One of the things that I love most about blogging is the amount of amazingly talented women it has put me in contact with, especially those from my home state of North Carolina! The gorgeous Whitney of Heart and Arrow Design is one of them. After recently graduating from UNC Wilmington with a degree in Business Administration, Whitney decided to take a different route than most graduates and start her business as a digital designer for passionate women. I am always in awe to see young women go out on their own and pursue their dreams so of course I had to dig a little more into her amazing journey!
You're fresh out of college! What made you wan't to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship?
I've always been a self starter and loved taking charge of my ideas! I was that little girl with the lemonade stands, "president" of the girls club in my backyard, and was in multiple art competitions. It wasn't until November 2012 when I decided to study abroad (and realized I had seriously empty pockets) that I took the leap into entrepreneurship. It started as "just a little side thing" to make some change for traveling, but my demand grew exponentially and I quickly had to raise my prices.
I've fallen in love with the whole community of small businesses and the freedom of having my own. About two months before graduation (when my classmates were all applying for jobs) I found myself applying for jobs, just to follow the norm, and actually hoping for no call back. I realized right then that I couldn't imagine working for anyone other than myself!
Tell us a little about the meaning behind Heart & Arrow? And was graphic design something you have always wanted to do?
When I first started H&A, the name was the HARDEST thing to come up with (as I'm sure all bloggers and business owners know)! I chose Heart & Arrow for two reasons: 1. Heart because I am passionately in love with creating beautiful design and bringing my client's visions to life. 2. Arrow because I use my degree in Business/Marketing to streamline my client's brands and websites. My designs aren't just pretty, they are effective, too!
If we were to open up your calendar, what does an average day look like for you?
Haha, ohhh my calendar... that's a very scary place where I plan every hour of my day! Here's an average weekday:
7 - wake up, lay in bed, check social media on my phone
8 - shower, eat, drink tea, check Bloglovin
9-12 - emails and Etsy convos (I spend SO much time emailing), small projects, blogging
12 - start an installation or the "big project" of the day
1 - lunch, social media, blog things
2-4 - back to the big project
4-5 - small projects and emails
6 - Peace out of "the office" and either eat dinner or work out!
You blog as well! How important would you say it is for business owners to be apart of the blogging community?
The blogging community is like nothing else and I don't think my business would have worked without it! Everyone is so supportive and I honestly feel like I've known some of these ladies for years. I think all businesses should blog, to some extent, because it allows you to share your personal brand which is huge in differentiating you from the competition! Since I design blogs, I love connecting with readers, potential clients, and former clients all at once!
What advice would you give other creatives who are currently wanting to turn their passion into a career?
Ask yourself: do you have a unique skill/talent/passion? Is there a demand for that thing? The market is so over saturated with people who are all doing the exact same thing and expecting different results. If you are true to yourself, then you will automatically stand out. Be YOU!
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced since becoming a business owner? Any lessons learned?
Hands down, TAXES. I'm still learning how all this works as my income increases and it's given my nightmares. Lesson learned: pay for an accountant. Don't guess.
What is next for you? What is your ultimate goal for Heart & Arrow?
Ohh this this such a big question! I'm not 100% sure... I would love to grow into a smaller boutique where I only take on 3-4 clients every month and have more full service offerings (putting my marketing research to use). Ultimately I want to keep Heart & Arrow rockin, buy an office space, and not stop growing!