Graphic designer Greg Callaham said he always wanted to be in business for himself, just like his father, who owned two businesses.

“Iguess that same fire burns in me, because he and I are a lot alike,”Callaham said.

After being laid off about five years ago, he started Greg Callaham Graphic Design, which recently wonsix American Graphic Design Awards.

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Graphic Design USA, a national trade publication, honoredCallaham for his work for clientsZimmer MedizinSystems, Hollywog and Memorial Hospital.

His brochure design for German-based companyZimmer MedizinSystems focuses on the Zimmer enPuls, which is a radial pulse therapy device used by physical rehabilitation professionals.

“The brochure not only conveys the expected features and benefits, but it also introduces the reader to a new therapeutic protocol,” Callaham said in a prepared statement. “That can be a tough hill to climb, and I’m really proud of the success this piece has enjoyed.”

The trade publication recognizedCallaham for his work with Hollywog-which is a local medical devicemanufacturer-in two categories:logo design and product packaging.

He got two awards for print ads he designed for Memorial Hospital.

The Chattanooga native, who went to Lutheran school, said he knew at an early age that he wanted to be in the graphic design and advertising business.

After his layoff, he invested his severancepay into his business, which provides creative content foroutdoor advertising, catalogs, product brochures, logo design, corporate identity packages, and a wide range of other advertising and marketing materials.

“Things kind of evened out,” he said. “My severance pay started disappearing, and the business started to take the place of my salary about the same time.”

And even though he started his business in a less-than-ideal economic climate, business has been strong, he said.

He’s a one-man business, works out of a home office and has built up his customer base throughguerrilla marketing and word-of-mouth recommendations, he also said.

He said he feels lucky to be his own boss, to have the caliber of clients he does and to be winning awards.

He tells his children he makes a living drawing and coloring, and he feels like his life led him to experiences that gave him the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur.

“God has had a hand in all of this,” he said.

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