I had the pleasure of chatting with Abbey of Wayfarer Design Studio. She has a bold and unique design style that you are sure to love but also gives back in an incredible way. Continue reading to hear the cool meaning behind her business name and some fantastic advice for those of you who are just starting out.
To kick things off would you mind introducing yourself and your business to us?
I’m Abbey and I’m the face behind Wayfarer Design Studio, a traveling studio that focuses on branding and website design and development. I love working with small businesses and helping them tell their story through design.
I read the meaning behind your business name on your about page and absolutely fell in love. Would you mind sharing the meaning behind your name here?
So wayfarer means “a traveler by foot” and I chose that name for two reasons. First, I started my business when my husband and I left home to travel while he plays professional basketball overseas. We’ve lived on three continents so far this year, so I’m literally a “wayfarer” right now. The second aspect of the name is that I feel like every business owner is a wayfarer. Starting a business is a journey and you don’t always know exactly where you’re going. It takes a brave and adventurous spirit to turn a passion into a business, so I want to celebrate that in my clients!
For those who don’t know, how long has Wayfarer Design Studio been around?
Less than a year! I officially started last June, which is just a month after I graduated from college. It’s been a crazy year and I’ve learned so much through this weird transition from student to business owner.
I see you are currently the Copenhagen! Is it as amazing as everyone says and how long to plan on staying there?
It’s a beautiful city with great food, and the design is AMAZING! We’ll be in Copenhagen until late March/early April, then we’ll have a few weeks at home before moving back to Brisbane, Australia, where we lived last summer and absolutely loved!
What are the biggest pros and cons of owning your own business, especially as a traveling business?
Well, I’m not a strict schedule, always making to-do lists type of person, so having to be “the boss” and get organized is something I’m still learning. And being able to work from home is a blessing and a curse, especially with our traveling lifestyle. Our housing is provided by my husband’s team, so usually, we’re living in someone else’s house. Sometimes I have a little desk wherever we’re staying, sometimes the couch is my desk. When you’re working from the same place you eat and watch Netflix, it’s hard to keep boundaries on when work time starts and ends. Another con about the traveling aspect is that most of your interactions are done digitally. Most of my clients are halfway across the world from me. We juggle time zones and Skype, but I miss meeting in person. The same goes with having a community. Online communities are great, but it can be hard to find an in-person community when you’re moving around.
BUT I don’t think any of those things outweigh all the wonderful parts of this lifestyle. A lot of people start their own businesses for more freedom, and that’s exactly what I get while traveling. I can work from anywhere in the world, with anyone in the world! When I’m taking a break from work, I get to be a tourist and explore a new city and culture. And it’s so nice that we move every few months because it keeps me inspired and curious. I can definitely see how the culture and style and each place we’ve lived has shown up in my work somehow.
Something that Wayfarer does that's really special and you have inspired me to start implementing into my own business is giving back. You give 7% of your package to International Justice Mission (IJM). Would you mind telling us why you are passionate about this mission in particular and give us a little more insight into what they do?
IJM fights modern day slavery and protects the poor from violence all around the world. There are more slaves in the world today than ever before in history (about 45 million) because, in many places, the laws against slavery simply aren’t enforced. But the people at IJM are specifically trained to fight this. They are lawyers, social workers, investigators, and activists that work with law enforcement and governments in developing countries to rescue these people. But they don’t just give them a temporary fix – they actually bring criminals to justice, give victims support to heal and get their lives back, and then help strengthen the justice system there to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ve been involved with IJM since college, I’ve even met the founder, Gary Haugen, and they’re the real deal! You can follow them on Twitter and they tweet every time there’s a new successful rescue! It’s so cool to follow and I’m happy to make giving a priority with Wayfarer, especially to an organization where I see the freedom that my little donation is contributing to.
Who would you say have been your biggest business mentors on your journey? (in person or online)
So many people from online communities have helped me as I was first starting out! I had a mentorship through the Elevate Cultivate Facebook group with Katell from Reverie Lane Designs and she was amazing! My sister-in-law is also a big source of support for me. She’s a photographer and started her business a few months before mine, so we go to each other with business stuff a lot.
If you could give advice to someone just getting started as a creative entrepreneur what advice would you give?
Don’t be scared to put yourself out there, regardless of your age or how much experience you have. Just create work that you’re proud of. And if finding clients is hard at first, do as many personal projects as you can. Seriously, they’ll attract people so much better than you think. And don’t price yourself too low. I made that mistake and I really regret it because, for the first few months, my low prices were only attracting people that didn’t actually value my work. Once I raised my prices, it was a whole new world!
And last but most certainly not least, as I ask everyone who agrees to these interviews if you had to pick one song to represent Wayfarer Design Studio what song would you choose?
Gosh, that’s such a hard question! If I had to pick just one, it’d be “The Girl” by City and Colour because it’s one of my favorite songs and I feel like it’s my little love song to our friends and family back home who are being so supportive while we get to travel and chase our dream jobs. :)
Of course, a huge thank you to Abbey for chatting with me. You can find her on her website, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Wayfarer Design Studio and be sure and give her a shout down in the comments below.