to participate in weekend life drawing classes, hosted by Adelphi’s Department of Art and Art History. “That was my introduction to Adelphi,” Cosides said. “I thought the campus was beautiful and inspiring and I really liked the University’s art program.” Cosides enrolled at Adelphi in the Fall of 2004. She was originally a fine arts major before she decided to switch to graphic design with a minor in art history.
Some of Cosides fondest memories of Adelphi were the classes she took with Dale Flashner. “At first, I had no idea what I was doing. Dale showed me,” Cosides said. “She believed in me and pushed me further than I thought I could go.” Cosides also enjoyed her classes with Professor Hornung and Professor Maloney. “Professor Hornung introduced me to color,” she said. “Professor Maloney introduced me to painting and she really pulled it out of me. She drove me to do more and see more…I can honestly say that my life would be very different if not for the professors at Adelphi.”
During Cosides junior year, she designed an invitation for her cousin’s 40th birthday party. She then received a request from one of the guests at the party to create an invitation for another event. Cosides continued to get referrals, and from there her company, Stella Frances Creative, was born. Today Stella Frances Creative is a marketing firm that does everything from print and web design to social media management, marketing, branding, advertising and much more.
As a student at Adelphi, Cosides also interned at Greenstone/Fontana, an advertising and marketing agency. Upon graduating in 2008 she was hired as the firm’s graphic designer. She later took on the role of art director, before becoming creative director for HJMT Public Relations, Inc. In this role she was the head designer of the firm’s creative department. She left HJMT Public Relations, Inc. in 2013 to concentrate on Stella Frances Creative full-time.
Stella Frances Creative has flourished since its inception in 2007. Cosides, who holds the titles of Director of Creative Services and Owner, has gone from creating birthday invitations for family and friends to producing materials for multimillion dollar organizations. The company’s clients range from real estate investment trust (REIT), Kimco Realty Corporation to government entities like the Committee for Economic Development in Washington, D.C.
To keep up with the competition, Cosides exhaustively researches industry trends. “I’m like a sponge,” she said. “I pay attention to details and look at what the other companies are doing. I’m always learning and talking to people.” The biggest challenge for Cosides has been learning the sales side of the business. “I’m a creative person and in business you need to know about numbers as well,” she said. “So, I did a lot of research and learned about sales. But, you can only do so much.” Stella Frances Creative employs a team of freelancers to help with some of the sales and copywriting. “I’m not a strong writer of content. I really love writing taglines and headlines, but something like writing a 12-page brochure about technology, I hire a copywriter for that,” she said. “I learn a lot from the people I work with and I think they learn from me. I’ve always had a knack for mentoring and teaching others.”
About what it takes to run a thriving business, Cosides said, “You need to tell yourself that nine times out of ten, you will fail. It’s that one time that will make it all worth it.”
Cosides credits Adelphi with providing her with all the tools she needed to succeed. “I think it’s important to be knowledgeable about a wide variety of things,” she said. “I believe in taking all kinds of different classes and getting a well-rounded education. At Adelphi, students have the opportunity to do that.”