I met the lovely Ivette for the first time only about 12 months ago, after having known of her since mid-2014! Ivette is one of the most humble #girlbosses I have had the pleasure of meeting in the Perth small business community, yet this lady has been very busy doing BIG things. Ivette is one of the founding members of the Perth Girlbosses Facebook group, a group of over 6,000 Perth female small business owners that is unparalleled in its size and engagement. She is also a co-founder of the #ControlFreak planner, which if you haven't heard is the next big thing for those that just LOVE to keep their sh*t together. And I feel like things are just beginning... read more about this very hardworking lady below x
Can you share the story of why you started your business?
I was previously in a profession I was very passionate about but I couldn't use that passion as the system didn't allow for it making it very frustrating and draining. After some violent incidents (I worked in a youth prison) I decided my family came first so I tried to search that other thing that gave me energy.
After figuring out I wanted to do Graphic Design (after child #1) I enrolled into a certificate and during my studies I set up what is now Negative Space Studio (previously known as Monkey Business Design) in 2013 while also still working. I fell pregnant with my 2nd baby and completed my studies 3 days before I went into labor!
2016 was my breakthrough year, I finally started to see the results of all my hard work. I rebranded and set up Perth Girlbosses on Facebook. I wanted to create a supportive space for Perth female entrepreneurs, free of judgement and pressure. A place which supports, lifts and inspires. A place to share, help and encourage. It's about the woman behind the business, we don't mind what kind of business you have or what you sell/offer it's about who you are. It proved to be in demand as we reached 6000 members within 6 months.
I met Kerrie Allen (Design Umbrella; Guerrilla Creative; #Gameface; o2fitness; #ControlFreak) through Perth Girlbosses and a new relationship was born :) we got on like a house on fire and started a collaborative venture called #controlfreak which is a diary/planner for small business owners. A new concept where you have a diary section for 3 months with room to write lists, bullet journal, schedule appointments and a whole book full of tools and management plans to help small business owners. Our first edition has sold out and we are now preparing Edition 2 which is due to come out in February.
It's busy with 3 ventures, 2 kids, being a board member of a non-for profit organisation and being actively involved in my church community. But I get to do the things that I love, with people I love and admire and I still feel like I can make a difference!
It's been a crazy awesome full year and I can't wait to see what 2017 has to bring!
What services do you offer?
My main business (Negative Space Studio Perth) is my baby. My Graphic Design studio. I get to know businesses, their aspirations and what they want to portray. I then work with them to turn it into branding that speaks to their audience. That makes people choose their business over someone else’s.
I don't just offer branding, I also offer, stationary, flyers, brochures, expo stand design, e-book design, workshop booklets, magazine covers. Anything you need personalised for your business, I can do :)
I've also gotten into modern calligraphy and do a lot of custom lettering which I use in my projects, for instance the #ControlFreak logo was handwritten by me as well as all the page headings.
What's your favourite part of your job?
I love the days I am working from home. I have the radio blasting, the occasional random dance and I sit at the table with a coffee going through my list. It's the variety, one moment I'll be working on a logo and then next I am painting with watercolour and lettering a quote onto it followed by designing the cover of a car magazine. Or I'm meeting another boss for a coffee while discussing a collaboration or just connecting and sharing.
I get to meet and talk to the most inspiring woman and men in business. I get to share my passion, I get to help other businesses grow and be creative all at the same time... it can't get any better than that!
What's your #1 tip for those just launching their business?
Do your research right from the start about your business set up. Check the name is available as well as websites/social media handles. Make sure you have a point of difference, what makes you stand out from all the other florists or candle makers? And use that within your promotions, advertising and branding.
A lot of businesses want to just start quickly on a budget but investing in your brand is so so important. It's the first thing your audience sees and it's usually the first impression that makes a customer go yay or nay. You’re not expected to make money the first few years and it's ok (in fact, it's important) to spend on things that will help you grow as a business. If you can, invest in a business coach, they can help you stay on point and keep to your goals and targets which can be hard when you're working from home or by yourself.
There are many of us out there who are willing to have a chat, share our experiences and tips. Don't be afraid to ask!
Anything exciting in store you'd like to share?
#ControlFreak is going to get bigger and better, we have so many ideas! A new edition will be released every 3 months and we have an easy no-lock-in subscription set up making it easier to remember.
I'm hoping to attend some markets with my prints and lettering this year (including lettering while you wait). And spending a day every quarter at Fleur de Vie gift shop in Canning Vale with my lettering set up.
I will start offering more wholesome brand packages through Negative Space Studio and we have a big event idea celebrating Perth Girlbosses... stay tuned!!
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