Graphics Graduate to Business Owner in Five Fun Years
Kaitie Good, Leaff Design Ltd
After graduating from UWIC’s Graphic Communication degree course in 2005, I immediately began looking for a job to get the ball rolling with my career.
After my first ever interview as a designer, I was offered a job at a local newspaper - I couldn’t believe my luck! Not the best place for a creative you may think, but I learnt a lot from that job alongside the most encouraging boss and mentor I have ever had.
Within my year at that job, I had continually pushed to find new challenges within my role, to get the very most out of my time there, and that is the biggest thing that I learnt from that job. No matter where you are on the career ladder, you will only get from things what you put in.
I left that job to open myself up to new challenges and possibilities, trying to avoid getting too comfy in a job that, creatively, I could go no further in. I spent the following year spreading my wings, doing the things I loved to do, and crucially, introducing myself to Graphic Design companies. Meeting these companies enabled me to gain feedback on my portfolio and brought about a number of work placements, where I worked from a few days to two weeks for free. This is something that a lot of people seem to stay clear of doing, believing that there has to be pay involved for it to be worth it. This is the wrong attitude to have, especially in this line of work. It is very competitive and very difficult to break into a good design company - especially when you are female. My placements supplied me with a wealth of knowledge into the day to day runnings of a design company and what it was to work in the real design world. I met some great people along the way, who gave me so much of their time. They gained an extra pair of hands, and I gained the kind of knowledge that I needed to move on in my career.
In May of 2007, I moved to Worcester after getting a job at a magazine publishers. I worked in this job for three years, and my role carried a lot of responsibility. From this job I learnt vital management, organisational and customer service skills, whilst working to very tight deadlines and juggling a heavy work load. These were the kinds of skills that I had wanted to develop within the work place, while on the side, I was enjoying freelancing in my spare time, where I grew creatively. It was during this period of time when I decided to make my biggest dream my reality.
I felt passionate about developing a company that had strong morals, that was passionate about what it provided rather than being money driven, and one that I could feel free in, and be myself. Leaff was born in June 2010, after a solid two years of very, very hard work. I had been using my work holiday days to attend business start up courses, and I worked solidly every day and evening, 7 days a week. They were the toughest, but at the same time the most exhilarating, years of my life so far.
Leaff are delighted to offer UWIC alumni and staff members 30% off all design work for their first project, and 10% off projects thereafter. View their portfolio online: http://www.leaffdesign.co.uk/
Offers are subject to verification of alumni or staff status by UWIC. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.
You can also follow Leaff’s thoughts and inspiration through their blog, ‘Notes’, which can be found on their website.