Hi! Welcome back to the Wonder Creative Blog. You can find this full conversation over at the Wonder Creative Podcast (listen on the player above or anywhere you listen to podcasts).
For today, we are just going to get to know each other! You will get a little bit of my background, how I got into design, my journey with creativity, where I’m at now, and what lies ahead. 🔭
So to journey to the past a bit…I have always been creative. I was a very dramatic and theatrical child. I had a huge dream of going to Broadway. Honestly, if I had the opportunity to audition for a Broadway musical tomorrow I would do it 100%. But ya know, life has its twists and turns and so I ended up expressing my creativity in other ways.
I went to college and I felt I needed to do something more ‘realistic’. So, I went to school for Public Relations. It wasn’t my heart’s desire and it wasn’t very creative (to me), but I thought it could be something I would make a lot of money doing that I was good at.
Things began to get semi-creative when I got my first job out of college. I worked for a Southeast tourist attraction called Rock City. I ran their social media, dabbled in photography, dressed up as a fairy SEVERAL times, went on TV for interviews…it was super fun. My official title was Public Relations and Social Media Coordinator. However, I needed something closer to home and couldn’t keep up with the commute anymore so I found something else.
I went on to a design job that was a lot more corporate-y. I was essentially a Marketing Coordinator for them and began designing with Canva and doing their social media graphics which I LOVED.
But wait…let’s just backtrack a second.
Does anybody remember Xanga? It was the Myspace before Myspace. It was a website where you could build your own blog and you could code it, make it your own, and get templates…etc.
I happened to find a journal entry from my childhood the other day where I was talking about my Xanga site (lol at the fact that I journaled about that 😆), and it reminded me that I have always had that designer thing in me. So, while it sometimes feels kind of random that I own a design business now, it’s really not because this is something that I loved even when I was 12 and into my early teens!
This is what the journal entry says:
January 29th 2005
Oh my gosh! Guess what? I fixed my Xanga site with a skin that you usually have to buy with Xanga Premium. But I went to another site and got it for FREE! I am soooooooooooooo happy!”
Also, I had a computer class in high school and one of our projects was to code a website landing page. I did one based on my personality and I remember loving the whole process of putting together a website. I meticulously designed it all with the fonts and everything. Even with Microsoft Word documents — I was constantly trying to find the perfect font and I’d have to have the perfect spacing.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Back to my career.
I was doing the corporate marketing thing. I was just climbing the ladder. I was excited to grow the company I was with. But out of nowhere, I ended up getting laid off. They had some changes within the company. I just had my son. I was 3 months postpartum…and I had no idea what the heck I was going to do.
This was pre-pandemic, so it wasn’t very normal for people to be working at home. It wasn’t normal for anyone to have any sort of flexibility in their job. In my mind, it just felt so much easier to just start my own business. I didn’t want to go out there and find a 9-5 job that wouldn’t allow me to be a mom and work at home. Everyone had always said I needed to start my own thing so I just started my own thing.
I sat down on the couch one night. I bought the web domain, I secured the social handles, and I just thought ‘Wonder Creative’. It just popped into my head. Normally I would overthink. I would OVER overthink it. But at that moment it just felt right. It felt like what I needed to do, so I just did it.
I truly feel the reason I was able to “just do it” is because I was completely naive. And I’m so thankful for that. If I had known the journey that was ahead, I probably wouldn’t have done it. In my naivety, I was able to just go after my dreams and not care about the how of it all.
Of course, I was idealizing, but I really feel like that’s what protected me from the impostor syndrome and all of the other things that could have crept in — all the things that could have kept me from actually starting the business.
So, I started the business.
At first it was just a creative agency. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I honestly didn’t feel good enough at design. Still, I just went for it. I told people,
“I’ll run your social media!”
“I’ll create a flyer!”
“I’ll do whatever!”
I didn’t really have a goal or a niche.
Having no goal or plan was a terrible idea. I was essentially not getting any business. No one really knew how they could work with me. So, I quickly realized that I was going to have to do some soul-searching and decide what I wanted to be known by.
It just so happened that I had a photographer friend who had a logo she loved, but she needed more branding surrounding the logo. She also needed a website. I always said that I would never ever ever do websites because they are so involved and it was not something that I really wanted to do. I didn’t feel confident in my own ability and so I was afraid to commit to something of that magnitude. But I really wanted to help her.
So, I did some research and came across some other brands and web designers who create for other creatives. They create using this web builder called Showit. This was a major game-changer for me. This is what sent me into my current niche, which is brand and web design for creatives. I really got into Showit and the reason why I love it so much is because wherever I wanted to put something, it would just go there! It removes the limitations and boxes on my projects. I don’t have templates or layouts that I have to work within. I can create whatever I want to create. That openness was so attractive to me and so I began creating with this new platform I love (hint: you’re on a Showit site right now!)
I had published my first site and from there I had a new client reach out. They had seen the first site and wanted to work with me! This trend kept happening. I would launch a site, promote it on my Instagram, and then somebody else would reach out for a new project. It was a snowball effect — I would just publish sites and slowly get better and better, learning as I went along, and getting more clients.
It has become a true passion. I love expressing myself and expressing the heart of my clients. That’s the biggest thing to me; allowing my clients to shine by bringing all their visions to life. There’s nothing better than that.
So where am I now? This year is a big year for Wonder Creative.
I’ve gone through a lot of highs and lows as a business owner. Not everything goes the way you plan or the way you think. Especially in the beginning. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I believe the best thing is to honor every step in the journey and really take it in. Understand where you are in your journey, and don’t compare yourself to someone who is further along. You will get there eventually. You can’t compare yourself to other people because it’s truly not an accurate picture of how things really are.
I’ve spent the last 4 years overthinking everything in my business and it is exhausting! I know a lot of business owners probably feel me on this because there are so many things to think about! There are so many decisions to be made literally 24/7.
I just want to think a normal + healthy amount and just trust my creative instincts…because that’s what I did in the beginning. I want to go back full circle to when I sat down on that couch. I just had this instinct, this creative unction, and inspiration.
My faith plays a huge part in everything that I do. I know that it was God leading me that moment. We did it together…like a beautiful, creative partnership. I want to really lean into the wild inspiration and just go for it. No overthinking. Because I think the moment we try to reason with it, we lose it.
I really believe that it’s a blessing that none of this (the blog, the podcast…etc.) happened before now. I feel ready at this moment. I am excited to be able to do something and not feel any kind of fear or any sort of second-guessing. I’m just so EXCITED!
So, that’s where I’m at. That’s the vibe for 2023 for Wonder Creative.
Don’t think. Just do.
Thank you for reading and for your support! I want to keep this as conversational and open as possible. I’m committed to the authentic and want to keep things alive, thriving, and exciting. So, introduce yourself in the comments! I’ll catch you on the next one.