We had the good fortune of connecting with Debbie Stratton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Debbie, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Making a difference is my driving force. I have a passion for helping dogs who need good homes and this is the mission behind Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR). For the past 22 years, I’ve donated my design skills to make a difference. By designing fun materials, I help GRRR look professional, raise more money, raise awareness, and ultimately help dogs who need good homes. I design their print materials including newsletters, party invitations, and the awesome yearly calendar. In addition to graphic design, I have held leadership positions including Board Member, Event Coordinator, and Volunteer Coordinator. I am honored to have been named Volunteer of the Year and was given a Lifetime Membership Award. They call me the cheerleader because I try hard to keep other volunteers engaged and feeling appreciated. If I won the lottery, I’d donate all of my time to designing materials for dog rescue groups. Maybe I should start buying lotto tickets! In addition to volunteering, many of my paid clients are new business owners who might not have a huge budget for marketing, or might be intimidated by the process of having their logo and marketing materials designed. No job is too small for me, happy to help them whatever they need. I make the design process fun and stress-free, and help small businesses get noticed and grow their business.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Design Dog Studio is my graphic design business. I design print marketing materials for small businesses. I love what I do and try to make it a positive, stress-free experience for my clients. By designing great materials (logos, brochures, vehicle wraps, etc.) I bring out the client’s personality and passion, helping them capture their ideal client. When they walk into a meeting with a potential client, they have a great logo and great marketing materials that represent who they are. Those materials give them confidence too. Nothing worse than handing out a business card that you wrote all over because the contact information was wrong. It’s so important to have a great business card. It might be small but I think it’s the most important marketing material. My niche is the pet industry. Dogs are my passion so it’s a good fit, and I make instant connections with other dog lovers. I also love helping new businesses get started. Especially with other women who got fed up with their corporate job and started a business doing something they are passionate about like I did. They get so excited when they get their first business card – I get excited too! I am proud that I’ve been in business for almost 13 years and have hundreds of happy clients. When I hear from a client that I haven’t heard from in a few years, that’s a great feeling. And it makes my day when I send them a design and they say, “I love it!” I used to stress out about things I “should” be doing, but I’ve finally relaxed and just do what feels right. Making good connections and relationships is key, and also doing things for others. I’m a believer in the power of the universe, positive thinking, and gratitude. Being grateful has changed my life. I am grateful that I have a successful business, work at home hanging out with my dogs, have great family and friends. I am truly happy. Life is good.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Red Rocks would certainly be on the itinerary – hopefully to see a live concert but if not, walking around and getting photos standing on the stage (if they still allow that!). A trip to the mountains would certainly be on the list for most of the week. I’m into hiking and snow shoeing, so a hike at Butler Gulch, Shrine Mountain, or my favorite, McCullough Gulch, would be on the list. I typically take visitors to Breckenridge since it’s such a cute town, including a drive over glorious Boreas pass, shopping in town, and burgers at Kenosha. Boulder is always a great place for tourists too, and I’d then take a longer drive through the coolest speck of a town, Gold Hill, with lunch at the Gold Hill Store & Pub. Then a drive through Nederland and up to Brainard Lake with tons of amazing scenery to wow the friends. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. I’ve been volunteering there since 1998. It’s such a great organization with a mission near and dear to my heart. I’ve met so many dedicated people and have made many life-long friends. Plus, I’ve adopted 5 dogs from there so it has truly changed my life. The other organization I’d like to shout out is SHE Leads group, led by the amazing Beth Boen. SHE stands for Supporting Heart and Enterprise. It really is a different kind of networking group based on relationships. The women in the group are kind, gifted, and encouraging.
Karen Hoglund Photography