We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Stillman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is that I love doing what I do and creating a bridge for investment for my Clients. Building a visual identity that represents the story of an individual and/or a business, makes people feel beautiful. And creating the right narrative for people to talk about themselves and/or their business effectively, develops confidence. The combination paves the way for future investment as people want to invest in companies that invest in themselves. I truly love helping Clients move that needle in their success.
Similarly, I continue to invest in myself and Inspire Graphic Design. Whether the investment is specific to business or my own personal growth (as my brand is an extension of myself) there is always an opportunity to build upon or rethink what you already know. I stand by the following four foundational pillars of strength: adaptability, always seeing through the eyes of a beginner, building partnerships, and problem solving. Continuing to evolve how I navigate business and the world, continues to create new opportunities and improved ways of helping others.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
If you had asked me as a kid what I wanted to be when I grew up, Graphic Designer would not have been on the list. But my professional journey landed me in a work environment that required a lot of graphic support. And as I grew in this job, so did my graphic design skills. In fact, I realized that I was kind of good at it!
I did enjoy working as an in-house designer but I was intrigued by the diversity and creativity of what freelance work might have to offer. And in developing an independent career, I soon realized that working for a variety of different clients and industries was exactly what I wanted to be doing. So in the beginning of 2010, I launched Inspire Graphic Design, LLC.
Launching your own business of course comes with a huge amount of hurdles and so many lessons along the way. My approach has been: always be a beginner, seek out mentorship and support however you can, and just keep on going!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Lower Downtown (LoDo) is the best! I have spent many afternoons just bopping in and out of restaurants and sampling menus, There are a lot of fun hotels you can stay in close to the area . Union Station is full of great restaurants as well. Don’t miss the Mercantile, Tamayo, The Rio, Rioja, or the Kitchen.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate this Shoutout to everyone that has helped me along the way and brought me to my current success. DTJ Design in Boulder who gave the opportunity and encouraged me to develop my design skills. Boulder Designers Meetup for creating a space to meet and develop lasting partnerships. Myka McLaughlin’s Women In Community (WINC) 90-day program for helping me get my business act together. Various mastermind groups including Friday Fun and Power Posse – I love you women! The Deming Center at the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder for putting together the community outreach program Ideas to Action (I2A). This helped me realize a completely different perspective on business. And finally, Krista Vanderveer’s High Impact Women (HIW), for taking me on a deep dive mission to realize a much better version of myself.
ELC Photography and Marla Rutherford Photography