Welcome to our Community Spotlight, a series spotlighting our favorite creatives using Station Seven themes that are making their mark in the world. First up is Bird & Design, a creative studio by Andrea who tells us about being a serial entrepreneur and the challenge of valuing yourself.
Tell us about Bird & Design.
My name is Andrea and I am the creative behind Bird & Design, which was rebranded and launched in July 2016 – I design unique brands, websites and other print materials for up and coming freelancers, entrepreneurs and bloggers who want to grow their businesses and ideas. The website is an amalgamation of my former blog and separate graphic design portfolio website, and I now display my work on the site and detail the services I offer, as well as blogging from the same platform, with a (mostly) creative focus to all my posts. I wanted to combine the two in order to create a distinct online home for myself and all my creative passions.
How did you get started with Bird & Design?
I began freelancing full time in 2010 (we lived in London at the time and have since moved back to South Africa) and I started my blog around then too. After a few years in the industry, I realized that working for someone else was just never going to cut it, and I longed to be independent and do my own thing. Looking back, I’ve always been a ‘serial entrepreneur’ – from selling handmade crafts as a child to making extra money at university by making/selling beaded jewelry to my friends – it made total sense for me to fly solo and I will never look back now that I have had a taste of the freedoms freelancing allows! I love the thrill of creating something from nothing and that is part of the reason why I also love to work with other creatives and entrepreneurs.
What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Gosh, where do I even start! Valuing myself and my skills, and pricing my work accordingly, has always been a big challenge. I know I’m not the only freelancer to experience this and I think it’s only been in the last two years or so that I have really improved on this front – it’s all a giant learning curve (and that’s what I also love about it!)
What would you say has been one of your biggest “wins”?
It probably sounds corny but my biggest win is that I get to do what I love, and do it on my own terms! I feel so fortunate to make a living from being creative and sharing my skills with others. At the same time – because my work is relatively flexible – I get to be at home with my kids which has always been really important to me :)
Did you have any help building your website or did you do it yourself?
I designed the Bird & Design website myself (creating detailed mockups) based on the Station Seven Kindred theme, with customizations that fitted in nicely with my visual branding. After that, I then enlisted Nicola Tweed, a local web designer and developer that I often partner with, to bring my creative visions to life by developing the site for me. She’s honestly one of the best and I’m so glad I get to work with her often, and more importantly, that I get to call her a friend :)
Any advice for others looking to start out?
Find like-minded people to collaborate and bounce ideas with! Being a freelancer can be lonely, having others around (even if you are separated by miles and a computer screen) can make the world of difference.