I had the opportunity to interview Laura Sayegh with Laura’s Design Studio.
Laura works with small, mid and large businesses in Tampa and surrounding areas with their design and branding needs.
While Laura is quiet and modest, her work speaks for itself. Her designs and her portfolio is jaw dropping.
Below is our conversation:
Robyn: What is the biggest account you have landed?
Laura: Bright House Networks
Robyn: Wow. That is a huge account. How did you get that account?
Laura: I let all my friends and family know that I was going into business for myself. And my cousin referred me to a friend that was in the same field at a company in Florida. I reached out to her friend via
LinkedIn. After we connected, we realized I lived 8 miles from where she worked. She worked for Bright
House Networks and connected me to the Marketing Director. Shortly thereafter they were looking for a designer. It was really lucky.
Robyn: I love how you say ‘lucky.’ You are so modest. You did everything people should do. You let everyone know about what you did. And you asked for connections. And then you took the initiative to reach out through your online networking. And of course, your work is amazing.
Robyn: What is your favorite project at Bright House Networks?
Laura: I would say it was the back to school, direct mail campaign for Bright House Networks. I was able to be creative and come up with interesting concepts.
Robyn: What types of clients do you have?
Laura: I have small and large clients. I have worked with start-ups and I have worked with fortune five hundred companies.
Robyn: What is your educational background?
Laura: I graduated from University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Advertising Art and a Minor in Advertising in the Journalism Department. I had a great experience there. They had us creating campaigns, media plans and even selling ads to local businesses for the school newspaper.
Robyn: I had several friends attend UNT. They are nationally recognized for their advertising program, aren’t they?
Robyn: What other things have you done for your clients?
Laura: Websites, logos, brochures, business cards. I tell people if you can print it or put it online, I can design it.
Robyn: What do you like most about what you do?
Laura: I like working with small businesses and making a big impact. I also like working with Marketing and PR Agencies to help them out.
Robyn: If I am just starting out, what do I need to do for branding?
Laura: You need to have a quality image and you need to use it consistently. You need to use the same font, colors, graphic etc. and use it everywhere. I see a lot of companies that use their logo inconsistently.
Robyn: What if a new company came to you but couldn’t afford to hire a designer? What would you tell them to do?
Laura: I would tell them to start with just a font. Make sure the font fits the style of their business. Keep the colors and fonts the same. And use that as their logo. When you have the funds to hire a designer, you can add the design to it.
Robyn: How have you built your business?
Laura: RGA has been a huge help for me. I joined RGA this year, and I had people going out of their way to help me build my business. I have received so many referrals and have received direct business. People really care.
I also have a business coach. And she, Juliann Nichols has helped me improve my business and has referred business to me.
Robyn: What is a good referral for you?
Laura: I enjoy working with other marketing and PR companies as a designer. I also love working with small businesses. When I work with small businesses, I have to really educate them on what is important about design and branding.
Robyn: What is your favorite part of owning your own business?
Laura: I love that I have 100% control of my schedule. I love that I don’t have to deal with any office politics.
Robyn: What advice would you give someone that wants to start their own business?
Laura: I recently heard this quote and it really hit me. “You take what you want in life. No one is going to give it to you.” You need to decide what you want and go get it.
And you need to have savings. Seriously, you need to have 6 months to a year in savings. You are going to need to put money into marketing. And you need to network and you need to give yourself time to build your clientele.