Back in 2008, while still living in Bali-Indonesia, I was working at a major hospitality & entertainment company as a graphic design assistant. I was paid $250 per month. When my fiance–now husband– found out about this, he suggested that I freelance for design projects.
Fascinated with this idea of being a freelance designer, I quit my day job a few weeks after. My parents were furious, as they are traditional minded and thought it was the “safe” job for me. After a month or two, they finally let it go and tried their best to support me. A few years later, in 2011, I moved from Bali to Chicago and built my own design and marketing company with my husband. I get to work on many fun design projects that I have always wanted to do, from branding to packaging. And when UI/UX design started making waves in the digital design industry, I taught myself to learn about it and got my opportunity to work on web and mobile app designs. Today, six years later, we still run the business together with our 2 years old boy running around the home office, learning and playing with us. 🙂
I co-own the company with my husband. Running a business with your spouse isn’t easy. Our first few years were a total mess, but we learned along the way. Other than the two of us, we have our 3-year-old husky puppy, and a 2-year-old boy who is in total adventure mode.
Collaborating with your spouse was a big one, which we are starting to get better at. Another one is saying no to a project/lead that doesn’t fit with our business goal/mission/vision.
In the beginning, it mainly affecting my work schedule. I soon realized how work-life-balance is a total myth, especially when you’re a parent running your own business. So, often times today, I build my schedule around my kid’s schedule. As for creativity, it doesn’t affect me or my business too much. Being a creative myself, my creativity comes from different source than motherhood; for example, I go to regular creative women events that I host and a few select networking events that help me get some inspiration.
Be patient. There’s no such a thing as overnight successes. Take your time to learn, build meaningful relationships, and execute your business goals bit by bit.
Be flexible with your schedule. Things won’t always follow your plan, so relax. You can always work around it. 😉
Ready to tell your #MyMotherHustle story? Share it here.
Co-founder, creative director and chief designer of Chykalophia, Ari Krzyzek implements powerful branding strategies to provide distinctive designs for maximum impact via web, mobile and/or print. Additionally, she founded and hosts Creative Women’s Co., serving as design consultant, mentor and professional peer in support of fellow female entrepreneurs. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Access our free Members-Only Portal + get exclusive stories delivered weekly