by Stephen Garner
(L-R) BJ Frogozo, co-founder and executive producer; Adrian Anaya, executive music producer and composer; and Bimma Williams.

Claima Stories, a leading career podcast committed to addressing the alarming disparity of BIPOC-youth in creative industries, has teamed up with design and marketing service Vistaprint and its new go-to graphic design service 99designs by Vistaprint. 

The multi-dimensional partnership is part of 99 Days of Design, a 99designs by Vistaprint initiative to empower 99 small businesses around the world with financial support and design services. Through this collaboration, Claima Stories will identify 12 BIPOC businesses and creatives impacted by COVID-19 to receive $15,000 in cash, a design makeover, and marketing assets to support their business growth. Each brand will be a part of the creative industry and range from fashion, interior design, art and more. Recipients of the grant will be included on the Claima Stories podcast for a one-on-one with Claima Stories host Bimma Williams. Recipients will be announced on a rolling basis.

“It is a great honor to work with 99designs by Vistaprint for this initiative that aims to democratize access, funding and design resources to equip and empower historically under-resourced BIPOC founders and creatives to be the next wave of creative frontrunners,” said Bimma Williams, co-founder and host of Claima Stories.

“Our team was also affected by COVID and needed to pivot in order to stay afloat,” added BJ Frogozo, co-founder of Claima Stories. “As we all know, the COVID-19 crisis hit arts, culture, and the creative economy hard and the most impacted was the BIPOC community. This initiative with 99designs by Vistaprint is so necessary and just the beginning of how the alliance hopes to provide continued resources in helping BIPOC creatives claim a seat at the table – or simply build their own.”

The 99designs by Vistaprint partnership is also providing the Claima Stories team with resources to create a mobile podcast studio for a 30-day, 4-city tour exclusively sponsored by Vistaprint. The tour will allow the Claima Stories team to conduct interviews with BIPOC creatives in the van and document the experience including photos, footage from the trip, and more. Utilizing the visual design created by experienced designers at 99designs by Vistaprint, the Claima Stories team will convert this 93’ Mitsubishi Delica “Starwagon” into a one-of-a-kind mobile studio, cleverly titled Storytella. Tour cities will include Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

“Vistaprint and Claima Stories understand and appreciate the transformative power of design, and how great design can be a spark to provide inspiration or encouragement when and where it is needed most,” commented Ricky Engelberg, CMO at Vistaprint. “The team at Claima has built a truly impactful community and we’re thrilled to be partnering together to support these amazing small businesses and we can’t wait to hear all their stories from the Storytella trip.”

‘Claima,’ which is short for ‘claim a seat at the table,’ is where host Bimma Williams sits with the creative industry’s heavyweights, such as Melody Ehsani, Jeff Staple, Elise Swopes, and James Whitner to share first-hand accounts that provide a refreshing and necessary lens into navigating the creative space where representation is scarce and opportunities for black and brown youth are not as accessible. Claima Stories has evolved from a passion project podcast to frontrunner in its second season, boasting the #1 spot for careers on the Apple Podcast charts.