Is this real life? Is what I kept telling myself when I landed my first freelance project from Anthropologie. It was truly wild to think that little ol’ me, with no background in the beauty industry whatsover, landed an incredible client just like that. To this day, three years later, I still feel blessed, proud and utterly joyful that I get to do what I do. But let me tell you, luck had nothing to do with it.
I became a contract Designer for Anthropologie Beauty out of the blue because of something I had pinned on Pinterest.
At one of my lowest points, I was lost and unemployed. I had just quit my full time job and was struggling to get freelance clients. I had a small website that hosted some old school work and I was getting no traction, no emails, no inquiries. My first ever freelance client found me on Dribbble and gave me production work to do for his company. I got paid $20 an hour to re-size images and do minor Photoshop editing. Lets just say that getting an average of $200-$400 dollars a month had me feeling awful about myself. I couldn’t make my half of the rent.
I was miserable and tired of feeling like I was not cut out to make it on my own. So one day I decided enough was enough, I was not going to just wait around for the perfect client to hand me the perfect job. I was going to design what I wanted, I was going to design branding I loved and just put it out there into the world… In just a couple of weeks after that I created my first fake brand and portfolio piece called Beauty Bar.
Looking back, I think it was one of my strongest moments, sort of like a career defining choice. I was tired of giving in to my all time favorite excuses and decided to do something about it. To stop waiting around for the right moment, for the perfect client, for things to fall into my lap… I started designing and creating brands that I would love to work with. I thought that if I just kept designing things I loved, I would attract clients that were looking for that aesthetic, and I was right!
Once I had a portfolio (full of fake projects) up and running, I just started to put it out there, everywhere and anywhere people were looking. I started on Behance and Dribbble and moved over to Pinterest, where Anthropologie Beauty was already looking.
I remember getting an email from someone saying they had some work for Anthropologie coming in the following months and if I would be interested. I literally jumped out of my seat when I read that. In her email, she mentioned seeing Beauty Bar and how she liked my aesthetic and thought it would be a perfect fit for all the new stuff they were working on for their Beauty department. The rest is… history.
I have been working with them on projects for three years now and it has been truly such a great experience. I have done original artwork, helped with their current brand and now I am helping with their Wellness division which I am a big part of and I cannot be any happier. To see things I have designed and created on their website and stores really brings me so much joy. Thinking that none of this would have happened if I hadn’t put myself out there makes me proud that I was able to change the course of my life with just one choice.
So if you’re currently struggling, want more out of your business or think that some things are unreachable, I have this to say…
You are in control. You can change your life right now! You just have to be brave enough to decide to start something new, to push through the bad days and have lots of faith that it will work out. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up working with brands you love too 😉