We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Loving-Campos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work/life balance has shifted greatly from various stages throughout the growth of our business. During the startup period, my husband and I worked all hours — weekdays, weekends, holidays. All of it. We worked late into the night and rarely took a day off. Thankfully, after gaining a bit of traction with projects and clients — as well as the perspective that our schedule was far from sustainable (and in the fast lane to burnout) — we slowly adapted our schedule to allow for important personal time. Over the years, we’ve established a strict understanding that work exists within our posted studio hours; rarely do we offer up nights and weekends anymore. Once we made that commitment and chose to respect and uphold our boundaries (as well as clearly communicate this with our customers), our clients did the same. And as parents, we believe that modeling behavior around healthy work boundaries is so crucial — ESPECIALLY as entrepreneurs. If our daughter can see that we’ve passionately and successfully built a business while placing great importance on our family time and NOT compromising our health and wellbeing, we feel that we’re teaching her a pretty significant lesson.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
(in)spiregraphics is a full-service marketing studio. We like to think of ourselves as a creative Swiss army knife. We have lots of tools tucked away; ready to solve problems. We do what we do because we believe that everyone should follow that thing that makes them brim over with joy. Starting a business can feel like this lofty, unattainable thing replete with fears of failure. Staying in a job that offers stability but maybe just makes you look forward to your next weekend or vacation is not, in our humble opinion, worth it. We believe that we all have a purpose… a reason… that really special thing that lights us on fire. If we spend so much time working, why not make it joy-filled and teeming with purpose? That’s where our company comes in. We want to help people build things. Big things. Things that carry meaning. Things that they’ve dreamt of for a long time and maybe questioned if they would ever exist in the realm of possibility. Our favorite thing is helping a client open their very first restaurant or floral shop or yoga studio. And seeing them thrive in that space of realizing that it was in them all along. And we just needed to help coax it out. Building our business was not easy. We took a slow and steady approach — slowly building traction and clients as we went along. Every project offered a chance to learn something new (to be frank, it still does). We asked our clients a lot of questions and looked for ways in which we could improve our services. We have always looked at each project, regardless of scale, as a true partnership and collaboration with our client. We certainly do not pretend to have all of the answers. Each project offers a perfectly unique set of constraints from which we explore unique and sound solutions. Every logo and website is a unique creative problem that we seek to solve. It’s exciting and always feels fresh and full of wonder. There are countless other creative studios out there. But I feel that we have our own special sauce. And that’s why our client base is so broad-reaching.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We live right where the cusp of the mountains swirl into the flat plains, outside of Denver. For us, we really connect with the outdoors. Denver is a really beautiful city, but it’s the craggy, mountainous horizon to the west that really gets us excited. That’s the area that we are most into and therefore, the areas that we would most likely take someone wanting to explore what Colorado has to offer. We would take to the road and hit all of the best spots. Summit County to start, but undoubtedly, we would venture far into our favorite areas. And I must admit, our favorite areas are a bit of a secret. We like them best when they’re devoid of crowds and tucked beneath an star-emblazoned sky. We would wrap in the exploration of pine forests, granitic peaks, wild vistas, hot springs galore, yawning canyons and wild deserts. But yea… again, forgive us: we’re a little hush, hush on the details.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have a huge shoutout to Michael Smilanic. Michael is a cousin of mine; a wonderfully talented artist. designer and musician who inspired me and gave me a window through which to peer in high school. I remember having the opportunity to do an internship with Michael — I spent time at his art studio in downtown Denver and learned a bit about how to juggle the careers of being an artist and a self-employed graphic designer concurrently. It was during this internship that I was able to really see what this experience could feel like. How to effectively juggle two hemispheres while being wholly autonomous. The balance of doing work for clients as well as for myself. Being able to step into that space and witness what he had created took away some of the fear and unknown terrain that existed in my mind prior to that. Michael gave me a really huge gift — a window into a reality that I wanted to create. For that and all he did to help me see that, well, I am profoundly grateful. I would also like to give a ginormous shoutout to my parents. My parents have both celebrated entrepreurship and have showed me that building a business is perfectly attainable. Growing up in a family with several entrepreneurs, I was able to understand the possibility of building my own business — the work that it would require, but also the countless boons it would offer. My parents have always been unbelievably supportive of my dreams and have always pushed me to do the very thing that makes me happiest. How does one explain the immensity of gratitude for all of the love, ongoing encouragement, creative thinking, gentle guidance and steady support? It falls outside of the realm of words, I suppose. Lastly, I would like to give a shoutout to my husband extraordinaire and business partner, Chris. To have the ability to build a business together and share this is such a profound gift. Working together and setting goals together has been such a fun adventure. I know that we’re incredibly lucky in that we can work together — and enjoy it! — many couples are perfectly fine with not. For us, it’s been this really great way to connect and build and grow. I’m so grateful for his willingness to join me on this adventure; I surely would not want to do this with anyone else.
Other: website: www.jessicaloving.com (art); www.artboss.co (artboss)
headshot with Chris and Jessica — Photo credit: MTK Photography Jessica’s headshot — Photo credit: Laurel McGlothlin, Steel Lilac