Allison Sugahara

FOUNDER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR - POLYGON MARKET

Ever since I was a kid, I felt the urge to learn and experience absolutely everything I could while also wanting to become friends with absolutely everyone I could. It didn't matter as long as I was able to be creative, be active, and share my experiences with everyone around me.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

EVERYTHING :) I play volleyball and I love almost every sport. My husband and I love to play/make music. We actually practiced and performed our song at our wedding instead of having the first dance. It was probably one of the most terrifying experiences I've ever put myself in.

I love to travel and explore. I love being creative in any form (designing my own t-shirts or bathing suits, cooking something new, even decorating my laptop lol). I love to introduce new friends and create fun experiences for people. I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone a bit. I love to challenge myself. I used to do improv, and practice comedy as an outlet whenever I can!

I also started a "blog" for my friends in college as a creative outlet for us all. It's called NeonBeige Life and it's all about embracing life's neon + beige moments. It's mostly an entertainment website or just a lifestyle :) Sometimes we write .. when we can! I used to make and sell t-shirts, hats, etc. (I'll probably bring it back soon!)

What’s something you do at your business that’s "weird" and not commonly done?

I think I am classified as pretty weird in general. I don't know if this is considered that "weird", but I am the epitome of a night owl. I will stay up as many hours as it takes to get something done. When I was a kid and iMovie was a thing, I'd stay up until 4 am editing video footage because I was so engrossed in the project. I've always been wired kind of intensely. Even on nights when I finish a project at 4 am.... or 5 or 6, I'll still manage to wake up between 9-10 am and get right back to it. I just can't help it when I REALLY LOVE what I'm doing.

Also.. if you didn't notice already, I have quite a bit going on in my brain and evidently a lot to say (facepalm).

Don't know if this is weird either, but we're definitely friends with almost all of our clients and collective members. I enjoy grabbing beers with my 65-year-old clients or going to lunch with my 16-year-old interns.

What inspired you to start your business?

I always knew I wasn't cut out for the traditional 9-5. Looking back now, I feel like everything I was involved in or curious about as a young girl prepped me for owning my business now. I guess I was already a mini-entrepreneur in the making. I graduated college at the peak of the recession and was a waitress for a long time. In those years, I networked as much as I could and took advantage of my situation, creating flyers or marketing campaigns for each restaurant I worked for. For the brief moment I worked as a "marketing coordinator" at a software company, I knew I had to get out as soon as possible.

I met a mutual Los Gatos High School graduate at a bar after a day at the office and a late shift at the restaurant (up until about 3 years ago, I never had less than 2 jobs). He offered me a job working for his small, promotional graphics company, and I quit the next day to hop onboard. I went on to partner with him... completely failed, then worked as a brand marketer (employee #4 and the only woman) at his new startup. It was a fantastic learning experience and a really fun time, but I realized I had lost myself a bit again. After getting back in touch with the things that I loved (learning improv, playing volleyball), I decided to dust off my boots and start the graphics company again, but this time as my own. I mutually parted ways, renamed the company, changed the business model and services we offered... and the rest is history.