01. Summarize your life in a few sentences.
I am a single mom, MBA Student, and business owner who might be slightly crazy (but aren’t we all). I have a slight obsession with emojis, chocolate, and love a good glass of wine (buuut I definitely can’t hold my wine like I used to- #old). I love meeting new people and would love to chat with anybody who is looking to network or meet some new women biz friends!
02. What’s your background?
I have a bachelors degree in Digital Media with a focus on graphic design and have been in the design field for almost 10 years. I have worked in everything from marketing and branding to print design (think old school offset printing), and web design.
03. How did you get started as a brand strategist?
I started my design business in February 2016, and after about 6 months was no closer to my goals than I was when I started. It took a while for me to realize why: I wasn’t passionate about it. At a conference in December 2016 while I was listening to someone speak about avoiding burnout and following your passion, it hit me. And I realized what I really loved doing: brand strategy. So, a month later I launched Always on Brand, as a brand strategy business with design as a secondary focus (I still love it- just not my first love), and started grad school at one of the top MBA programs in Florida (specializing in marketing) to learn more about branding and marketing. I am 6 months into the program and I am LOVING everything I have learned and can’t wait to share it with all of my clients!
04. What inspired you as a creative woman?
My aunt was a huge inspiration to me. I was always creative in high school- and she was the one who first told me that I should look into graphic design when I went to college. (Honestly didn’t even know that was a job at the time). If it wasn’t for her, I honestly don’t know what I would have ended up majoring in.
05. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable story?
My first job was at McDonalds, was only there for about 4 months, so no really funny stories I can remember. My second job was at Steak N Shake, I was the counter girl- and I was there for about a year and a half. Hmmm… funny story… we used to have food fights in the back with the food for the shakes after our shifts. I came home covered in ice cream and cherries. Sometimes the shake guys would pelt cherries at me through the window and I would have red spots all over the back of my white shirt- oh those were the days of innocent flirting, am I right?
06. If you won a lottery today, will you still continue to build your business?
Yes- as much as we are all in it for the money, a huge passion of mine is education. Education for the startup entrepreneur. So many people start businesses with no idea what they need or how to do it. They can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars, and I believe that every entrepreneur should have the resources they need to succeed.
07.Walk us through your day as a brand strategist.
Well, first and foremost I’m a single mom. So my day doesn’t even start until I can get my daughter off to daycare- and with a two-year-old, that could be minutes or it could be hours. So, it depends on how many rounds of “what do you want for breakfast?” we have to play. Once she’s off to daycare, I usually make my list of things I have to do and prioritize by deadlines- with different lists for school and work. I dedicate certain days of the week to school (mainly days I’m already in class), and other days to work. The work days, I generally go to Starbucks and work there for most of the morning, it’s easier for me to work outside of the house.
08. Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
First, my daughter, being a single mom is not easy, but she is an amazing, polite, spitfire, and I can’t wait to see what she becomes as she grows up. And second, would be going back to grad school while being a single mom and completing the program in less than 18 months (I will complete it next May). When I graduated from undergrad, I swore up and down I would never go back to school, but I also swore when I got married, I would never get divorced… and here I am with both.
I went back to school not so I could make more money or for my business, I went back to school for me- because I hadn’t done anything for me in almost 5 years- all I knew was being a wife and a mom, and the wife part was gone. So I did it because I wanted to, and partly to prove to myself that I could- and to my daughter that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. (PS: I have maintained a 4.0 GPA during my first 2 terms).
09. Where or what do you think you will be/do in the next 5 years?
I want to be a creative director for an advertising agency (maybe my own?) while building and growing my own consulting business (if the consulting business takes off- I would be totally fine with only doing that as well). As much as I want to be full time in my business, my daughter is still young and I am not willing to sacrifice the time with her to work on my business 24 hours per day, so if that means I have to have a 9-5, I’m okay with that J
10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you
hmmm… that was only 5 years ago for me, but so much has happened in 5 years… I guess my biggest advice would be that “the easy answer isn’t always the right answer. And the right answer isn’t always easy”.