One night I found myself unable to sleep. I had this idea brewing and I just couldn't stop thinking about how to proceed with it. I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed a piece of paper, drew a word web and began brain draining (the former teacher in me comes out from time to time). This is how my new monthly series, "Small Business: Spotlight on ________" came to life! The concept behind this new series is simple: interview, photograph and feature a small business owner and the products and/or services they offer. Every month, a new small business owner will be interviewed, photographed and then featured right here on my blog!
There are so many reasons for doing this monthly spotlight. I believe that small business owners are passionate, hard-working people. The amount of time and effort, sweat and even tears we put into our businesses is immeasurable. I have met and worked with many small business owners over the past few years since starting my own business, and I have learned something new from each and every one of them. I want to celebrate their successes and learn from their mistakes. No matter what the small business is, I want us to be able to support one another and cheer each other on!
Are you ready? It's now time to meet our first small business! I recently caught up with Monique Johnson, owner of MoJo Design, at her home in beautiful Mill Valley, CA where she runs her graphic design studio.
You've been a graphic designer for 16 years. Tell us about MoJo Design.
MoJo Design is an agency specializing in branding, web design, print design and illustration. We analyze each client situation and work together to find a solution that best suits their needs. Our capabilities include: Creative Direction, Marketing Communication, Brand Consulting, Illustration, Interactive Design, Print Collateral and Identity.
Your business involves a great understanding of your client's needs. How do you work with client's and provide them with quality service?
MoJo Design has developed a process that we always follow. We interview the client to get a thorough understanding of what is needed. Then we evaluate their positioning, understand who they are targeting and clarify deliverables. From there we start talking about visuals and how we can conquer their challenges.
What are some of your greatest achievements as a small business owner?
Greatest achievements would include rebranding several companies and giving them a new face.
Conversely, what struggles or issues have you faced?
As all business fluctuates, it can be challenging to acquire new clients and find additional work.
As an artist, how do you stay inspired?
I truly am inspired by my surroundings and my unique experiences. Not a day goes by when I don't see something that makes me think "wow that's really well done" or "I'd like to be part of that."
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my friends and family, in colleagues and other artists.
What tips or advice do you have for other small business owners?
Aim high. Be an overachiever. Strive for perfection. Stay current. Keep good relationships.
Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Monique!
More about Monique.
Monique Johnson, a native New Yorker, moved to San Francisco over 15 years ago and is still in love with the area. Her two beautiful boys keep her very busy and provide daily inspiration. Monique's personal philosophy is rooted in the belief that travel is empowering and fundamentally alters one’s belief system and outlook on life. Travel continues to be a part of her life, inspiring new and different ideas crucial to her development as an artist.
Over the years, Monique's work experience has provided her versatility in the roles she has performed and industries she has supported. Monique led the design team as Art Director for Kodak Gallery. She has also worked at various award-winning design firms in the bay area including Diesel Design and 1185 Design.
You can learn more about her and see more work at designwithmojo.com or follow her at http://www.facebook.com/pages/MoJo-Design/145660012135335