I STARTED AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER…
I’m an international speaker, published author, business coach and consultant. I studied graphic design at Parsons in New York and interned for April Grieman in Los Angeles. I’ve been mentored by the worlds top designers including Don Watt, Stuart Ash, and Don Chisholm, the creator of Mikes Hard Lemonade (most successful beverage launch in history).
I worked as a designer for the first few years of my career and evolved to account director. I enjoyed the client relationships. So much so that I’m still friends with my first client who was a brand manager at a pharmaceutical company. I decided at the age of 26 that I knew enough to start my own design firm and I partnered with a friend who was a Swiss-trained designer. I managed the clients and she did the design work. We were in business for 4 years and when she was offered the opportunity to join a team that was designing a new identity for a very prestigious art gallery. I had a 1-year-old and was left with the office, the baby and the business. A friend suggested I join a bigger firm so I didn’t have all the responsibility on my own. I joined Ove Design with the title of Creative Direction and Business Development.
I didn’t know what Business Development meant but I figured it out quickly. The owner of the firm Michel Viau gave me his mailing list of 800 names and I called them all. I brought in 2 annual reports and a flood of other work. It was fun and came to me naturally. I think the fact that I was trained as a designer and understood the process made a huge difference. At one point he told me to stop selling because there was too much work coming in. As the client liaison, I was introduced to the notion of brand strategy and took a keen interest. I was good at giving clients quick clarity and finding the differentiator.
I’ve had the good fortune to work on the best global brands for companies like Kraft and Coca-Cola. I started my business in 2009 and the rest, as they say, is history.