I have to admit that sometimes I think I am absolutely insane for starting my own company. Then I meet another woman doing the same thing, and I am instantly energized. Call it pluck, call it moxie, even gumption … all I know is that it’s dang inspiring. I thought I’d catch up with some of these ladies to determine just how they do it all …
I sat down with Erin Haines, the creative source behind the lovely Be True Designs, to gab about her life as a graphic designer, stationer, and event branding consultant. Keep reading for her inspiring interview.
What inspires your designs?
Everything! I make it a point to look through magazines, catalogs and blogs all the time and my newest kick is Pinterest! I also try to never let my ‘guard’ down when it comes to inspiration: the font on that billboard down the street, the display in the boutique window, the logos of businesses in the neighborhood, ect… we are blessed to live in a world where inspiration is literally all around us.
Describe yourself in five words or less.
Bright, Passionate, Creative, Classic, True
Do you have a quote that never fails to pick up your spirits?
Whenever I get in a rut or out of sorts creatively I go back to this quote from Erma Bombeck to put me back into place: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”
What prompted you to start your own company?
I was working as one of the main designers for a huge gift and invitation retailer for over 7 years when they (sadly, like most companies lately) went under. While I had been planning the transition to start my own company, I took my sudden lack of employment as a sign to branch out on my own and take the ‘leap of faith’ for starting be true designs and maintaining it full time.
Do you have a piece of advice for women like yourself who want to strike out on their own?
When I was going to strike out on my own was never really in question. The husband and I were calculating our finances to see if it was actually feasible and we were planning to make that transition. I think my advice would be to make sure to plan as much as you can for that next step, because it might be a shock to the system when you start working harder than you ever have without a regular paycheck rolling in at first.
What is your favorite part of having a your own company?
The flexibility and freedom of the job. If I need to take a day off to get away from the studio and refresh, I’m totally at liberty to do so.
What could you do without?
The actual business side of things, like accounting, invoices, taxes, etc.. My poor ‘right brain’ mind could do without that!
Where do you go when you run out of ideas?
When I run out of ideas and am in a creative ‘funk’ I usually take myself out of the studio or whatever situation I’m in and try something new. Maybe a trip to the farmers market, the mountains or the antique store. Sometimes I’ll just take my sketchbook and go to a coffee shop and just purge everything I have stored up. I think changing my scenery jump-starts my thinking again usually does the trick!
Along the way, have you received any advice that stuck with you?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there with what you like and what you’re passionate about, and if something isn’t working for you don’t be afraid to change it to something that does!
Do you have design role models?
Kelly Wearstler, Cheree Berry, Ceci Johnson and Kate Spade!
Do you have a dream project?
Not really, I feel like all the projects I get to work on are part of the ‘dream’ of having my own company.
*All these images are the talent of Mrs. Erin Haines!