01. Introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Lidia Varesco Racoma of Lidia Varesco Design, a branding and marketing design studio in Chicago’s West Loop. I help education-focused organizations such as nonprofits, associations and entrepreneurs share their mission and make an impact. I also outfit kids in good design with my line of baby and kids apparel, typebaby and have an online community for moms in business called Biz Mama.
02. Summarize your life in a few sentences.
I’m a mom of two—kids and businesses (my kiddos are 1 and 5 years old) and my husband is also a creative (writer) so I am creatively-challenged and inspired in both my work and home life.
03.Tell us about your education background.
I graduated from the graphic design program at Columbia College in Chicago and was lucky to have talented professors working in the field, as well as an amazing internship at a small design studio that turned into my first job. This helped pave my own career path.
04. How did you start your business?
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I always knew I wanted to have my own business. I had an amazing mentor at my graphic design internship-turned-first-job (thanks, Robin!) so after getting a few more years of experience, I took the plunge and started my design studio in 2000.
05. What inspired you as a creative woman?
I am inspired by what I see around me. I’m a very visual person, so I need to be constantly surrounded by images and words (technology has made this much easier and neater!) Now that I have kids, my children also inspire my creativity as well as my problem-solving skills.
06. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable story?
My first job was in middle school as a receptionist at our local church rectory. It was by far the quietest, least stressful job I’ve ever had. In high school and college I worked in retail, which provided many opportunities to hone my customer service skills.
07. If you can build a million dollar company, what would it be?
Basically, I want to help create a better world for my children. I want to help as many organizations as possible get their message out so they can focus on making a difference. I do this by offering nonprofits and other small- to mid-sized organizations the type of strategic design they would get from a large agency but in a more affordable, accessible and personal way. I also aspire to grow my Biz Mama online community and bring more awareness to the many amazing mom-owned businesses out there. We are all in this together!
08. Walk us through your day as.
I start off my day with breakfast and getting the kids ready. After I drop off my son at school, I work in my studio until school pickup time. Evenings are generally family time, but I catch up on work or social media in the early morning or evenings. Weekends are generally work-free zones.
09. What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
The highlight of my career was having my design work featured in HOW Magazine (twice!) I’ve been reading HOW since I was in design school, so seeing my work on their pages is an honor and a thrill.
10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you.
Don’t rush—you’ll get there. I still have a tendency to try to do too much too fast, so I would encourage my younger self to be patient and know you have plenty of time to achieve all your goals (not to mention, the new ones that will come along!)
Photo credit: TK Photography