Too often in our society, people picture men in their heads when they hear words like, “boss”, “entrepreneur”, or “CEO”. Being a small business owner has put me in touch with so many successful female business owners and entrepreneurs that when I hear these words, I often picture a woman or I just don’t assume anything at all. Women are obviously just as capable as men when it comes to the business world and it is high time that women business owners and entrepreneurs are more visible in the media in our society. This is where the idea for Women in Business was born. Women in Business is a monthly feature that highlights female entrepreneurs and business owners. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to learn more about small businesses in various fields, but it is a great shopping guide for supporting small businesses.
An Interview with Melissa from Jelly Design Studio
Tell us a little bit about your business. When did you officially start your business? What exactly do you do and how long have you been doing it?
I started Jelly Design Studio back in early 2012 as a way to make a little extra income. I never really thought I could ever leave my day job at the time, but a bit over a year of starting Jelly Design Studio, I was able to leave the corporate world.
When I originally started I was just designing blogs and little by little started to expand the services I offered. I now also design informational websites and offer a variety of premade Blogger templates. My main goal has always been to help those who are starting a blog or business, so I do my best to offer a variety of services at different price ranges so that anyone can have a chance to start any venture they have been dreaming about.
How would you describe your personal design style?
I’ve worked with a wide variety of talented bloggers and business owners so I’ve done a little bit of everything – but I always find that my design style leans towards modern and feminine.
What are three things that help you run your business efficiently on a daily basis?
Daily Planner: This is where I write down notes of everything that I plan to accomplish throughout the week. I keep my to-do list in the planner as well so that I don’t have everything scattered around. This helps me plan what needs to be done on a daily basis to meet any goals and deadlines.
White Board: Having a white board might be sort of old school but it’s been such a game changer for me. I use it to list all the projects I am currently working on and the status they are on. This helps me get a quick visual of when a deadline is approaching or if anything is pending. It’s also quick and easy to update.
Organized Email Folders: My inbox can sometimes get out of hand. It took some trial and error but eventually I found a system that worked for me. Creating folders for my inbox helped me keep things organized so that it would be easy to go back and find a client’s email or file an email that I would need in the future. This little change has saved me so much time.
What are some of the challenges you experience from working at home?
Working from home is amazing but it does come with some challenges. When I first transitioned to running my business full time I realized that I it was so easy to get distracted with everything around me as I no longer has a “fixed schedule” or a boss watching over me. Things like social media, errands, or just the television easily take over your day if you don’t stay focused.
What/who inspires you and your work?
I feel that there is so much that inspires me such as but my favorite source of inspiration is always my client. I’ve had the opportunity to work so many talented business owners who are passionate about what they do.
Talking to a client that has so much passion about something they have created makes me feel so excited about having the chance to work together to create a final product that they will be proud to display as part of their business.
What goals do you have for your business over the next three years?
For a while now I’ve been offering premade Blogger templates because it’s an affordable way for bloggers to spruce up the look of their blog. The templates have gotten positive feedback for many. So one of my goals is to expand the Template Shop and give bloggers who are starting out another option when it comes to having a pretty blog design.
How do you define success as a business owner?
A happy client always makes me feel successful at the end of any project. I love getting an email from a client that is excited with the launch of their new blog or website. It’s an amazing feeling and always reminds me why I love my job.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a small business?
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” -Walt Disney
Small businesses don’t grow overnight. It takes a lot of doing and many hours of hard work. Anything is possible you just need to put in the hours and stay dedicated. Never lose focus of your goals. That’s why this quote from Walt always feels like the best advice I can pass on to anyone starting a business. It’s what has always inspired me to get things done.