Secret File #030: Believe in Yourself
“Just have fun, you gotta have fun” — Melanie Johnsson
When you’re running a creative design business, you tend to get lost in the numbers and the billable hours. After all, you want to get paid. But, what happens when you tweak your business towards your values and faith in yourself? Listen to this episode as Melanie shares her experience!
In this episode, you'll hear about Melanie’s journey with these highlights:
Stick to your guns
Believe in your values
Work with good people
Work with like-minded people
You've just gotta have fun!
Listen to the Episode below:
I’m totally in awe and inspired by Melanie and her work!
Have a look at her work below:
Copyrights of these designs belongs to Melanie Johnsson. Do not use on your own without permission from her.
What do you think?
I'd love to know what you think of this episode. Do you plan on leaving your full-time job soon to start your business? If so, where are you now in that plan? Share with me in the comments below!
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Thank you so much for listening!
Huda: You're listening to Fempreneur Secrets where business babes reveal secrets. I'm very excited today because we have a guest today and she is Melanie Johnsson. She's a graphic designer. illustrator and letterer from MelanieJohnsson.com. So Melanie, how are you doing today?
Melanie Johnsson: Hi, I'm doing well. Thanks so much for having me!
Huda: Alright! Thank you so much for being on the show is such an honor to have you here. So maybe you can just start off by sharing with us like why design, illustration and lettering. Is..was there like a specific moment in your life that made you decide this is the career you want to do?
Melanie: Um, well I feel like I didn't really get a choice because I was born into a family of artists and designers. My Dad has retired but he was a packaging designer for a cosmetic brand — a French cosmetic brand for almost 30 years. And my mum was a freelance graphic designer for cosmetic, like, designs mainly. Um, my granddad, he was a graphic designer and photographer,an illustrator. He did everything and he was amazing. He still is an inspiration for me.
Huda: Prior to this, what were you doing?
Melanie: I went to high school and then studied art a bit and then started working straight away.
Huda: What was the first client or the most memorable client that you have?
Melanie: When I moved to London, I worked for a year in this luxury travel company, so I had, I wasn't freelancing then. I just did that for a year when I decided to leave to be a much of self-employed business. I had met lots of friends in this company and I got really lucky because they started talking about me to other people in other companies. So I got.. I got a client Brown's Fashion..it's an English...it belongs to Farfetch actually, kind of like Net-a-porte. For me, it was like a fashion client and um, I started doing a lot of jobs with them, like lettering jobs and it was really nice.
I follow you on Instagram and it seems that you have a really, really strong amount of following. So how did you get there? I mean this is really interesting.
Melanie: I think it grew quite organically because I just keep posting consistently what I do and what I love. And it's always really colourful. So I think people just like that because it's just feel bright in the feed.
When I was working in London and I was on my own bus, I love the job —it was..It was amazing and the people were great, but I just felt really restricted and I felt like I'm quite a, a stubborn person that knows what, like I know what I want and I know what I want to do and I don't like wasting time.
I just, I've got this really strong sense of like, you know, urgency, being on this planet. You know, not being your own boss and having someone else tell you what to do can be quite frustrating when you, when you're like that. So that, I think that's when I realized that I had to go, you know, to do my own business and just do it, start it and see what happened.
Huda: You know everyone in, in um, who goes through the journey as an entrepreneur surely have some form of struggles. Do you have encountered any struggle that you would like to share with our listeners?
Melanie: Well, the biggest struggles that I encounter is like just a really shitty question of money and having to create quotes for people. I just find it really hard. Especially when you're like on on your own.
Do you have any like mentors or pillars of strengths that um, you know, forms your support system? You were sharing with me that you have a support system. So like are these people names that we know in the industry or they're just people who are close to you?
Melanie: Definitely just people that close to me. I do get support from my family and my friends.
Huda: Was there any like big challenges that you had to encounter as a, as a Fempreneur? How long were you running your business and then what kind of challenges that you had to encounter and how do you overcome them?
Melanie: The only challenges have been like learning how to say no, and it's always a bit heartbreaking because you — I mean it is great because I'm following my values and say like, "No, sorry, this is not gonna work". Then if you don't get any other work demands later on, you kind of think, "Oh wait, is that right? How am I counting the pennies?"
You know, you just thought questioning things but I think eventually I'm really happy to be saying no to things that don't feel right. I really want to stick to my values. So that's, that's been a challenge. But also it's been really rewarding. Yeah, no big, big challenge so far. Crossing my fingers.
Huda: That's really good that you don't have to encounter a lot of challenges. I believe that being a Fempreneur is a journey and it is about growth. So one day we are where we are and where we want to be in maybe six months down the road, and even maybe 12 months down the road. So where do you see yourself six months, 12 months down the road?
Melanie: Well, I'm dreaming of this space where I could, it could be a workshop space and a studio space and try to get a lot of creative people together and not especially to work for me at all, but just work around me or with me and just have a really creative and bashing space where people could feel like they could share anything and just do what they love.
Huda: If there's one thing you have hoped, perhaps someone who was an entrepreneurial or has been an entrepreneur. I told you before you started your own, what would that be?
Melanie: So my mom was a freelance designer and she raised my brother and I. So she was always around us when we're kids and I could see how stressful it was to be a freelancer. She basically told me everything about what it was to be at your own boss and an entrepreneur.
It was amazing because when I started myself, I could just turn to her and be like, mom, that happened. Well, I told you about this. Look, it's going to happen. You need to not stress. I'm so grateful I had her to teach me everything.
Huda: Lucky you. You have such strong pillar of support!
Melanie: I do. I do. I'm really lucky. Really, really lucky.
Is there any tips that you would like to share to our listeners since you have a really strong support? Maybe the tip can came from, came from your mom or maybe from your own experience.
Melanie: The main thing is to really stick to your guns. You got to make sure that everything makes sense for who you are, what you want to say and what you're creating and putting in the world and to go do it from a really early on. I think.
Yeah, sticking to your values and making sure people you work with are like good people because there are bad people in this world. But stick to working with people that are on the same wavelength as you and just doing what you love and having fun. You've got to have fun.
- Stick to your guns
- Believe in your values
- Work with good people
- Work with like-minded people
- You've just gotta have fun!
So what kind of services to you offer to your or for if our potential listeners tuning in and they uh, ecofriendly or sustainable, they have a business plan that is matching to your values. How can they be in touch with you and what kind of services do you offer?
Melanie: I am graphic designer insured by trade. So the means that I can create a visual identity for virtually any company from scratch and create identity for the brand. But I also do a lot of illustration connections.
Huda: Thank you so much for your time. I really hope that I will be able to communicate with you again in the future.
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Keep learning and keep believing in yourself because the one and inspiration and just like you, and I'll see you in the next episode of Fempreneur Secrets.
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Till the next episode, This is Huda — Empowering Women Through Business.