Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in branding and marketing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taja Dockendorf, Founder of Pulp+Wire, located in Portland, ME, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pulp+Wire is a 100% female-founded, owned and operated, full-service branding and marketing agency headquartered in Portland, Maine. We work with brands of all sizes, from those just starting with the spark of an idea to global CPG corporations. We offer our customers brand strategy, voice, target, market research, branding, packaging, collateral, web design, programming, digital/social media content creation, and marketing.
Tell us about yourself
I founded Pulp+Wire in 2004 as a creative designer who wanted a strategic seat at the table, to be the agency that worked more collaboratively with our clients—less separation between creative and brand and more creative problem-solving, pivoting, and open communication. Fast forward nearly 20 years later, and Pulp+Wire is an internationally recognized agency known for our long-term relationships with clients and strength in dynamic brand building from logo to strategy to social media.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is creating a space that allows for growth, flexibility, and passion and nurturing our company's culture to celebrate our team and what we love to do. I find my passion by sharpening my team's skills while simultaneously building and thoughtfully strengthening our client's brands and supporting them as they evolve and grow, a win-win for everyone.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
At the end of the day, as a founder, validation needs to come from within. As a business owner, expecting praise will leave you disappointed as your role is to uplift your team, not expect a pat on the back. Instead, I look for opportunities to validate and promote my team and community and, by association, myself! So go ahead, and share the good stuff rather than expecting anyone else to. Choose to be a leader by being the first to celebrate your team, no matter how big or small the win. Skip the heartache of searching for validation from anyone else but yourself, and keep moving forward.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be you, do not try and be anyone else. Own what makes you unique and different that is your superpower.
- You are going to make mistakes; make sure you learn from them. Your mistakes will be your secret to success, growth, and personal development. Don't lose that perspective, and see them as opportunities!
- Figure out what brings you joy and do more of that. A Swiss Army Knife is great, and knowing how to use each tool is important, but there will be a few tools you use the most: know your strengths, master those tools, and be the best at them!
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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