One of the biggest questions twentysomethings ask themselves is: “What do I want to be when I grow up?” For some of us, the answer changes numerous times between the ages of twenty to thirty. We find ourselves in a career we never would have imagined, but somehow seems to be a perfect fit.
Brittany is no different. She is a twentysomething in a self-defined “transitional season.” Heading up her high school yearbook, she always excelled in writing, so she assumed that is what she enjoyed most about journalism.
“I love interviewing people, I love writing, I love putting together the stories,” she explained. “But once I got into college, I realized the big thing that was missing was the art.”
So she began searching for a major that had both components – words and visuals. Originally, she focused on magazine work, but soon realized graphic design was where she needed to be.
“I was able to fully pursue the art side and the writing side with graphic design,” Brittany said. “Which even flowered into photojournalism, photography, a love for video and anything visual and tangible.”
Brittany landed her dream job at a top design firm in Atlanta with a global reach, Son & Sons. She did a six-month fellowship with them as a junior designer after graduating. “It was an intensive time of learning and studying and doing for real clients,” she said.
She is now a full-time designer at Matchstic, one of Atlanta’s premiere brand houses and design firms.
On the side, Brittany does freelance design work. While most people come home from work and relax, her version of relaxing is a different kind of creativity. Companies hire her as a designer or brand consultant, and she loves the creative freedom this gives. Loving the responsibility of re-doing a companies’ brand identity, Brittany feels like she can bloom and communicate through these projects, putting all she learns from her full-time job into action.
Aware of how much she has yet to learn, Brittany is completely satisfied with where she is right now. She wants her twenties to be spent learning, growing and finding mentors in the design industry.
One reason Brittany pursued working at Matchstic, a smaller firm over a huge corporate agency, and the reason why she does freelance design work as her creative outlet, is because she likes wearing multiple hats. She says the best advice she received from a mentor in college was that if you want to be multi-skilled, you should consider going somewhere smaller so you can wear more hats. Since she loves all things creative, is an extrovert, and always likes to be busy, this lifestyle is perfect for her.
Graphic Designer • 22 • Atlanta, GA
Twentysomethings Savannah and Jenny aren’t your typical girls. Their mantra—“make it happen”—is true in theory and practice. The pair went from best friends to business partners when they spearheaded the lifestyle blog and design company, MaieDae.
In May 2010, Savannah and Jenny graduated from Berry College together. As they both settled into a full-time corporate jobs, they struggled with feeling stagnant creatively.
“I just want to do something that matters,” Savannah told her husband one day.
“You just need to do it,” he advised her. Those simple words became the launching point for the humble beginnings of MaieDae.
“We spent a lot of time dreaming, and finally said, ‘Lets just do it!’” Jenny explained.
Savannah and Jenny started by selling handmade items on Etsy, which consisted of jewelry, hair accessories and home goods that they created on nights and weekends in between their full-time jobs.
“Creating handmades ignited something in me,” Savannah said. “We started to dream.”
At first, their work was less of a business and more of a hobby. There was no name, no branding, and just the beginnings of their collaborative blog.
“We were just doing what we knew at the time,” Jenny said.
As their handmades business grew, Savannah and Jenny realized that what they loved most about their business was connecting with other artists, bloggers and small business owners at shows and craft fairs. They began to dread orders coming in, but always got excited at the thought of talking with people.
At the start of their business, Savannah and Jenny had set long-term goals to be able to work from home and start their own families someday, but they realized that constantly making products and filling orders didn’t fit into those goals. As they reevaluated what MaieDae was and where it was going, they decided to drop the handmades business and focus on the parts of MaieDae they loved: their individual blogs and graphic design for other bloggers/small business owners.
As with most startups, it became difficult for Savannah and Jenny to maintain their full-time jobs while managing their growing small business. While they had originally planned to go full-time with MaieDae in 2014, it soon became apparent that the leap could be taken sooner. By Christmas of 2012, MaieDae was growing so consistently that Savannah was able to make the transition to full-time at MaieDae, and Jenny shortly thereafter in April 2013.
Today, all of their future plans are coming to fruition right before their eyes. Savannah is expecting her first child in February 2014, and Jenny is due in the spring. They are grateful to be able to share their pregnancy journeys with all of MaieDae’s followers.
“The community is so encouraging,” Savannah said with a smile. “It is so exciting to be able to share, although I am trying to figure out what types of boundaries and balance will be needed when the baby arrives.”
Beyond the blog aspect of MaieDae, they also have a booming design business, where they create everything from corporate logos to blog designs. They strike a great balance as Jenny has taught herself HTML code, and Savannah enjoys graphic design. Their love of connecting with people has seamlessly been incorporated into business strategy. They’ve recently launched events and workshops like the MaieDaie Mixer and The Brand Market Workshops. They also attend three or four conferences a year, networking and gaining creative inspiration from panels, keynotes speakers and fellow bloggers.
As lifestyle blogger, the MaieDae ladies were full of good advise for fellow twentysomethings.
“It really helps to have someone be a cheerleader for you,” Jenny advised. “I have Savannah, and we push each other along and encourage one another in our different strengths.”
“Take time for personal development,” Savannah added. “Create a guide for yourself to make decisions. Ask yourself, ‘Who am I and what do I love?’”