We had the good fortune of connecting with Jonathan Franco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jonathan, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process of myself and my partner; Matt Oakes was that Jiu Jitsu is rapidly growing. In fact Texas is becoming the next mecha of Jiu Jitsu in America. We have always been involved and around combat sports in general and those being striking, grappling, etc. We had a deep desire to tell the stories of the artists who dedicate their craft to Jiu Jitsu and highlight those in our DFW community for their hard work and passion.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The story of Rolling Frames is quite different on its own. I believe that many people this day are inspired to be creative in their own right. We have many social media sites and as we all know the digital age is upon us. I had heard so many routes people took to get better or started with their careers but we stuck in house so to speak. Matt and I had the ideas to use our cameras to take photos and videos of many organizations and start multiple businesses and kind of just go for whatever was open through connections we had, but then something changed. We started to realize that right in front of us our passions involved the common denominators of martial arts. We quickly started to understand that there were multiple gyms even in a ten mile radius around us and every gym and gym owner has a story to tell. Our friends who compete in martial arts had their stories to tell as well. Our brand is quickly becoming about highlighting the DFW community and the beauty behind the disciplines of the day to day life. There is something beautiful about finding your community and we want to honor the hobbyist as much as the competitor. Now we did and do have challenges. We are a start up company and are in crucial years of our development. Our first challenges of course are coming to getting our name out there. A lesson we learned along the way is to get product immediately. Why have an entire logo and pay someone hundreds of dollars without knowing exactly what you want to do? We were shooting our friends for about 2 months before it clicked that we could be charging other gyms and aiding them in getting professional media work at a fair rate. Now specifically in Jiu Jitsu there is some politics that are annoying to deal with. We are dreaming of a media team that highlights all specialty gyms and gives each respectful recognition without any pride creeping in. We are not here to only promote our friends but those who compete against our friends and gyms as well. We want to encourage entrepreneurs to believe in themselves and always uphold their integrity. You may find a status of resistance and others in your field who don’t play fair, but if you uphold your integrity when no ones following you, your business will explode when everyone realizes the integrity behind the product.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh! This is perfect. I would first schedule in a class to train wether its striking or grappling. I would go to Rogue Jiu Jitsu Studio in Grapevine, TX because they are worth the trip. We are music enthusiast so I would check the Granada Theater and see who’s stopping by because that venue has a fantastic aura and excellent staff. We would have to stop by different coffee shops each day because why not? Here are some of the places just to list a few; Sons Coffee, Wayward Coffee, La La Land, Crude Coffee, Black Coffee Fort Worth, Otto’s Coffee, etc. We have to stop by some food places and while I would allow my friends to pick a type of food and cater to them there are two places we would just have to stop by for myself personally; Heim Barbecue and Rodeo Goat. We would pick some days and see Bishop Arts District & Deep Ellum but we would also go around and pick some museums such as Dallas Museum of Art and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel The Exhibition. We are the kind of people who could stay in a museum for hours upon hours.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many who add to my story, but I would like to take this time to highlight those who are responsible for my move and mentoring in Texas since 2019. My wife; Bethany is the one person who believed in me the most. It is never a cliche to have your spouse be someone who sees the best in you and where you can go. She is the reason I am pursuing my artistic endeavors. Next would be my sister; Justine. She is responsible for helping create the artistry inside of me. She is beyond amazing and is actually a graphic design genius. She supports my music endeavors and is a staple reason that I am able to pursue a career behind the lens. I am able to see how she creates and it is truly inspiring. My brother Darre’el Caldwell is the man who put the camera in my hand and told me to work. We have this relationship where we can lean on each other. He knew that if he entrusted me with something so expensive and valuable I would put my hands to work. I did so, and now we are pursing media contracts together. For groups I have two. The first would be my church; Mercy Culture. I have a community who falls under this umbrella that have allowed me to believe in things bigger than myself. The second is my band; mothaltar. The men in this band are a huge reason why I am pursing videography as a path. The musicians in my band are unique and in turn we encourage each other to use all of our talents to impact our surrounding communities & the metal scene digitally.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rollingframesbjj/

Image Credits
All photos were provided by Matt Oakes who is my business partner and we are the owners of Rolling Frames Media.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.