When did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?
It’s a funny story. It really is. I was graduating from high school and I have no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I have always be interested in art – math and science never really stuck. So, I knew that I had to do something related to art. Another thing that I wanted to avoid was sitting at a desk job doing the same things day in and day out. That sounded (still sounds) completely dreadful. After doing a bit of research to what I could do and which college was my best options – I received a post card in the mail from Northern Arizona University. So, I looked into it. I saw that they have a program called Visual Communication (I had no clue what Visual Communication was – nor did I look it up when I applied). I applied on a whim because the town looked cute (Flagstaff is a small mountain community in Arizona. 7,000 ft elevation and snows an average of 100 inches of snow yearly. Crazy right?). After accepting my offer, I still had no clue what Visual Communication was – but I stuck with it. Turns out Visual Communication is just a fancy term for Graphic Design and I ended up loving every second of design. The rest is history!
What was the best piece of business advice you were ever given?
The best piece of business advice is simply this: “Be patient”. This came from my loving husband who knows that I LOVE instant gratification. I also have a tendency to have crazy ideas and do things on a whim (see above). He knew that my business had huge potential and wanted me to bear down and stick with it. So, I was patient and I waited. It was totally worth it.
What is the biggest overall lesson you learned in starting a business?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned after starting a business is that it takes time. Nothing is an overnight success. When I first started my business I did an amazing amount of research on businesses; how to start them, what works, what doesn’t work, etc etc etc. In a lot of that research, I found that there are a lot of very successful creative entrepreneurs out there that show you their end result but not the process that it took to get them there. I was seeing people who were able to quit their 9 to 5, were successful, had clients lined up just waiting to work with them. I assumed that would happen to me. I assumed that if I set up a pretty website and people would flock. (There’s that instant gratification thing again). Of course, people didn’t flock because I wasn’t giving it time. I also wasn’t giving a love to my readers. So, I scrapped that mentality and realized that there’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this business. It takes time. So much time and energy is put into my business each and every day. It’s not immediate, but if you give it time, effort, and love – it’ll grow.
What does success mean to you?
Success means a couple of different things to me.
1. It means that my husband and I can get out of debt (we were both students and met in college – we’re in one heck of a deep hole). I’m not saying that money contributes to the immediate feeling of success, rather it’s the feeling of that burden off of our shoulder that I’m looking for. An extra amount of freedom and just piece of mind when it comes down to it.
2. Success means that I have the financial freedom to give back more and to multiple organizations. I’ll talk about this is a minute, but J.K Rowling once said, “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.”
3. Lastly, success means only doing things that you enjoy doing. So, if I could design, drink tea, garden and read books for the rest of my life – and travel occasionally. I would be happy as a clam.
What is your personal or professional motto?
My personal and professional motto is sort of morbid – but in a good way. Is that possible? Anyways, it’s “This too shall pass”. Meaning that one day all of my possessions that I currently have will no longer be mine, one day I’ll die and if I put my heart and soul into buying things, working constantly, and in money – my life would have been in vain. Instead I’m working to become successful in the fact that I have more time to enjoy time with family, I have the financial freedom to give back freely and often, and I can spend my life helping others get to the point that they can do the same.
Name a woman, past or present, whom inspires you and why?