I’ve subtly mentioned in many of my most recent blog posts that I’m currently working on streamlining my business. And that I would share a lot of that process with you all, so here it goes! No more of that vague “what is she really doing” sh*t. Ha. Throughout my freelancing career, it’s always been a goal of mine to create a studio that felt bigger than it was. To offer what the traditional studios offered, just in a smaller package. More boutique. At least that’s what I thought I wanted. I looked up to (and still do) studios like Ro And Co. and Stitch Design Co., who seemed to grow while staying true to their small roots. But as time went on, I realized that I liked working by myself for small businesses. And that maybe growing larger wasn’t what I really wanted.
As soon as I started Rowan Made, the question of “what do you really want” pushed it’s way to the forefront, occupying my mind and leaving me a bit paralyzed. Did I want to grow my little studio into something bigger and potentially bring more people on board? Did I want to offer ALL of the services and be a one stop shop? Or did I want to specialize? It was the intersection of traditional and untraditional. Initially, I feared that specializing would shut the door on cool projects or paint me as less of a “real” designer, so I kept things vague + listed out a TON of services I could offer, just as most of the traditional studios do.
I walked the path of a traditional designer for awhile, despite feeling off about the whole thing. I became my own boss to break rules and do what I wanted. So why wasn’t I? Any time I visited the website of a designer who was specializing or clearly doing exactly what they wanted, I got inspired and crazy excited. And soon enough, that untraditional path became the only option.
When I’m being honest with myself, I don’t want to manage a ton of other designers or grow my business into this huge thing. I want to work one on one with the right clients and do good work. It’s as simple as that. And in order to do my best work, it means that I’m finally ready to streamline and specialize. As of right now, I feel like my business is a gigantic mess of experimentation. But in a good way. ;) I’m trying out a few new process ideas, working on defining my services, and being completely honest with myself.
My goal through all of this is to figure out what works best for me and my clients and to apply the rule of transparency in all that I do so that it’s abundantly clear. Plus, I’m going to continue sharing more of what I’m discovering right here on the blog as a way of getting it out “on paper” and gaining insight from all of you, too.
PS. I wanted to share some of the people who have inspired me to think about what I really want. :) Elise of Hey Sweet Pea is a friend of mine who dropped her design services completely to follow her gut and teach + inspire creatives all around the world. Joanna Waterfall started exploring new passion projects of hers (like the Yellow Conference) and is all about doing what you want and surrounding yourself with a positive environment. And Lauren Hooker of Elle & Co. is a great example of a designer specializing in what she does best as well as being super transparent about all of it.