Tell us a bit about your business; what do you offer customers and how can you help them?
I help build powerful brands for women entrepreneurs that uphold and honor their individual gifts and talents.
How did you get started and would you do anything differently?
I have been in advertising and marketing since 1997 and started my first business, part-time, in 2003 while I lived in South Dakota. I didn’t carry the business over to North Dakota and took a break from entrepreneurship until 2009, when I started a concrete company with my business and life partner. We only ran the concrete business part-time until 2012 when we took it to a new level going full-time and I formed Studio North, simultaneously. Would I do it differently? Maybe. I wouldn”t recommend starting two full-time businesses at the same time. My husband and I had big dreams, and it’s worked out for us, but there were significant balance challenges along the way. I believe anything is possible and roadblocks just teach us lessons. The lessons we learned along the way make us better business owners and employers today and I am better able to relate with other women going through similar situations.
Tell us about why you do what you do, what keeps you going in business?
A lot of entrepreneurs are busy concentrating on working in their business, not on their business. Most women entrepreneurs are also struggling to balance their home lives and grow their business. The marketing and branding pieces are usually on the bottom of their lists, because they feel overwhelmed with choices and unsure what to do. It’s unfortunate because that piece plays a huge roll in building credibility and trust in a business which ultimately leads to success. When I’m able to help these women by taking the stress out of this particular area of their business, I feel like I’ve done my job. When they feel like their visual brand aligns with their product or service they get excited, they’re proud to promote their business and their businesses thrive. I truly love helping other women grow their business so they can do what they love and still have time for what’s important to them outside of work!
What are your future plans for the business? What can customers look for or expect down the road?
As Studio North has grown, we’re expanding our services in the areas of social media marketing, website programming, search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
What do you celebrate? What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?
I celebrate other women’s success, new products or services, partnerships with other WOBs, and helping our Bismarck-Mandan communities grow. I’m proud of the focus and clarity I have in who I most want to serve. When I first started out, I wasn’t clear on my target market and it kept me from being my best self, able to do my best work for those I was most excited to work with.
What business mistake have you made that you will not repeat? What did you learn from these challenges?
The biggest mistake I made was wasting time and money on doing things the “cheap” way and without a very clear focus. “Cheap” actually costs you a lot more in the long run! Without clarity, I wasted so much time redoing things like my website, redesigning business cards, revising my facebook page, recording youtube videos and doing tasks myself that I could have outsourced. I would have had more time with my family, made more money and been a lot happier doing what I love, rather than struggling with the tasks I don’t like, had I just had a vision of who I wanted to work with, from the start.
What may people be surprised to know about you and/or your business?
That I’m also the owner and CEO of a concrete company.
What are your most popular products or services? Or what’s your favorite thing you offer?
Marketing and printed materials such as business cards, brochures, logos and websites make up the majority of Studio North. I love when a client gets the “whole package” and we are able to help create a brand for their company by developing a plan for their social media campaigns, advertising, website, logo, merchandising and printed materials.
Any advice you have for women starting or growing their business?
Don’t try to do it alone, or at least know it’s a lot easier if you don’t. Network with other women entrepreneurs, use their specialized talents and skills, and get very clear on who your ideal client customer/client is.
Where/How can someone learn more about your business?
What does ND Women Owned Business Certification mean to you? Why do you choose to certify? How does it help you?
It’s important to me to support organizations in our community that offer services to women who are looking to better themselves. CTB is a great resource for women just starting out and those of us looking to grow our businesses. They’re local, making them accessible, they’re affordable (business advising is free) and knowledgeable. I believe they really want success for us WOB and I’m proud to be part of that network and help support those who are new to business.