Forbes magazine states, “Economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. Women are becoming more entrepreneurial.”
Rolling out sat down with founder and creative director Meagan Ward, a Detroit native, to talk about how she quit her 9-to-5 and launched a successful branding company geared toward female-owned businesses. “Creatively Flawless is all about being true to who your are and maximizing your power as a woman in business. From business launch strategy to branding and graphic design, our core service aims to help women create strong, profitable businesses,” says Ward.
What is your company’s mission statement?
When I quit my 9-to-5 in January 2015, it was a defining moment. A moment that defined my business, because it allowed me to flourish not only in business, but in womanhood. As scared as I was to make that move, after I did it I felt freedom like I had never felt before. Having experienced this, it’s something that’s translated into my business so the mission is to help women entrepreneurs flourish in business flawlessly!
What three skill sets are critical for future entrepreneurs?
1. Being open to change – In business, things are constantly changing and you have to be open to that if you want growth.
2. Creativity – Creativity is not all [being] crafty, it’s about allowing your mind to cultivate new ideas.
3. Emotional intelligence – How we identify our feelings and others’. There are so many challenges in business, knowing how to work through your own feelings and approach people is crucial in how you do business.
What social media platforms do you engage in the most?
Instagram has been a great tool for my business because it’s such a visual platform. Since I specialize in branding and my target market heavily uses Instagram, the reach has increased clientele and profits. I’ve gained dream clients because they have found me [on] Instagram, but I do believe there is strategy in having a successful Instagram page. I’m very picky about what I post on the Creatively Flawless business page because it has to reflect my brand spot-on. My posts not only have to look visually appealing, they have to have a purpose
Describe your networking style.
Authentic. No matter who I meet, I engage authentically, meaning I’m true to myself.
If you were giving a graduation speech to college students, what would the title of your speech be and give three reasons for that title.
If I were to give a graduation speech it would be based off of my personal narrative of being a college student, creating my own career and going against the grain of a traditional 9-to-5. I feel a college student would be most empowered by, “Exploring & Creating a Life You Designed.” Having understanding that you don’t have to go with the status quo of what society is expecting you to do, you can be successful in something that you don’t see other’s doing and manipulating the fear that hinders us from leaping toward our dreams.
Name a business leaders who inspires you
Since I’m from Detroit, I’ve seen the resurgence of a city by the business decisions made by Dan Gilbert. Not only has he created jobs with one of the top mortgage companies in the industry, he has been able to see the potential of reviving a city of people. He hasn’t been afraid to invest in different avenue of real estate and business development.
How did you get your start?
When I was in college, my mom lost her job and I had to tackle some of the bills, but my part-time job didn’t cover all of them so I thought why not try and get some freelance jobs for what I wanted to do. I applied on my university’s job site and snagged a meeting with a woman who was starting a new business and needed a logo and website created. She hired me and I taught myself as I went. After that she referred me to other clients and I was also applying for other freelance positions. Next thing I knew I had a pretty heavy client list.
Did you always know you wanted to be a part of this industry?
When I first started to get my feet wet with what I wanted to do, I was [doing] wardrobe styling. I had a strong sense of style, so I assumed that since I liked fashion that’s what I should do. After that I dabbled into makeup. As I got involved with more organizations, I find out that this entire world of roles existed in business. I was immediately drawn to solely business and even though I still like fashion and beauty I started to understand I could still like those things and do something different as a career. Now, in my business you’ll see my expression of style and fashion come through in my design projects.
What sets you apart from other companies?
My business foundation comes from what I have been through and what it took to get here. I target women entrepreneurs because I want to see them be successful, I’m like their permanent team player. There’s a deep connection that I have with my clients because they are women just like me, who are or have been in my shoes before.
What advice would you give future entrepreneurs in your industry?
Create a business based off of what you’re passionate about and how it can help people. Don’t look for end results in the beginning because you must do the work first.
What three business practices would you recommend for those in the industry?
Brand yourself, not just your business – As a small-business owner, your brand is just as important as the business brand. People are more likely to trust you over a brand, so assume a brand ambassador role within your business.
Connect your business purpose with your services and target market – The core of your business is why you do it, who you do it for and what you provide. How these three align is the secret ingredients for a successful business.
Prices are non-negotiable – If you don’t understand your worth, how can someone else? When you negotiate your prices, you undervalue your business. Prices are something that should be set in stone by you.
Describe your vision for the next 5-10 years?
My vision is constantly growing and changing as I learn more about myself. In the next 5-10 years, I see myself being a speaker traveling to different universities and organizations around the world educating on women in entrepreneurship. I want my brands to grow to service more women around the world and ultimately become a global brand with strong social impact initiatives.
Learn more about Meagan Ward and Creatively Flawless, visit www.creativelyflawless.com, @CreativelyFlawless #CreativelyFlawless.