Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in design services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amanda DeWoody, Founder of Poised Avenue Design Studio, located in Temecula Valley, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Poised Avenue is a brand design studio out of Southern California. I officially launched the studio out of my home in 2020 with a passion for branding and a deep desire to build a business I could run from home. It wasn't until the end of 2021 that I took it full-time to serve business owners, helping them craft brand identities that translate the core of their business and its product or service through visuals.
Tell us about yourself
I've been a creative all of my life and have dabbled in different art media (drawing, painting, photography, and writing) throughout my childhood and teenage years. But it wasn't until the summer after graduating high school in 2013 that I started working for my dad at our family's graphic design and print shop in Orange County. It was there that I fell in love with graphic design. For years, I was working in the back of the shop with the large format printers, wishing I was in the front office working on the computers in the Adobe programs! Meanwhile, I was getting my graphic design fix by building a website and blog for myself (over and over and over again) and doing random design work (like simple logos or setting up media kits) for friends. It wasn't until 2019 that I was finally granted that sought-after desk and was put in a role where I was able to do more graphics and digital marketing for our family business.
Later that year, I was asked to come on as a contract designer for two different branding studios, and that's where I cut my teeth on what it was like to own and run a design studio that specifically specialized in branding. In 2021, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, and by the end of the year, I quit working for both my family's shop and as a contract designer and decided to take my own design studio, Poised Avenue, which I was working on the side up until then, full-time! Ever since, I've had the opportunity to work alongside some incredible clients, crafting truly unique and custom brand identities for them. It's been a dream come true!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is balancing motherhood and business. It's no easy feat and is something I'm really proud of. It's also a big reason I love working with other female-founded businesses — we typically are empathetic to the other's schedule and priorities, and we also understand how important our businesses are to us and our identities outside of motherhood or being a wife. Actually, this year, I've decided to niche down and aim to serve brands specifically within the babies, kids, families, and motherhood industries. It feels so aligned with my vision for the studio, but also my personal life and understanding of the market!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Slow months are always hard for me because I question my ability to keep my studio afloat! But, I always try to utilize that time to pour back into my business and its internals. It's so important to remember that business ownership and success are not linear; instead, they ebb and flow, and you need to be flexible.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Just go for it! There will never be a "perfect" time, and you can always learn and grow and expand on the way up. Like I said above, success isn't linear, but you have to start somewhere. Some days will feel like you've taken a step backward, and others will feel like you've taken ten steps forward, but regardless you'll always be ahead of where you started. I once heard a quote that went something like, "if you improve by only 1% each day, by the end of the year, you'll be 365% better", and it's one of my favorite business mottos!
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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