Meet Lauren Frederiks
Lauren Frederiks has been a designer for many years, and branded her business as the Elise Design Collective a year ago, moving from freelancer to business owner status. Lauren’s creativity is evident in everything she produces – from her hand drawn logos and motifs, to her colour choices and beautiful aesthetics. She wants to ensure creative start-ups have access to beautiful design that speaks to their audience from a meaningful place, and she achieves that in every website, logo, branding, merchandise, product and space design she sets her hand to.
We interviewed Lauren at the end of her six month coaching plan with us.
How long have you been running your business?
Freelancing part time for 2 years and 1 year as The Elise Design Collective.
As the leader of your business, how would you describe yourself?
I’ve never really considered myself to be a leader, but I guess running your own business automatically puts you in this position. As a leader of my business, I would describe myself as genuine, self motivated, passionate, committed and loyal.
What is the biggest triumph in your business so far?
Recently I had the opportunity to design a mural for a brand new high profile hotel in Cairns. To others this might seem like my biggest triumph, but to me my biggest triumph has been creating The Elise Design Collective this year with two young kids in tow. Putting in the hard yards, investing in my own professional development and then to have like minded brand new clients willing to invest in me – well that’s pretty exciting for me! I am proud of where I have come as a business owner and graphic designer within the last 12 months.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your business so far?
Putting myself out there has been a big challenge for me. For someone who had never posted a selfie, it was really quite a big deal for me to post a photo and talk about myself on a public platform. But as a service based business I know it’s really important for my audience to get to know me and so that trumps my fear. Also another big challenge for me is learning to turn off, as a passionate and motivated business owner there are ideas always running through my mind and never ending lists. Next year I want to be in more control of turning work mode on and off and being more present with my family.
What has surprised you the most in business?
How much self growth can be achieved in just one year! I think back to my employed days, working as an in-house designer. For me my professional development was in the hands of my boss or employer – unless I was willing to learn outside full time hours.
This year I decided to take the leap and invest in my own self development, and I think I learnt so much more in one year than 4 years of employment. Plus working for yourself you are constantly researching and googling and it’s amazing what you can learn from youtube!
What is your favourite part of running your business?
This is hard to pinpoint one – I love the rewarding feeling you get when building a business and going outside your comfort zone. I love the flexibility it provides for my family, I love being in control of my self development and I love meeting new and interesting people either through new clients or other business owners. Also receiving great feedback from clients is always pretty amazing too!
What are you most proud of?
My daughters of course, trying to be the best role model I can for them. And my husband for supporting me through this unknown territory. Having two businesses in one household doesn’t come easy.
What are you looking forward to the most in the next 12 months?
Seeing where The Elise goes, I did a lot of work building and creating The Elise this year. In the last month I got a glimpse of what the opportunities could be like next year. I am looking forward to working with two lovely new clients in January who are doing some great things with their businesses. And settling back into our home on the Mornington Peninsula, after a year in Port Douglas.
What is your nugget of wisdom for others going down a similar path?
Just do it – I don’t think there is ever an ideal time to leave a job and start a business. Looking back I feel that maybe prior to kids may have been better, as I was less time poor, however starting my business after having kids has given me that extra inspiration and drive.
I absolutely recommend hiring help in areas that you aren’t great at eg: copywriting and investing in your own self development. I know it’s tough to hire help when your not making much, but hands down the best thing I did this year was to invest in my business and self development. It will fast track your business, open your mind, increase your confidence and potentially take your business in a new direction.
How has coaching helped you in your journey?
I wasn’t sure if I was ready to work with Ami as my business was so new, but I wonder now where I would be if I didn’t go ahead.
Ami provided a warm and comfortable environment to express my concerns and open up as we worked through developing my business foundations. Working with Ami has been pivotal to my business journey. It has given me clarity about what it is I want to do, enabled me to identify my strengths and created a business framework that will take me through the next few years. Ami has absolutely stretched my mind and enabled me to see an exciting but reachable future.