When Careiginal Designs’ leading lady, Carolyn Walker, saw an opportunity to start her own design business, she jumped at the chance to transform her lifelong aspirations into reality.
A graphic designer since her high school years, Carolyn has worked in a wide range of sectors, including print, government, technology, public relations, healthcare, education, hospitality and service. Through her experiences, she’s worn just about every hat you can think of that goes into making a small business work—from creative roles like graphic designer, web designer/developer and photographer/videographer to marketing positions including social media specialist and email marketer to leadership titles such as accountant, director, event planner and even HR. Now, as she takes on her most favorite job as a small business owner, Carolyn is sitting down with us to answer a few questions about her world.
What inspired you to start Careiginal Designs?
I’ve been a graphic designer for a long time and have had the opportunity to work in a wide range of industries, and no matter what the subject matter, I’ve always had a passion for taking someone’s ideas and making them a reality. In my last job before starting Careiginal Designs, I learned a LOT about how to run—and not run—a business and maybe most importantly, I gained a deeper understanding of my worth and value as both a leader and an employee.
My dream has always been to own my very own creative agency, and at one point during 2020, all the signs were just screaming at me to jump out of my comfort zone and become an entrepreneur. So, I quit my job on September 2, 2020, and Careiginal became my amazing reality on September 3.
What are your favorite types of design projects to work on these days?
Right now, I am loving our branding projects because they give me the chance to work closely with entrepreneurs and other small businesses and make their visions a reality. It’s so inspiring to me to take someone’s thoughts and interpret them into something visual that can be used right away for their business.
My team and I take pride in the fact that we are committed to going the extra mile to think about these brands as if they were our own. We don’t just make templated logos—we work with our partners to really understand who they are, their goals for their business and the audience they are trying to target. We combine discovery calls and research to build an entire brand identity—logo, messaging, tone, colors, imagery, style and an overall vibe. The process and the end result gives me goosebumps every time; it's such a rush of passion and excitement!
Can you tell us about a client you worked with recently that really stands out in your mind?
I absolutely love working with all my clients, but one relationship that makes me extra proud these days is my design and creative rebranding work for Mobile Health, an occupational health and employee screening company based in NYC. The project for this client was a big one, and included revamping their logo, branding guide, colors and imagery, and designing a new website, which has translated to the company’s entire marketing campaign with social media, print collateral, signage and more.
I had been working with the Mobile Health team for the past few years, and when their CSO heard I started my own business, he called me saying I deserve bigger and better things. The very next day, I was contracted with them for design and creative services. Landing this partnership has meant the world to me, especially because I know they value my expertise, knowledge and passion.
Can you share your number one piece of design advice?
Well, it depends on who’s asking!
For designers, I’d say this: Know your worth and don’t let anyone undermine your value. There is a clear difference between constructive criticism and a toxic work environment. If you do not feel safe, if you feel like you are a doormat or are being bullied in the workplace, stand up for yourself and get out of that situation as quickly as you can. Everyone deserves to work in an environment that allows them to thrive and where they feel appreciated. Never settle or think you're not good enough, because you are.
For small businesses, make the investment in professional design work because what you put into your brand, you'll get back in return. How you present your brand can make or break how successful you become, so why not trust the experts to take your brand to the next level? We have years of experience, knowledge and creative instinct that you just can't learn overnight—or get from an app.
Careiginal has your back
One thing is for certain, if you choose to work with Careiginal, you’re going to get a passionate team who lives and breathes design, and who won’t stop until your visions are transformed into a reality you can get excited about.
Talk to the experts. Learn more about Careiginal’s full list of services here.