Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily DiGrazio.
Hi Emily, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Thank you so much for having me! And thank you for providing a platform for creators and entrepreneurs to share their story with others. The first thing you should know about me is that I wasn’t always entrepreneurial. In fact, I explored probably a dozen career paths between the ages of 17 and 21, some of which included nursing and teaching. It wasn’t until my senior year in college (while majoring in marketing) that I began taking an interest in graphic design and branding. The only problem was, I had nothing – no portfolio, internships, or previous work experience – to show for it. It was too late to change my major, and graduation was fast approaching. So I pivoted. I would come back to my dorm after class and spend hours each night scrambling to learn new softwares and build my skills. By the end of the semester, I had a handful of self-directed graphic design projects and a newfound determination to put my new passion to good use.
Those late nights paid off, and after graduation, I landed a job at a small digital advertising agency. It was the perfect first job in that it exposed me to many opportunities to grow professionally – but eventually, I had hit my ceiling and felt ready to take on a new challenge. Again, I devoted my nights and weekends to building the skills and courage to leave my job and pursue my passion for branding full time. And, after months of laying the groundwork, I was able to quit my job and open my own studio.
It was the first time I realized that I didn’t have to follow a certain path in order to experience true personal growth. I’ve realized it’s okay if your aspirations change and evolve over time – all you can do is listen to your gut and trust that it will not lead you astray.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I recognize how fortunate I’ve been in my entrepreneurial journey and am very grateful to have such a strong support system. To be honest, the biggest struggles I’ve faced are entirely mental. Having to learn how to leave my (comfortable but ultimately unfulfilling) safety net, bet on myself, and for the first time in my life – challenge myself to see my value, find my voice, and feel a true sense of purpose. No matter how hard we work, societal pressure and social media make us feel inadequate, like we’re not hustling hard enough, or that we don’t have what it takes. I’ve learned there’s no shortage of mental obstacles that will stand between you and your highest potential. You’ve got to have a positive mindset (one that’s receptive to change) and a deep sense of gratitude in order to overcome them.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Indiegogh Creative?
I own a boutique branding studio here in Austin called Indiegogh Creative, and we specialize in working with women-owned small businesses and start-ups. Our goal is to build brands that are firmly rooted in strategy and that tell a meaningful story.
Many of our clients have started their business with more of a DIY approach to branding but have since realized that they need something a little more robust in order to grow. Or, they’ve neglected branding altogether, poured their money into (ultimately unsuccessful or short-sighted) marketing efforts, and are left spinning their wheels. It’s a common struggle for first-time entrepreneurs, and unfortunately it’s only a race to the bottom. The only way out of this cycle and into true growth is to invest in a strong foundation – a brand.
This is where Indiegogh comes in. We take business owners through a series of deep-dive brand exploration workshops to get to the root of their brand and what it stands for. We find opportunities for radical differentiation to establish their brand as a category leader and then develop ways to communicate that value to their target audience. At the end of it all, our clients walk away with the knowledge and tools to implement their brand with purpose and confidence – so they can get back to running their business.
Our philosophy is different from other branding agencies in that we view our clients as true partners in the entrepreneurial journey – coming together under a shared mission to grow their business. Investing in yourself and taking a leap of faith can feel like a daunting journey for new business owners, so it’s extremely important to me that my clients feel supported and heard throughout the branding process. I want them to know that I genuinely am passionate about bringing their vision to life and that I’ll be cheering them on every step of the way.
Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Yes. For soon-to-be entrepreneurs who want to launch a business but aren’t sure where to begin, check out my resources page at indiegogh.com/resources.
In my personal life, I’m always searching for those existential/mindset/personal development books. My current pick is called “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by Adrienne Maree Brown and intros with, “This book is for people who want to radically change the world.”
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://indiegogh.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indiegogh/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indiegoghcreative
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/indiegoghATX