Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in creative design but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa McGainey, Founder of Design Maven Creative + Co., located in Bronx, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Design Maven Creative is a professional graphic design studio dedicated to assisting female business owners in the wedding industry to find confidence, love, joy, and ultimately success within their business through strategic and intentional visual brand identity and web design. We also provide branded stationery for weddings and events. Our custom designs and keepsakes aim to tell our clients' love stories and hearts to make them stand apart.
Tell us about yourself
I first got started planning events for my church, which led to opening my own event planning business, which I operated for nearly ten years. Even though I love planning events, my love for stationery surpassed the planning and logistics of events. My passion was for telling my clients stories of love, celebrations, and new beginnings through bespoke stationery design. This led to other creatives in the industry, such as planners and photographers, seeking my design services to assist them in developing branding for their businesses. Then to now has been an amazing journey. I believe what motivates me is knowing that my clients entrust me with the transformation of their brands and stationery for their events. The look on their faces and hearing how much they love the designs let me know that I am doing what I have been called to do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was having my design work published in a national bridal magazine. I still pinch myself until this day. It was a huge accomplishment professionally. Friendships were formed, and future business connections came to fruition.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes from being a business owner is dealing with the imposter syndrome while comparing yourself to others. No matter how hard you work on and at your craft, you never think that you are good enough, no matter how many great things you have achieved. I remember a time in my business when I pivoted from being a wedding planner to a stationery designer. I thought I wasn't good enough to be a designer, so I sat on my creativity for years. I feared that I wouldn't be accepted as an invitation designer, even though I had nearly a decade of experience as a planner. So I hired a business coach, enrolled in a design course, and with Faith, I stepped into my potential. Overcoming that challenge was one of the hardest things I had to do as a business owner.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Create a business plan - It's not as daunting as it sounds, but without this blueprint for your business, you won't really know where you are going or how to get there. As a result, you could end up losing more money than you make.
- Hire a business coach/strategist - This person will provide guidance and support as you navigate the ebbs and flows of your business. In addition, they will help you with the details of identifying your strengths and weakness and narrow down your ideal market.
- Don't Give Up! No matter how hard or challenging it gets. You will have losses, but in those moments, you will gain clarity. You will learn so much about yourself and your business and what you can do to strengthen your offerings, processes, and systems. Remember, for everything, there is a time and season.
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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