Today, I’m celebrating 2 years of running my design business full-time! 🎉 🎉
What a journey it has been. My business and I have come such a long way – on paper and in spirit.
If you don’t know me, I have been a brand and website designer for over 7 years. Before starting my business, I worked in advertising and marketing agencies as a graphic designer and did freelance work on the side. You can learn some more about my journey over on my About page.
When I first became a designer, I never would have guessed the joy and fulfillment I’d experience from running my own business and serving clients directly. Running a business wasn’t something I learned in college, and I wasn’t exposed to a lot of entrepreneurs growing up. In fact, the only entrepreneur I knew before the age of 18 was my aunt who runs a clothing boutique. I thought the flexibility she had in her day-to-day life was so cool, but never connected how I might be able to tie my college education into a business.
Queue post-college and I got a couple internships and then a full-time agency job. While I loved the job and was good at it, there were aspects that didn’t click with me. As I continued to interview for similar positions, something didn’t click with me either. I kept pushing that feeling away and continued on what I figured was the normal graphic designer path. It wasn’t until I was laid off from my 9-5 that I actually realized that serving my own clients was something I could do full-time (and that it’d be something I’d love!).
This photo was taken just under 2 years ago, a couple days after I was laid off from my agency job.
It looks like I’m just chilling at the tulip fields, but when I look at that woman, I see a tired, anxious version of myself who was figuring out that an alternative career path would suit her better.
I had recently found out I had a big iron deficiency (which has gotten much better!) and I was both mentally and physically exhausted. Throughout the 2-3 years prior, I struggled with digestive issues that led me to get an endoscopy, ultrasounds, and swallowing tests in my 20s. I was acid reflux meds and woke up with anxiety almost every day. But, after I was laid off, and diet still the same, it all went away.
While I hadn’t consciously figured that out, my body was trying to let me know how stressed I was. It wasn’t anything wrong with my job or company or career choice – it was actually such a great opportunity and I loved a lot about it. But something about being in a 9-5 wasn’t well with my soul. I didn’t realize it, but it wasn’t where I was supposed to be. There were small areas that I struggled where others didn’t – the way I desired freedom and flexibility was different than people I talked with. I was like a square peg trying to fit into a circle hole.
Looking back on the day I was laid off, there was a reason that as soon as I got off the phone, I got up from my desk and went for a walk. I was excited. I told myself that I would keep job searching (and I stopped a few months later). But really, I saw it as a shove from the universe to pursue entrepreneurship and running a design business. I’m so glad I did. If you’ve trusted me with your business’s branding, website, or marketing, thank you! I am forever grateful for you. It brings me so much happiness to make a difference for small business owners.
Here’s to many more years! Want to chat over coffee? Schedule a coffee chat here.
This brand photo by the lovely Kayla with Moon and Honey Photography in Portland, Oregon. 💛
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