In 1987, I was privileged to be part of a group of college students who worked with Adobe on the beta testing for Pagemaker, which would later expand into InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. It was the best introduction to computer graphic design that anyone could have asked for, built on a solid foundation of ‘old-school’ graphic design and advertising practices.
Starting in the advertising industry before computer software became standard has given me an edge: computers and design software are great tools, but at the end of the day, tools shouldn’t make or break a company’s success. Effective marketing and branding take thought, planning, and a hefty dose of creativity. Experience doesn’t hurt, either.
In the early part of my career, I managed marketing and advertising for several mid-sized companies and organizations. Then, about seventeen years ago, my boss told me I needed to find a daycare that stayed open later.
I had left work the night before and flown across town to get to my son’s daycare before they closed at 5:30, upset that Joseph (then three) would be the last one there, again. It had been three weeks since my husband, Paul, had graduated from college and accepted a job in Birmingham, coming home to Chattanooga on the weekends.
I had never missed a deadline at work. While my husband was in school, he picked up our son as soon as his nap was over – which allowed me to work as late as I needed, and I was often the last person out of the building each night. But with my husband working out of town, I could no longer stay at the office after we closed. Instead, I took work home and worked in the early mornings. I still put in the ‘time,’ just not at the office. However, this was years before working from home became normal, and my boss wanted to see me at my desk.
I had long dreamed of starting my own company. Months before, I had even put together a business plan. But I was absolutely terrified of going out on my own; I was still the main breadwinner in our family and didn’t want to risk our security.
That Tuesday, my boss’s ultimatum changed that.
I borrowed the money to cover our bills for three months. That Friday I turned in my two weeks’ notice.
Fortunately, in those two weeks, I booked enough business that I was able to hit the ground running, and I’ve never looked back. Since 2001 I’ve helped countless organizations create ad campaigns, marketing strategies, logos, and websites, and I still love what I do.
If you are part of an organization with a solid product, service or mission, we’d love to talk to you. Whether you need a website, a single ad or an entire organization rebranding, my team and I will work with you to find the look and message that connects you with your target customer.
Well-done, effective marketing and advertising make it much easier to sell your products and services. Our job is to give you beautiful solutions so that you can be better – at whatever you want to do.