When did you decide to venture out on your own?
I took the leap after hitting a wall both creatively and personally. After 14 years working with CPC Healthcare Communications, I felt it was time to make my own mark. Everything seemed to fall into place to do so. I was ready for a change.
What is most challenging about building your own business?
Nobody prepares you for the ups and downs you experience. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, however, I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know! I am constantly learning.
Surrounding myself with supportive and challenging people keeps me focused and moving forward. When I was starting out, I thought I had to do everything myself. I have learned that relationship building not only benefits Studio Downey’s bottom line, but also encourages the depth of resources available for growth.
Starting and building a business is a character builder. I am a totally different person 5 years in… much more patient and aware.
What would you say, was a major turning point in your business?
When I shifted my approach from ‘bohemian’ to ‘business owner’, the growth of my business accelerated. It’s hard to compartmentalize creativity. My work is very much connected to my feelings and intuition and is with me 24-7. Creativity alone, however, does not increase profits and in order for me to stand out and grow, I had to learn to sell.
Selling is the main objective of graphic design, none-the-less, and the reason why designers are in such high demand. Clients need professionals to help them find the best solutions to cut through this visually cluttered world we live in. The moment I incorporated that approach in all my messaging and interactions, that’s when real changes started happening.
What does Studio Downey look like in another 5 years?
A ‘studio’ by definition, is a workroom for creative purposes. In another 5 years, Studio Downey will involve more people. Period. This means more strategic partnerships with similar values, working together to move brands forward. This means working with clients that care about the impact they have on society.
In 5 years, I see Studio Downey working with many different people with different backgrounds sharing stories aimed at influencing perceptions and affecting change.