In our new 1:1 series, we talk to women who are full members in our Pepperlane community about their business and how they use Pepperlane to learn, grow and solve business challenges.
Tell us about your business
I'm Stephanie, a graphic designer on a mission to help small businesses based in Worcester County, Massachusetts, build strong, consistent brand identities.
A brand identity includes all visual elements of a brand - a logo, wordmark, iconography, color palette, typography and more.
Since forging my own path, I’ve had the chance to build relationships with the masterminds behind incredible local businesses— from salons to fitness studios to restaurants and more. When I see my clients opening up new locations, winning awards, and getting bigger and better by the moment, I can’t help but feel proud. Proud to be doing what I do, and proud to be a part of the energized community in Worcester County.
Have you always owned this business or what made you decide to start it?
After earning my BFA in graphic design from MassArt, getting a full-time design job seemed like the right thing to do. I bounced around to a few agencies, but it soon became clear that the fit was all wrong. I wasn’t satisfied coloring inside someone else’s lines. I wanted to define my creative process and see the impact of my work directly. I started designing for a few freelance clients, left my day job, and opened my own studio. If you look through my portfolio, you’ll find my style is clean, colorful, and original. I love the challenge of incorporating all of the traits of a brand into one simple, thoughtful image.
After one Boost I was hooked - it provided the actionable steps and forward-moving progress I was missing with other networking groups. I enjoy attending a Boost once a month to keep me on track, as my toddler certainly takes up most of my attention these days"
We like to say that everyone has a journey to Pepperlane. How do you use Pepperlane as a female entrepreneur balancing business with motherhood?
I joined Pepperlane as a growing solopreneur before my motherhood journey began. Pepperlane was recommended to me by a handful of other female entrepreneurs as the networking group that 'gets stuff done'. I was able to finally attend a Boost to learn more about the group when they started expanding to Central Massachusetts. After one Boost I was hooked - it provided the actionable steps and forward-moving progress I was missing with other networking groups. I enjoy attending a Boost once a month to keep me on track, as my toddler certainly takes up most of my attention these days.
What do you struggle with?
Becoming a mom completely changed how, when and why I run my own business. Pepperlane members have provided such great support not only with business challenges, but with personal, motherhood challenges I have come across as well. The largest challenge - being held accountable for getting my own personal work done vs that for my clients. The One Simple Act in each Boosts holds me accountable to do what I say I am going to.
How can someone best work with you and what is your core product offering?
When you work with me, you’ll get more than original, inventive design—you’ll get guidance every step of the way. You’ll get a designer who can explain how color choice influences perception. Someone who will remind you that you need to use your brand fonts everywhere—even on your social media graphics. Someone who isn’t afraid to tell you that making your logo bigger isn’t (usually) the answer. You’ll get a branding expert who will make sure you understand how to get the most out of your visual elements.
Where can clients learn more about you or purchase a package?
Every designer approaches this process differently, but good designers don’t just pull amazing ideas out of thin air. A lot of work goes into building a meaningful brand identity. I offer everything from full brand identity packages, to website design and digital graphics, to print materials and packaging. Get in touch via my Pepperlane business profile and I'll walk you through what my process looks like.
What's your favorite feature of Pepperlane Membership?
2. Facebook Group
3. Membership Directory