Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in graphic design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Danielle LaBonté, Founder of Danielle LaBonté Designs, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Danielle LaBonté Designs is a graphic design studio specializing in custom-tailored branding, website, editorial, and packaging design that stands out and tells a story. We work with ambitious entrepreneurs to reputable companies on an international level. We value the mission and story behind each brand and turn it into visuals to reach our client's dream audience.
Tell us about yourself
I have been a creative since I could start picking up a pencil and paper. It started off in music and art, and eventually progressed into pursuing graphic design after periods and years of trial and error through different career paths in communications, art exhibit sales and coordination, and more. Through all of these career paths, I was working on a part-time freelance level while working other full-time jobs. Eventually, in 2017, my side hustle of graphic design services took off, and I was able to go full-time for what is now, Danielle LaBonté Designs. I am incredibly happy to wake up every day and have the ability to use my creative problem-solving skills and apply them to different client projects while creating a business that also honours mine and my team's mental health.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was going full-time in my business and growing my team from a one-person to a five-person team studio. I always had the goal of moving my freelance services into a boutique-sized studio that still felt personalized to all of my clients. I am always looking to grow and make new accomplishments, but this is my most recent accomplishment as a female business owner in the graphic design world. It used to feel extremely daunting, but once you take the leap into expanding, you continue to make more - it's the first jump that's the scariest.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One hard thing that comes with being a business owner is embracing the fear of the unknown. I am a person who loves control and planning things ahead of time. We often need to embrace spontaneity as business owners and how work looks different each month.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Self-doubt is normal in any stage of business. It's often our fight or flight response to either situation we're dealing with or creating in our heads. Remember to fight for what you truly want at the end of the day.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions! I have worked with different mentors, coaches, therapists, and more to ensure I am in a great headspace or learn more on how to better my business from other experts.
- Don't be afraid to delegate tasks or expand the team when the time is right. Remember that by doing so, you can spend more time doing what you're best at and offering the best service or product to your clients/customers. Your client experience comes first!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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