Welcome Chantel Valentene

We’ve got some monumental (and emotional) news over here at Firebelly. After close to 22 years steering our small but mighty ship, our fiery captain Dawn Hancock, aka DFH, is handing over the keys. She’s enthusiastically making way for a new chapter of Firebelly, and we’re thrilled to announce Chantel Valentene as our new Managing Director. 

An acclaimed brand builder and designer with a passion for accessibility and inclusivity, the captivating Brooklyn native is already imbuing our team with fresh energy and new ideas. Her background in the fashion world brings with it new perspectives, and her experience building billion dollar brands enables us to shift very intentionally and thoughtfully into our next chapter.  

Fret not, fam—Dawn isn’t going anywhere. While she's stepping back from the day-to-day, she will advise Chantel as she settles into her new role and will remain connected at a high level. Her contact info hasn't changed, so don't hesitate to reach out!

Thank you for your dedicated support of our studio and many endeavors over the years—we can't wait to see what we, and Chantel, come up with over the next 22! 

Meet Chantel 


Helping the Helpers

We’re in awe of those who really stepped up to help others last year. In December, we decided to put our wallet where our hearts were and donated to some organizations whose important work spoke to us:
Fair Fight
Community Kitchen
CDC Foundation

We highlighted these groups in an interactive year-end website that we sent out to clients and collaborators, inviting them to vote for how we distributed the funds. While the voting is now closed, you can read more about the organizations or give yourself a break from endless  doomscrolling while taking a peek at how we made it through last year. 

The Joy of Giving


On the Road Again

Sometimes the stars simply align. Our partners at Cabana came to us last year with a very intriguing notion: what happens when you combine the freedom and adventure of #vanlife with the comfort and style of a hotel? Magic, as it turns out. Not only was it a visionary idea, 2020 was just the year that folks yearned for a safe travel option.

We stepped in to position them as an innovative new player within the travel, hospitality and leisure industry. Our comprehensive brand strategy dovetailed into a visual identity that helped establish the start-up as a leader in this new space, garnering them features in Tech CrunchNYT and TPG. We’re continuing to help further build out their brand and can’t wait to share a full case study with you soon.

See the Site(s)


Taking the Plunge

Hate the cold? The Chicago Polar Bear Club couldn’t disagree more. Locals have been freezing their tushes off for a good cause since 2003 at their annual Polar Plunge. They're going virtual this year and are raising funds for three local families to help with housing, bills, medical care and education.  

Team Firebelly is participating for the first time and we can't wait. We’ll share our shenanigans on Instagram for your enjoyment. If you're able to support the fundraiser, THANK YOU. It’s not exactly a competition... but we don’t hate winning. 




Reintroducing Lubeznik

Huzzah! We’ve just finished our work with G4G grantee Lubeznik Center for the Arts. The results are pretty dang delightful, if we do say so. We began our partnership right as the world started to unravel and we marveled at their team’s ability to stay engaged and connected through the year-long process. 

From hosting poetry slams and zine fests to world-class art exhibits, the center is a special place. Unfortunately their previous identity didn’t fully capture their friendly and playful spirit. Through virtual workshops and meetings, together we identified what makes the arts center so unique and how to best share them with the world. 

We’re excited to have just launched their new website that brings their new visual identity to uplifting, colorful life.

Check it Out