Interview with Designer Caitlin Powell

There is a special place in my heart for mommy entrepreneurs. Maybe it's because they are experts of balancing work and home, or at least try to. Running a business and a home takes ninja skills. Caitlin is such a mom, and she's here to share her small business with us. 

Tell us a little about you and your small business.

Hey guys!  I'm Caitlin Powell, and I'm the designer + founder of Caitlin Powell Design.  I focus on branding for small businesses, creative entrepreneurs, and I help in creating a brand identity that rocks your audience like only you can!  I've always had a passion for Graphic Design and styling, but didn't fully realize it until after the typical college years.  

After having my second child in the summer of 2014, I decided to go back to school and see if this passion would stand the test of actually working on it.  It did!  After only one semester (and the blessing + infinite freelancing knowledge of my instructors), I decided to not finish the degree and instead get to work!

I consider myself a nap-time hustler, and tend to work when my two toddlers are sleeping. They are one and two and only 14 months apart. It's interesting! As my business grows, I've become more and more creative in how I get the day-to-day tasks done. 

Why did you decide to start a business? 

I started this business for a few reasons.  First, I wanted to have the ability to choose who I designed for.  I want to work with people who share my same design aesthetic and style. Secondly and most importantly, I wanted to minimize the necessity of daycare for my two kiddos as much as possible.  It's ridiculously expensive, and I really didn't want to miss out on anything about my kids growing up.  So, while I may not be there every single second of every single day, I'm still in the house and interacting with them more than I'd be able to if I worked in a traditional office setting.  

Even more important than that is that my son was recently diagnosed with a severe speech disorder, called Apraxia of Speech.  We have therapy 3 times week, plus "homework."  I want to be the one taking him to those appointments, and working with him on his speech. Having my own business allows me the freedom to do that.

What is the best and worst thing about owning a business?

I think the worst thing about owning a business is just the fact that you have to wear so many different hats.  I’m a creative.  I create brand identities, and that’s what I LOVE to do.  But, I also have to be the accountant, the account manager, the writer, the content curator, the marketing guru, and everything else.  There’s such a need to do all of those things well, which is difficult in and of itself.

On the flip side, the best part about owning my own business is the sense of accomplishment I get when things are going right.  Granted, that doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does there’s no better feeling!  It’s like “WOW!  I made that happen.  Just me, no one else.”  Tied with that would be the sense of freedom I have.  I can run my business the way I want to, and work as little or as much as I choose.

How can the right logo impact a small business?

I think a huge misconception for many small businesses and creative entrepreneurs is that their logo is everything.  While it’s the most visual aspect of your brand, it’s actually a very small part of it.  Your brand consists of your message, your voice, and your visuals which including your logo. With that said, your logo and the rest of your supporting brand visuals can really make or break your business.  It dictates what kinds of customers and clients you’re attracting, whether people find you professional or not, and whether people find you memorable.  

You need visuals that speak to your audience.  If that’s not happening, your business is probably suffering.  The right logo, on the other hand, will make sure you’re constantly getting your ideal customers and clients, and people will always think of your business first, before your competitors!  You’ll know your logo and branding is right when you feel over-the-top confident about it.  It’s like a relationship. When you’re with “the one” you just know.

As a small business owner, what is one thing you cannot live without?

This may sound so random and old-school, but I cannot live without my Day Designer.  This thing holds EVERYTHING.  My to-do list, my client schedule, my design schedule, what’s for dinner, etc.  My life is in that planner!  I try my very, very best to use my Google calendar a lot as well, but I find it so much easier to just jot something down on paper than get to the computer or my phone to type something in, pick a time, a color, name it, etc.

Any advice for someone wanting start a small business?

My best piece of advice for someone who wants to start a business is to just do it all ready!  Let go of the fear that’s holding you back.  Quit over-thinking it.  It won’t be perfect. You’ll make mistakes, but you will learn SO much!  And don’t think you need a giant budget to make your business happen either. You can really get going on next to nothing, and there are so many resources out there that will explain how to do it!

When you aren't working what do you do for fun?

When I’m not working, I’m usually playing with my kids and husband!  We love being outside, going to the park, or building with Mega Blocks (my kids are beyond obsessed!).  Another thing I’m currently doing for “fun” is gathering inspiration for our new home—we are building, and it will be done in a few months!  So I’ve been busy on Pinterest, planning each room.  So overwhelming, but SO much fun!

Running a business and two kids that are 14 months apart? Caitlin, you are a superhero! Thank you for sharing your business, and letting us take a peak at your life as a working mom. 

If you love the designs you have seen, contact Caitlin for more information. She can give your business a design makeover. 


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