Caroline Staniski

Building strong businesses through design

In honor of National Women’s Small Business Month this October, Thomas S. Johnson Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Caroline Staniski writes about how she’s building her graphic design business with the knowledge she’s gained from the Warrington College of Business.

 

By Caroline Staniski

“Good design is good business.”

This is a quote from one of my favorite businesspeople, former CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson.

When it comes to graphic designers, most fall into either one of two categories. The first are those who are able to master their craft and their business. The second are those who are good at design but struggle at marketing their design business. Many fall into this second category because they are too afraid to quit their 9-to-5, take a leap, learn the ins and outs of business strategy and how to sell to their ideal clients.

A sticker Caroline created for the Gator Volleyball team.

For instance, some graphic designers can make hundreds of dollars per hour, but the vast majority earn an average hourly rate of $28. Why is there such a difference? For me, it’s in the business, and one of the reasons I’m pursuing a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship at the Warrington College of Business. It’s my goal to use my skills as a professional graphic designer and businesswoman to make good business with good design.

My business, Caroline Staniski Graphic Design, facilitates both expertly crafted and high-end design in the fields of branding, illustration, lettering, packaging, products and print design. I serve my clients by solving their design problems and helping them hit specific business goals using the power of design and design thinking.

I also want to use my business as a platform to help provide tools and advice to guide new freelance designers to quit their day jobs and see their own value in the freelance realm, as I personally have been able to do this. In a little over a year, I have worked with ten clients ranging from small startups within the Warrington College of Business to mid-sized ventures and even multi-million-dollar businesses and entrepreneurs. Right now, I am working with Fracture, which was once a startup and now is multi-million-dollar venture. I love diversifying my clients because I want the small guys to become big and the big guys to become bigger industry leaders.

Through my work, I want to be known as a designer that has helped grow tiny startups by the thousands or large companies by the millions simply using effective design. Most clients use a designer for just a one-off logo or a set of icons. However, I want my business to create symbiotic relationships with all of my clients and to provide them with as much design value as I can for their problems, needs and business goals. And in turn, they help me grow to be a better designer and business woman!

My decision to pursue a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship has completely changed my view of the business and design industry. It’s not as scary to do as some people may think. I’ve been able to surround myself with a community of like-minded friends, business owners, dreamers, mentors and take on experiences that I never thought were possible before. And now at 25, I’ve created a salaried income in just the past few months doing what I love. Looking towards the future, I want to teach and mentor college students years down the line. By doing so, I hope that they take something away from the knowledge I have been given at the Warrington College of Business and from my own experiences.

If I hadn’t taken a leap and pursued a business education, I’d never have gotten the opportunities to work with so many amazing clients and pursue my dreams. If you are a designer that has not taken the leap yet, what are you waiting for? Good design is wholeheartedly good business!


Learn more about how I can help you grow your brand by the thousands at http://www.caroline-staniski.com. You can also follow me on Instagram @sweet_caroline_design or contact me directly at staniski.design@gmail.com.