With the start of National Women's Small Business Month, I thought this would be a good time to tell my story, the story of rie.design.
I always wanted to own my own design business, one day.
Right out of college I was working at a marketing agency in Rocklin. I was a production artist, a grunt worker as I like to refer to it, and I was loving it. It was hard work some days and there would be times I was working over 24 hours in a row but I was learning so much and I had a manager that was teaching me everything. She didn't just treat me as some minion, she taught me everything.
Then... the economy tanked and so did my job. I was devastated. I had a 2 year old and a spouse who was in college trying to get his degree. What the heck was I going to do? I had been working since I was 13 and for the first time I had no clue where I was going to go. Every other designer was out there looking at the same jobs I was. 100s of people were applying for the same positions. I even started looking at jobs in retail but my husband said I couldn't do that because I was meant for more.
While applying for jobs I was working on my website and making contacts wherever I could. I was even making cold calls to businesses just so I could get a meeting to sell myself. I also created a flyer and walked door to door to 100s of businesses just to get myself out there. One thing people didn't know about me then was, I hated putting myself out there. I was so self concious, I would start to sweat and my heart would race but I did it because I had no other choice. Those early days were hard and mostly filled with rejection but I pushed on. I look back at these days and I am so glad that I never gave up.
Now my daughter is 9 and I haven't worked for anyone else but myself! There are days that are hard, frustrating and I wonder if I should just find a regular 9-5. Then there are days that are absolutely amazing because I get to make my own path and I don't have to answer to anyone but myself and I had control of my success!