Shreveport-Bossier City is full of entrepreneurs, executives, artists, medical professionals, students, educators – the list of accomplished women overcoming their personal obstacles goes on and on. In this special issue, CityLife showcases a few of these women who stood up and said, “I can do it myself.” Danielle Richard, local web and graphic design entrepreneur behind Richard Creative, embodies that attitude and maintains multiple work projects, an incredible level of community involvement and volunteering, and her bustling family – all thanks to extreme organization and a Zen-like calm.
OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS
Being the owner of a business is difficult no matter being male or female, Danielle Richard, owner of Richard Creative, said.
After five years of owning her own graphic design business, Richard said she finds opportunities in the workforce being female owning her own business.
“In some ways, I find that being a female in this industry is actually an advantage,” Richard said. “Many people assume that women are better equipped to multitask, are more detail oriented, and can empathize with all sorts of different demographics a little easier. That comes in handy when your job is to communicate with and engage target audiences that are very different from your own.”
Richard Creative provides graphic design services, including logo design, branding, print collateral design and, most recently, website design. Richard also maintains a Richard Creative Etsy shop and is a regular vendor at the Texas Avenue Makers Fair and other local markets such as the Pop Up project and the South Highland Summer Market.
Both her grandfathers owned and operated their own businesses and taught Richard the value of hard work.
“Being an entrepreneur is something that actually came pretty naturally for me,” Richard said. “I was already making and selling friendship bracelets and necklaces as early as elementary school.”
Richard Creative came from Richard seeking a more flexible schedule. She said she was nervous starting off.
“I was actually terrified, but I reasoned that I could always return to a traditional job if things didn’t work out, so that set my mind at ease a little bit,” Richard said. “The scariest part is the unpredictable nature of being a business owner. There’s no regular paycheck coming in on a predictable schedule.”
Richard worked in smaller print shops and design firms, even as part-time jobs in high school and college to get plenty of hands-on experience within the industry.
“Paragon Press in Shreveport was my most recent employer, and it was actually a really hard decision to quit and start my own company. I absolutely loved my job and the people I worked with and I still catch myself referring to them as ‘we’ and ‘us’ sometimes,” she said.
Richard said her clients are surprised at how many aspects of the company she juggles, along with her daily life.
Richard, also a mother, recommends finding a balance between work and life at home.
“It is extremely hard to be a mother, period,” Richard said.
“It is also extremely hard to be a business owner.
Both are incredibly rewarding endeavors, and like most challenges, the more effort you put in, the greater the return. My No. 1 way to balance the two is to remain flexible and learn to fit in tasks and obligations wherever you can. I may have to sneak in a few hours of work while the kids are asleep or in school, but then I am also
able to sneak in a trip to school for a program, or help with homework while most working parents are still at the office. Use your time to your best advantage, and somehow it all seems to balance well in the end.”
Richard said the majority of her clients come from the community, but the company also does work for clients in other states and countries.
“Shreveport is a wonderful place to do business in my experience. It’s typically small enough to make good business connections, but large enough to offer an impressive variety of opportunities,” Richard said. “If I run into a problem or have a question about something, there’s always someone nearby who is willing to lend a hand or give some advice.”
Richard has advice for other women thinking about going into business.
“I recommend doing plenty of research, asking lots of questions and being highly organized,” Richard said. “My job is infinitely easier and less stressful if I can make informed decisions while maximizing efficiency by keeping things orderly.”
Richard said she has high hopes for the future of her business.
“I hope it becomes the ‘go-to’ source for businesses who need help with marketing and communication,” she said. “Graphic design is a passion for me, and I think the attention to detail and hard work put into each project shines through in the end result.”
– Lydia Earhart
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