What do you love about your job?
I love that I get to work with a variety of interesting people every day. I've learned so much about a wide range of businesses and hobbies these past few years. Most of my clients are small- to medium-sized companies. Working directly with the owners who have a passion for their products or services is very satisfying. Helping a business owner communicate the value of his business in an effective way is as satisfying as it is challenging. I often get to work with other independent artists and programmers, and I enjoy that collaboration. I love the short commute each day from my kitchen to my home office and the perks of being able to schedule my job to fit around my life and not the other way around.
What or who inspired you to start your own business?
Starting my business was more of an accident caused by a string of luck than an inspiration. At nearly 50, I was laid off from a functional management position. I found myself overqualified and undereducated for today's jobs. I've always been involved in the arts -- designing scenery and as an amateur photographer. I created some websites for nonprofits in the past. I decided to go back to school for graphic arts and web design. I landed a contractual job as a digital designer. The project was closed, so I was again laid off. I began doing freelance work. I found Thumbtack and bid on a few small jobs. I found that I enjoyed my independence. After 6 months, I filed as MacKenzie Arts & Design. I'm now an insured company with many satisfied customers and is growing daily. It was a struggle to get to this point, but I'm happy that I took the leap of faith. I hope to be able to rent an office and hire another graphic artist within the next 12 months.