Perhaps some of you may not know this, but this website is my full-time job. It started out as a hobby and today it’s my business! Not only do I create printables to inspire you and help you stay organised, I also license my party and wedding invitation designs to companies like Greenvelope, Creative Market, Canva and Zazzle. I also make money from this blog by recommending products I use and believe in. For example, if I share the Zooky Squash font I use and love and someone buys it through my link, I get paid a small commission.
But that’s not why I started my business. I shared my “why” earlier this month on Instagram and it was so well received that I decided to share my story here too. Hopefully it can motivate you to start your own business or reach a goal you are dreaming about!
Photo: Rekita Nicole
I feel a bit vulnerable sharing stuff about myself online, but let’s try it 🙂
I studied Graphic Design at a small college close to my hometown in 2007. They promised us the moon and the stars with this program, claiming that we will be job ready at graduation. Turns out, this was not true. After graduating, I couldn’t find a graphic design position because a) I did not have any experience b) I didn’t have the skills necessary to even start a junior Graphic Design position because the course I took only taught us the basics and c) jobs are few and far between in my country.
I felt like I had wasted my parents’ money. It was an expensive course. It was my dream to study graphic design. Now, I either had to find a completely different job (nah) or I had to try and improve my knowledge and skills to get a graphic design job.
So, I decided that the money my parents paid for my course would not be in vain. I was going to teach myself everything I could about graphic design. I read countless articles online, learnt about prepping files for print, bought books, and practiced my skills with tutorials I found online.
During this time, I came across the blogs of graphic designers who had their own businesses. I became increasingly interested in working for myself rather than for a boss. I did go for a few job interviews, but it just never felt right. I couldn’t picture myself having a 9 to 5 office job.
I started my own website and showcased my work on it. And there I was, a freelance graphic designer. Was it that easy? Not quite. As naive as I was, I thought the work would come rolling in immediately. Not so. I didn’t know how to market myself to find new clients. I didn’t know anything about starting a business. No-one in my family was a business owner. It took a long time before my business got off the ground.
But here I am today. I don’t work with clients anymore, but instead I create and sell my own products. This is a dream come true!
I have my own business that I started when I was a student with no money. If you ever doubt yourself, remember that nothing is impossible. If I can do it, so can you 👊
Parts of this article is from an interview I did on the True Stories blog. You can read the full interview here.