2017 Year in Review
This has been one of the most transformational years of my life. I’ve grown tremendously and manifested a lot of things on my lifelong wish list within such a short amount of time. On a personal note, I got engaged, purchased my first dream home, traveled to the number one destination on my bucket list (Greece), and was blessed to cross paths with some truly amazing women this year. From the clients that put their trust in me to elevate their brands + businesses, to my Creative Clique of fellow creatives that mentored me along every step of the way. I’m so eternally grateful for the trials & tribulations it took for me to get to this very moment at the end of the year. For the sake of nostalgia and gratefulness for how far I’ve come, here's a quick recap of my 2017 highlights.
The Creative Clique was formed
If you follow along with my updates via Instagram, you've probably heard me mention my beloved Creative Clique quite a few times. Our Creative Clique is a close knit group of creative women that happened to find each other in an Instagram comment + like pod. Unlike most pods that are typically strictly business with little communication beyond sharing posts, we were instantly drawn to learn more about each other by chatting within the DM group. Wanting to find a way to keep our conversations separate from our shared posts, the lovely Anastasia of The Identite Collective took it upon herself to create a Slack group for us to communicate freely. This was such a game changer for all of us. We talk just about every day, share our processes, rely on each other for advice, have other creative professionals always on hand to review our work, and have really created a mastermind meets friendship type of bond within 2017. Even when the Instagram Pod fizzled out while most of us decided to focus on organic engagement, our bond still remained.
Truth be told, my business would not have evolved as much as it did had I not gotten the chance to meet these amazing women to remain inspired by them and have the honor of calling them my friends this year. Please do me a favor and help me celebrate these fabulous ladies by checking out their websites below!
I took the leap
Working for myself has been in the cards for me for as long as I can remember. Of course, the journey to finally bring this into fruition was a rollercoaster of emotions and highs/lows throughout the past few years. Although I started my business in 2016, 2017 was the year that it really felt like I was creating a solid foundation to make my dream of being a fulltime business owner finally come to life. Working a fulltime job and running a business was exhausting and left me feeling like I was running in circles on empty fumes. I knew I had to start taking action towards making a change within the year. This summer, I was blessed to be booked out for the months ahead and very busy doing work I truly loved to do. I worked up the nerve to go part time at my job and leave my full time status + benefits behind. This gave me a bit of slight relief during the months that followed and I planned to play it safe and make my leap in the new year ahead. After just a couple months, I was back to feeling burnt out and frustrated that I had to spend some of my precious hours of the day working a job instead of for my clients. Don't get me wrong, I was beyond grateful & blessed to have a job that I really did enjoy doing for the past 4 years of my life. I was at a pivotal moment in my life where I was just ready for change, growth, and to fully immerse myself in my passions.
After a day of being surrounded by local, ambitious women at Sacred The Brunch, I left feeling completely inspired and absorbed in the contagious energies of truly inspiring souls and decided my time had come. The very next day, I put in notice at my job that I would be leaving. The months that followed were emotional, scary, and completely enlightening as I dove head first into my business. I thought that quitting my job meant that I would just be doing what I normally do for my clients with more hours allotted. This was a cute assumption, but also very wrong lol. I had to completely reprogram myself, unlearn bad habits, and create a new structure as a full time business owner instead of a side hustler. I now live and breathe my brand every single moment of every single day and would not have it any other way!
I found my niche
The beauty of working for yourself is that you have the freedom of choice to work on the projects that resonate most with your personal passions. After working with people in many different industries on various types of projects, I developed a true calling for helping women develop their brand identities, websites, all while finding clarity in their brand style. I opened my business knowing that I wanted to serve women in beauty and lifestyle industries, but was also remained very open to working with those outside of those realms to feel out my true callings and not leave anyone out. Niching is scary and definitely not for everyone. After I ran off the fear of putting myself in a creative box, I was able to establish that I am at my maximum potential when working with beauty & lifestyle brands. Keeping within my passions and level of expertise allows me to serve my clients in a way that will truly benefit their businesses and make their investments worthwhile.
With so many transformations occurring within 2017, rebranding was something that remained at top of my to do list. Over summer, I took the time to completely redesign my website to a space that I completely adore. This is major, since prior to this makeover I was notorious for redesigning my website every few months and never being fully satisfied with the results. I also had my very first photoshoot with the talented Jasmine Lee Viray, that was another game-changer for elevating my online presence and making my web design really shine. Next on the list was an overhaul of my brand identity. Funny enough, designing for myself is about 100x harder than designing for my clients. A brand identity that felt authentic to me has been on my to-do list for a while and I've had the vision for it stored away in my brain, just waiting for that right moment to make it happen. I finally sat down and started bringing my own visions to life and I'm really pleased with the results. The hand holding a flower is truly symbolic to me and the clients I serve. Symbolic of the femininity in my work, the growth that comes with the design process, and the creative passions I put into all of my projects.
I worked one-on-one with 20+ amazing women
Last but definitely not least, the clients I served were an essential part of making this year as amazing as it was. These women entrusted me with their brands, their businesses, and a major part of their livelihoods. The amount of gratitude I received for my services was a consistent reminder that I was finally doing what I was I meant to in this life, creating & providing clarity for my clients brand identities. To my clients—THANK YOU for trusting me and choosing me to create for you. I would be nothing without you all and will continue to be one of your biggest cheerleaders as you continue to grow your brands beyond your wildest dreams. Be sure to click through the gallery below for the highlight reel of the brands & websites that were transformed via By Stina Faye in 2017!
To anyone reading this post, THANK YOU for caring enough to be here in this very moment. I can't wait to keep sharing with you all in 2018. Here's to a very happy & enlightening year ahead!