We had the good fortune of connecting with Lesley Pollard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lesley, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
After college I bought into the grind mentality. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep, wake up, and do it all over again. I was working 50+ hours and found myself always working or thinking about work. Once I realized that wasn’t serving me and that I was dedicating my life to a job I knew something had to change. Around that same time, I got married and had a baby. I wanted to focus less on work and more on family. Creating my own business has allowed me to focus more on my own life and family doing the things that I truly love.
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?
Gypsy Bluegrass Designs is a hodgepodge of my creative passions. As a music enthusiast who spends a lot of time traveling the country seeing live music I have always wanted to merge my favorite things together: my love for music, thrifting, and graphic design. Having attended thousands of events I would walk around and see all of the creative items and services others were putting out and thought to myself “I can do that!” So, I took a leap. I decided to start freelancing my marketing and design services while also turning my hobbies into a business. I would reach out to businesses asking if I could create their marketing materials and to friends and family offering design services. Was it easy? Certainly not. It was feast or famine. I would have lots of work or none at all. It took a long time to figure out a good system and balance.
At the same time as a side hustle, I opened an Etsy shop and listed my designs on clothing and other various swag. My shop also includes custom hand-made party sunglasses, or as I like to call them, “spunglasses.” One of my favorite hobbies is thrifting. I started to include my vintage clothing finds in my shop and the sales really took off. It’s still not easy. I play the part of CEO, employee, administrator, inventory clerk, marketing manager, finance manager, and all of the other roles that goes into a business. But hard work, consistency, and determination pays off. Now, I get to keep the gig I love by doing something I really enjoy. Today my designs and thrift finds are on over 10 different online platforms and I have businesses and individuals reaching out to me for custom designs, marketing, and branding.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If they’re a friend of mine they know we’re hitting the music scene! We’d catch a show at one of my favorite venues like Cervantes’ Masterpiece or Mission Ballroom. The next day we’re airing up tubes and floating down the Platte River! It’s my favorite thing to do in the summer time and I enjoy taking friends and family there for their first time. We’d float down the Platte and end at Brekenridge Brewery where we’d stop for a beer in their gigantic beer garden. Then we’re off to a few of my favorite breweries! Living The Dream, Locavore, and New Terrain Brewing. We’d end their stay by heading to Red Rocks to catch a live show under the stars at the best concert venue in the world!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Jared. He has always supported my out-of-the box ideas and encouraged me to take leaps, even when most of those ideas failed. Before I started my businesses I was working 50+ hours a week and was always stressed about my professional career. He once said to me “it’s just your job. It’s not your life.” That has always stuck with me and is THE reason I decided to take the leap and go out on my own. It really opened my eyes to what is important in my life. If it wasn’t for that moment, I would still be stuck working that 9 to 5 for someone else.