Todays interview comes from Jenna Stratman from J. Lynn Designery! Her story is super inspiring, can someone some #girlboss?! I love how we share a love for design, Barbara Corcoran and coffee!
Tell us a little about yourself, your business & why you started it…
Hello, friends! I’m Jenna, the Graphic Designer and Founder behind J.Lynn Designery. I launched my company last winter as a side hustle project and a way for me to start building a brand I could call my own and work with clients I love. This past summer, I made the leap into full-time self-employment, and have been loving every minute of being a business owner since! Through J.Lynn Designery, I believe in the power of beautiful and authentic design. I specialize in Brand Development and Website Design, and am SO excited to have released my new planner, the Refresh Weekly Planner! Sadly, this planner has sold out, but NEW Mini Lifestyle Planners are hitting the virtual shelves this week in the SHOP!
What made you jump into the world of Design?
Since I was little, I’ve always had an appreciation for the arts and for the courage and hustle it takes to build a business from the ground up. My two passions collided when I launched J.Lynn Designery, and I haven’t looked back since.
What is your favorite aspect of this type of work?
Ah, this one’s easy…the clients. Working for myself, it’s been an absolute joy having the opportunity to connect with other women small business owners, and I love nothing more than collaborating with them to bring their brand to life, both on- and offline! I feel grateful every day to be able to work with such passionate, talented entrepreneurs.
What inspires & motivates you?
SO many things! I find the majority of my inspiration through retail, interior design, magazine layouts (those typographic treatments are like candy to me!), and music. I always have tunes on in the background that coordinates with the mood of whatever I’m designing that day! When I need a break, I recharge with coffee and a flip through some recent mags I have laying around.
What has been one of your struggles within your biz that you overcame?
I think one of the most intimidating parts about starting your own business (especially as a solo-preneur) is that you’ll be doing it alone. I clung onto this belief for months. But I came to realize that you can have just as much or even more of a community as an entrepreneur, thanks to the resources you can find locally and online, such as Facebook groups, meetups in your city and accountability partners. Rather than build the wheel from scratch, I learned to turn to these resources for help, advice and feedback for almost every aspect of my business.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in your journey?
Hands down: making the decision to take my business full-time. It was a change that affected every part of my life, so it wasn’t a lightly discussed decision, and I spent a lot of time making sure I could make this work financially and emotionally (working from home was a whole new beast for me!). Once I finally decided to make the leap, I announced it to the world — social accountability, people! — and was in awe at the support from friends, family and fellow business owners. It’s been a crazy ride since that momentous day, but at the end of the day, I know this was the right path for me and I couldn’t be happier about it!
If you could offer some advice to females wanting to start their own businesses, what would it be?
My favorite piece of advice ever comes from my idol, Barbara Corcoran. She spends an entire chapter in her book “Shark Tales” talking about the differentiating factor between those that succeed and those that fail: resiliency. Every entrepreneur is going to fail at one point or another; the key factor is, how long does it take for you to stand back up and keep moving? Don’t let one “no” rattle you or a difficult client knock you down for good. Learn from those experiences, and know that if you just keep pushing through the muck, that “yes” you’ve been waiting for is out there. If it’s truly meant to be, you’ll find success even if it takes you a hundred tries.
Anything else you would like to add?
One more rather important thing I’ve learned as a business owner is how crucial it is to be self-aware. This is something you learn quite quickly when running your own show, and it has helped me learn when I’m most inspired and should stay glued to the computer vs. when I tend to lose focus and should schedule meetings to get out of the apartment. When you understand what motivates you and how to read your own feelings throughout the day, you can tap into that and plan your day in the most productive way possible. Oh, and coffee. Always lots of coffee. ;)
(PS: the top photo is credited to Emylee Williams of emyleesays.com)
Keep up with Jenna!