Brand Your Business!

Mar 07, 2011 No Comments

Kim Dow runs her own business, but after a quick peek at her blog, it’s easy to see she’s passionate not just about her business, but about entrepreneurship in general.

In one particular post, Dow eagerly shares a list of online networking sources for female entrepreneurs, and her enthusiasm on the matter literally jumps off the screen. [] It’s not surprising, then, to learn the specifics of what Dow does for a living.kalico-design

Trained in graphic design, Dow specializes in creating print design for companies. Particularly, she aspires to promote female-based businesses in the health and wellness industry- It’s focused Girl Power. Dow makes no apologies for the rigor of her job. Ever since trading in her job of ten years to work for herself, Dow explains, “I work now more than I ever did before.” The hard work pays off when she sees her work put to use in the community by a client, “It’s such a self-satisfying feeling.” This self-made woman values the feedback she receives from happy clients who are able to grow their businesses by using her work.

Dow’s company, Kalico Design, is only three years old, but already it has found success. The secret, she says, is a combination of hard work, spousal support, and networking. “I always knew at some point in my life I wanted to start my own business,” states Kim. After spending ten years in her previous graphic design job, she began to feel restless, and sensed there was no more room for growth. That year, her New Year’s resolution was to quit her job. She and her supportive husband began to save, and put money away for a year so she would have a cushion of a few months during which to start her business.

kalico-designStart up costs were small, and Dow dove right into it, keeping in close contact with her previous employer, and networking within the world of graphic design.

Dow spent the first two and a half years of her business working on building her client base and making a name for her business. The toughest part of the process was learning how to sell Kalico Designs as a brand, but the more people she met, the more connections she made. Due to these connections her confidence (and her business) has continued to grow. “I always felt confident I could do it,” Dow says, “I had a lot of support from my hsuband and my family and friends.”


Still, this savvy business woman doesn’t pretend that starting a business is easy. “You have to put way more into it than you get out kalico-designof it at first,” she says. And even as more clients start rolling in, things don’t necessarily get easier. Since she has picked up extra clients, Dow has dealt with learning how to be more efficient with her time. Last summer, she brought on her first intern.

At the end of the day, this creative entrepreneur insists staying authentic and true to yourself makes all the difference in networking and making connections. And as far as knowing when it’s time to branch off to start your own business, Dow assures us, “You just sort of know.”

Written by: Mary Ronau

Edited by: Bridgette


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