Gina DiSpirito was 4 years old when she fell in love with art, 19 when she fell in love with starting a business and 24 when she fell in love with her husband and business partner, Adam Harvey.
Passion is one of the things that the creative director and principal of Glad Works, a full-service advertising agency, brings to her work. Accessibility, responsiveness and trust are the other attributes she commits to when working with her clients and business teams at the agency.
As a young woman, DiSpirito, 38, said in a recent interview, she chose to spend a small inheritance from her late father on an Apple computer, instead of on a car, reasoning, correctly, that working with computers would pay more dividends, and help her afford that car later.
When DiSpirito was naming her company, her mother, Claire, suggested she take the initials of her name, Gina Lisa Angelo DiSpirito, which is how she would sign her artwork, since the letters also happened to stand for “graphic layout and design.”
By the time her mother suggested using her initials as the company name, DiSpirito had already decided to brand the company Design Point. When her mother pressed her, DiSpirito argued she didn’t want to compete with Glad plastic bags.
But the trust she had in her mother’s instinct for creative “right-brain” problem-solving convinced the young woman that adding the word “works” to indicate that the acronym worked would, in fact, work. As it turned out, the advertising firm DiSpirito started with a focus on graphic design would eventually expand to include the works: branding with print, Web development, photography technology and multimedia.
“In my family, both my mother and father were very influential because they were both business owners,” she said. “I grew up in a house that had an entrepreneurial mindset.”
Her parents worked together in the Arthur Angelo School of Cosmetology, and father, Arthur Angelo, ran hair salons in Rhode Island and Florida, catering to old Hollywood celebrity clientele that included Rita Hayworth, Jackie Gleason and Fred McMurray. Her father died when she was 19 of a heart attack, but using “Angelo” as a middle name kept him alive for her.