Success Interview with Vicki Gray
Welcome to my latest success interview. These are where I chat to a fellow business owner and find out more about why they started their business and how they measure success. In this post, you can either watch or read the interview with my next guest Vicki Gray.
Welcome to success interviews. These are where I chat to a fellow business owner and find out more about why they started their business and how they measure success. I’m really pleased to be joined by Vicki Gray. I met Vicki last year after a colleague introduced us. Vicki helps businesses to evolve their brand so they can attract the right clients. She is a brand designer with a unique process towards creating logo design, brochure design and web design. She also mentors creatives to help them grow their business.
Why did you start your business?
I want to take you back to 24 years ago. I was graduating from the University of the West of England with a graphic design degree. But I also graduated with a six-month-old son. I’d been with my husband, well, my partner back then for quite a few years and we got married a few years later and we’re now a happy family of four. But back then this wasn’t part of the plan.
My son Josh came along when he wanted to and I thought right. I want to blend a career with my family. I didn’t want to be a full-time mum but I also wanted to have a career. I went out for interviews and I went for full-time job interviews with the idea that I could probably persuade them to let me go part-time that was stressful. I got really disheartened, so by the end of 1999, both my parents had their own businesses and they persuaded me to start up my own business. And that’s what I did.
I started off as a print designer and a logo designer. Everything was so slow, going to the printers compared to nowadays, floppy discs were sent to the printers and we get proofs back by post. Then, as the years went on, with the onset of the internet things have sped up.
What I did then was, I brought in website design because I thought I wanted to produce that whole package for my clients. I wanted to produce the print design as well as the web design.
So, I actually went into an agency for a couple of weeks so I could understand websites and enjoyed it so much, the design not the developing. I brought in a developer and since then it grew. We looked at WordPress websites and bespoke CMS websites. I’ll bring in copywriters and photographers, depending on the brief, depending on the client, and have a virtual team.
I think one of the main reasons why I set up my own business was to blend both career and family and that worked with my daughter coming along eight years after my son was born. I’ve had 24 years of running my own business. I’ve got a lot of experience and I want to be able to help other young designers to blend their career with their family.
How would you measure success for yourself now and your business and personal life?
For me, it’s always going back to my values. I’ve got my core values they are freedom, balance, connection, and being happy and healthy.
Freedom, I’ve had that since leaving school. I left school and did my A levels at college and that gave me freedom. I learned to drive very, very quickly and since then I’ve been running my own business. It’s not easy, but we’ve got freedom. My son helped me to do that and balance as I said, between family and work life. Connection is really important with friends, family and meeting new people through work and networking. I get a lot of my work through networking. I’m happy and healthy and without this, I’m not sure how I would run my business and be kept content with everything that I have.
What one tip would you give to your younger self?
Patience. I think when you own your own business there are highs and lows. One month there are a ton of inquiries and leads and a healthy pipeline and another month it could be quiet, even though I’ve done the same amount of marketing. It’s different from month to month and being patient is key as then trust develops and work comes back in again. So definitely be patient.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Vicki, I think so many people are going to take away so much from this interview.
Watch the Interview
Vicki helps businesses to evolve their brand so they can attract the right clients. She is a brand designer with a unique process towards creating logo design, brochure design and web design. She also mentors creatives to help them grow their business.