Industry Livelihood

Designing A Better World

Feb 10, 2017 CWN

Compiled by: Katie Clayton

 

 

When did you open your business? Was there anything specific that prompted you to start your business at that moment?

I started Wish Media in 2014. I love doing graphic design and wanted to focus on helping businesses that do something important for the world and that seem to need help with exposure. I’m what they call a first generation digital native; which means I was among some of the first kids to ever have a computer at home. I can remember being eight years old and my mom brought home a Print Shop cd-rom; I became really taken with it and things went from there. In middle school and high school I was involved in the theater program and would volunteer to design the programs for all the shows. From there just about any business that I either owned or worked for I would do the graphics and marketing, be it menus for restaurants or flyers for websites. I learned a lot from Lynda.com, which has a series of well produced tutorials related to a variety of topics. It was a lot of self teaching and trial and error but I can now say that I can do just about anything graphics and design related. When my husband and I moved here from San Francisco three years ago, we uncovered that it was and always had been my underlying job passion. I started my business shortly after.

 

What makes your business unique from competitors?

I am totally focused on client satisfaction and I work within people’s budgets. Also I only work with businesses that are sustainability-focused or triple-bottom-line. I think it’s important to work with these types of business to help make them more prevalent leaders in society and commerce. I’d love it if in 50 years we could say, “Wow, all of the major business leaders in the world are sustainable and green.”

 

I like being able to raise awareness for businesses that aren’t as well known and are doing good things for our environment. Permaculture is a great passion of mine and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with the two leading permaculture magazines that are produced in the United States, Permaculture Design Magazine and Permaculture Magazine, North America. That’s some of my proudest work by far; permaculture can literally save the planet. It’s also prevalent that there’s discrimination in the workplace for both women and people of different ethnic backgrounds. I do a lot of my work with businesses owned by women and I make it a priority to keep my staff diverse.

 

What is your favorite part about what you do?

I love being creative. While my business has grown to become a full marketing agency, the majority of my work is graphic design and it requires me to constantly think outside the box. It is also very technical and requires me to be very knowledgeable about specific software and new trends in my field.  It keeps me on my toes, and no two days are alike.

How would you like to see your business grow?

I would like to help more businesses, local and otherwise, and while I now have four remote assistant designers, all women and some from diverse backgrounds, I would love to be able to continue to create jobs for more people like them so that they can also enjoy the luxury of working from home and making a nice wage while being able to do what they love, like I do.

How have you been using Currents in your business? And/or how do you plan to use them?

I would like to be able to use them more. So far I’ve mainly just used them for bodywork and healers, but I’d like to use my Currents at grocers or farmers markets. I don’t actually get much local work these days so I don’t earn many Currents either, but I would like to. My clientele is all over the country, however I love the idea of taking power away from the American dollar. Charles Eisenstein said at a talk that when you institute dollars, no relationships are necessary. The community is essentially lost. It’s clear to me that currency has minimized the value of community sharing and relationships. I buy local whenever possible. I love to support local small businesses (wherever I am at the time) and avoid big box stores.

 

How do you make your clients’ vision come alive?

It’s a lot of trial and error and detailed conversations that aim to pull out my client’s vision verbally. Initially, to better understand what they are trying to communicate I ask them to give me a series of designs and pictures that are significant to them. I’ll then come up with about three or four different directions that I’ll present for them to review and see what they like and dislike. It’s an extremely collaborative process, and a balance of power between their needs and the graphic design process. Customer satisfaction is my top priority and I can proudly say I’ve never had an unhappy client.