‘Lots of fuss:’ Young entrepreneurs in Durham launch marketing agency amid COVID

As a Durham marketing agency celebrates its first anniversary, the two young men behind it say they want to inspire others like them to succeed.

Digital Owl launched in fall 2020 just after co-founders Tyson Van Dusen and Cyprian McKenley graduated from Durham College’s Marketing Program.

They are both 21 now and say their first year in business – in the midst of a pandemic – has been both difficult and rewarding.

“We have learned a lot more as business owners than we would at an entry level job. We do everything, wearing all hats, ”says Van Dusen. “We are two young black business leaders and we want to inspire others like us. “

Digital Hibou offers marketing, public relations, web development, and e-commerce services.

“We understand the social media game and we understand e-commerce. It’s a gap we’ve found with other digital marketing agencies, ”McKenley explains.

Owl means ‘owl’ in French – a nod to the fact that owls keep a watchful eye on their surroundings the same way Van Dusen and McKenley monitor customer websites and social media.

In their first year in business, the couple say they were “blessed” to provide services to clients such as Shale Ridge Estate Winery, Phoenix Management and Forget-Me-Not Jewels.

Digital Hibou’s future plans include opening a brick and mortar office in Durham, increasing the agency’s presence in the community, and expanding services.

“We may not be the most experienced marketing agency, but we are an agency eager to capture opportunities. It’s one of the things customers see with us, ”says McKenley. “We have a lot of knowledge and a lot of energy.”

Are you opening a new business in Durham? Tell us about it! We also want to hear about business birthdays, store closings, amazing local manufacturers, and small business owners. Send your ideas to journalist Jillian Follert at [email protected]