Welcome to our Community Spotlight, a series showcasing our favorite creatives who are making their mark on the world. Today, Clare from Ink and Honey Design Co tells us about how traveling has inspired her to start her design and branding studio that focuses on storytelling and strategy. She also has two words of important advice and reflects on her growth as a business owner!
Tell us about Ink and Honey Design Co.
Ink & Honey Design Co. is a wandering online design and branding studio specializing in handcrafted brands for creative entrepreneurs and startups. The name Ink & Honey is about creating big things from small and elemental beginnings, like the ink in which every great novel is printed or the bee that takes pollen and makes honey, and that ethos runs throughout everything I design for my clients, with a focus on storytelling and strategy providing the foundation to create brands that are not only beautiful but impactful too.
How did you get started with Ink and Honey?
In January 2016 myself and my fiancé left the UK for Mexico, and traveled on through Guatemala, Sweden, Thailand, and Indonesia (to name a few), ending up living in New Zealand for the past 11 months. I started Ink & Honey as a way to work location independently and keep our travel fund topped up, but it quickly grew to become much more than that. I have been lucky to work with the most inspiring, talented creative women; and being a part of that community and journey of entrepreneurship, along with the opportunity to work within the parameters of my own definition of freedom, is what puts the heart and soul into my business.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Growing my business whilst traveling has been both an adventure and a challenge. I’ve been very fortunate to land a number of house-sitting gigs that have made things easier, but there’s still been a lot of days where I can’t find internet, or a journey gets delayed and things get pushed back and I can’t get in touch with the client. The upside is I’m now a lot better at time management and my crisis management is second to none! It’s allowed me to develop a great level of flexibility and intuition into my business processes.
What would you say has been one of your biggest “wins”?
I’d say it’s been more of a series of small ‘wins’. I try to celebrate the small victories along with the big, so each time I book a new client or design something that’s just perfect for the brief, I do my little happy dance and pour a glass of wine. That said, I think one of the things I’m most proud of is the amount I’ve grown and developed as a designer and a business owner over the past year, when I think about how much I knew at the beginning (i.e. absolutely nothing) versus what I can do now, I’m a little amazed.
Did you have any help building your website or did you do it yourself?
I did it myself. As soon as I saw the demo for the Paloma theme pre-launch, I knew it was the one and started wireframing my design. The theme is so perfect for what I needed that I learned the CSS snippets I’d need to make a few tweaks, and that was all it took!
Any advice for others looking to start out?
Just begin. Honestly, this is one of the most important things I’ve learned over the past year; just start. There’s no point waiting for everything to be perfect, the quicker you get yourself out there the more time you have to learn, grow and adjust until you reach where you’d like to be. And do it your way, that’s the other big thing.