For Khaleel Loyd, entrepreneurship is a family business. Three years ago, he started the visual production company Loyd Visuals with his younger brothers, Maleek and Najm.
The 27-year-old grew up in Greensboro and relocated to the Queen City to study business at UNC Charlotte. After switching majors and then taking a job in corporate America, Loyd felt the tug of entrepreneurship.
As a content creator, Loyd remains focused on reshaping narratives, particularly around underprivileged communities and Black and brown populations.
“It’s very important for us to take ownership of our gifts and utilize them not only for the benefit of us but for our community,” he said.
Through their work, the brothers have traveled to places like Barcelona, Cape Town, South Korea and London to capture content. Additionally, Loyd Visuals has secured a range of clients from international companies like BBC to local organizations like Communities in Schools.
I recently sat down with Loyd to learn the origins of his business, what each brother brings to the table, and what’s next for Loyd Visuals.
The interview has been slightly edited for clarity.
Were you and your brothers creative growing up?
I like to say we were creative before “creative” was cool. We grew up in a very creative household. Our father was a professional inline skater. My mother is a seamstress and made our clothes when we were younger.
It just so happened that Maleek picked up a camera when he was in high school. He created a compilation video when I graduated from UNC Charlotte. It brought me to tears. Once I realized that a gift could have that much emotional pull on somebody, that was the day the light switch went off.
How did Loyd Visuals begin?
I came to Charlotte for college when I was 18. I first majored in business at UNC Charlotte, and then a couple of years later switched over to health communications. I graduated in 2014 and started working at a healthcare company. I immediately realized that I didn’t want to work in corporate for my entire life, but I knew that it was going to be good for me to have some type of financial security before starting a business.
When I graduated, I was the highest-paid person in my immediate family, earning a $45,000 salary. I wanted to create something sustainable that we could benefit from and build generational wealth.
Why did you make Charlotte home?
There were no incubators [in Greensboro] for people who wanted to get out of high school and invest their money into starting a business. I saw Charlotte as the business capital of North Carolina.
I saw college as an opportunity to get out of my neighborhood, to get out of my city and to make something of myself. I’ve been able to see the growth and progression of [Charlotte] over a 10-year span. You see cranes all over the place, apartment complexes popping up left and right. It’s a thriving place.
It’s important for us to come in and stake our claim now so that we can be beneficiaries of the growth of the city, economically and culturally. I feel like I’ve grown up with Charlotte.
How do you and your brothers split the work?
Maleek is our lead cinematographer and editor. My brother, Najm, is our social media marketing and brand strategist. As executive producer and CEO, I focus on driving business growth and strategy.
What’s next for Loyd Visuals?
We originally branded ourselves as a visual production company. Now as a creative agency, we offer creative consulting and content strategy. Not only can we create the content, we can also help with distribution. We serve clients not only in the nonprofit space but also in fashion, music and technology.
Loyd strongly believes in the value of family, and he’s charting a new path of wealth creation for his family through entrepreneurship.
He explained, “Being a son of my mom who was an immigrant from Suriname and my father who is a Black man in America, I figured the only way for me to truly get ahead was through entrepreneurship and bringing my brothers along to help that collective effort.”
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