628 Digital Design Aims to Redesign Business

Ivy Teng Lei

Samantha Williams Taps Into the Power of Collaboration


Samantha Williams of 628 Digital Design.

This article is one in a series about business leaders in the Level program, now in its third year. Through the Level program, B Lab U.S. & Canada aims to support and partner with business leaders who are women of color to amplify their economic reach and community impact.

Samantha Williams, M.S., is one of many founders who sought to chart a path for her and her community after spending years in Corporate America, climbing a ladder built to sustain a dominant culture that made life unsustainable for her and her passion. Her full-service marketing consulting agency, 628 Digital Design, is owned and powered by Black women creatives.

In 2015, she pursued an entrepreneurial journey — writing resumes, business letters, and other content — while maintaining a full-time job at a large healthcare organization. “I started writing many years ago as a side hustle before it was even a business,” Williams says.

The writing work was an additional income stream and, more importantly, allowed her creativity, leadership, and passion to breathe and thrive. Unlike her day job, going above and beyond was rewarded based on the quality of her work rather than office politics or the perceived value of her contributions. Her journey to becoming a founder included being denied promotions and later being laid off shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic.

64 Cents to the Dollar

These obstacles are a common challenge for workers of color, especially Black women. As of 2023, Black women still only make 64 cents for every dollar a white man makes — a pay disparity deeply rooted in a capitalistic system built to incentivize those who helped create it.

Now, Williams is helping to shape an economy that works for her and her community. Her writing side hustle multiplied into a full-marketing agency when she realized the incredible talents among the people she hired — Black women who use their lived experiences in their creative work. Through feedback and iteration, her organization grew from sets of independent contractors to part-time employees who are committed to her vision for 628 Digital Design.

While her business is built around Black women and other People of Color, Williams also is a leader in her Connecticut community. In addition to running 628 Digital Design, she has a nonprofit, CMWP Foundation, Inc., which supports entrepreneurial support organizations empowering Black and minority men, women, and children. The organization also has a membership-based initiative, the Collaboration of Minority Women Professionals, a subset of CMWP Foundation, Inc. that provides a supportive network for Black women in corporate and entrepreneurship. “I created these organizations to fill a gap in entrepreneurial resources and networking groups,” Williams says.

Her commitment to the industry and her community has gained kudos, including being awarded the Minority Business of the Year Award through the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce. “My local community has greatly influenced my work by trusting me to provide our services to grow their businesses,” Williams says. “I am also involved in several Chambers of Commerce and city and community organizations, which have invited me to serve on their boards and engage with their communities, and they actively find ways to help me grow my business.” Additionally, the Madison Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome 628 Digital Design as a new Chamber member.

The 628 Digital Design team at CMWP Foundation Inc.’s annual entry-level golf tournament, Queens of the Green. (Photo by Linkz Media)

Setting an Example for More Black Women Entrepreneurs

Another path to growing 628 Digital Design’s impact is the Level program that B Lab U.S. & Canada created for women of color founders like Williams. While pursuing B Corp Certification as part of the program, 628 Digital Design is formalizing its commitment to social and environmental impact.

For Williams, being a part of the B Corp community means looking beyond herself to serve as an example for other People of Color who are considering launching a business.

“As one of the few Black women-owned marketing agencies in the country, my hope is that we become a formidable competitor to the large players,” she says. “My goals include continuing to innovate and enhance our services to ensure we exceed our clients’ expectations for years to come by delivering transformative, disruptive, and inclusive solutions.”

Williams says 628 Digital Design demonstrates the power of collaboration when Black women support each other in creating a career that meets their needs and serves their community. It can inspire a new generation of professionals who can strive to be their best, authentic selves without the need to code-switch in their day jobs to do their proudest work.

In many ways, the legacy that Williams wants to build with her work is synonymous with the more inclusive future she envisions for her 10-year-old son. By including his birthdate — June 28 — in the company name, Williams wanted to create a path that he, and many others like him, can follow. By building a team that creates diverse content for diverse audiences, Williams is building partnerships and connections for the long term.

“Find your community. You need people you can be vulnerable with, who will pour into you, but you must also be willing to pour into them,” she says.

B The Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Sign Up for our B The Change Newsletter

Read stories on the B Corp Movement and people using business as a force for good. The B The Change Newsletter is sent weekly on Fridays.