Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I take my clients’ visions and bring them to life, be it print or web. My job is to deliver a message to a targeted audience through typography, graphics and imagery.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I started Cow Goes Moo in 2010. After graduating in 2009 I spent a year in the fashion industry (safe to say it wasn’t for me). But, with that said, I learned a lot and that experience pushed me to follow my dream of being a full-time graphic designer (and to be my own boss!) I had been freelancing since 2006 between school and part-time jobs, and knew it was something I eventually wanted to take more seriously. There were definitely a few people in my life that helped me realize my dream; my husband, my father, and a great friend. They each gave me the confidence and advice I needed to make my dream a reality. The day I decided to “jump ship” was one of the greatest days of my life.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is being completely in control. The most challenging aspect of my day-to-day is the fact that I rarely decline a job, so I tend to work around the clock. So while I’m on my own schedule, most days are 12-14 hours. But I always say, I’m just as lazy as I am productive… I’ve learned how to balance my lifestyle quite well these days (thanks, Netflix!)
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
The many weekends (OK, every weekend) that I’m working instead of going out with friends. But I’ve made the decision to make my business a priority, so I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily off… it’s just what it is right now so that I can build a future for myself.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully doing the exact same thing (at a higher hourly rate!)
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Ageism. I find a lot of people will see that I’m young (and also quite petite – 5 foot-nothin’) and they don’t take me too seriously. I’ll provide a quote and they aren’t expecting the level of professionalism that comes with my small package. Going on 10 years in the industry, I’ve been around the block – and getting people to understand that is a challenge.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Happiness to me IS success. If that means money to some, good luck! So long as you are truly happy, you are successful in my books.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
My relationship with James Frey and the few collaborations we’ve done together. We met in 2009 and he’s the great friend I referred to earlier who pushed me to follow my dream. He’s extremely talented and I value his opinion a great deal.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Trust your instincts. A job, the money, it all might sound good – but is it worth it? If you feel an awful knot in your stomach when meeting a client, better to walk away. The headaches are not worth your time. Find clients that appreciate you and know what you’re worth. Freelance does not equal free!
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Leméac – it started because the food and service is top notch, but now it’s mostly because my husband proposed to me there!
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
In the country with my family and our pooches.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I honestly don’t like to travel – I’m a homebody (but the beach is always nice).
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
“Sarah Smile” by Daryl Hall & John Oats (haha – get it?)
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
If I found myself in a position where I could be a mother full-time and a designer part-time, I think that’s where I would find my happy medium. But truthfully, I can’t see myself doing anything other than design as a professional. I’m a lucky one – my job is my hobby!
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m a big supporter of animal rescue organizations – between my family and myself, we have rescued four dogs and two cats over the years. We found all of them through petfinder.com, which led us to different organizations that we still support (Paws 4 Life, Animatch, Canine Commitment of New Hampshire, Rosie’s Animal Adoption, Montreal SPCA).
What to you is notable?
I think to be notable is to chase your dream. Not to conform to society or go with the “safe” choices in life, but to rather challenge yourself and aim higher. If you are proud of yourself and content with what you do, I think that’s notable.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Landline (but seriously, iPhone).