When Vince Cullers began knocking on the doors of advertising agencies in the late 1940s, he had a thick portfolio, experience as an artist, and training from the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. He was young, eager, and talented. He was also black. "He made the rounds of the ad agencies in Chicago, and what he ran into was that they did not hire blacks," his wife Marian Cullers told Essence. By 1956 Cullers had had enough and launched his own firm