We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Wranosky and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been a graphic designer for nearly 15 years working my way from Prepress Assistant to Associate Art Director. As much as I enjoy graphic design and my career, I always longed for a more flexible schedule to balance my family life as my kids grow up. After my 2nd child was born, I finally started getting serious about building my own business. It was a gradual process as I researched product ideas that could sell as PDF downloads through sites like Etsy.com. Finally, I landed on creating an illustrated ABC Book to use as a Baby Shower Activity. I was seeing a lot of blank ABC Book templates being sold and I kept thinking about how uncomfortable some baby shower guests would feel with being asked to create their own drawing from scratch. That coupled with the popularity of coloring gave me the motivation to illustrate my first ABC Book. It was quickly a success and I continued to add other Baby’s First Books and personalized pages to my shop.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Getting to where I am today definitely took work and dedication. Every job I had leading up to now helped prepare me for starting my own business. From the meticulous requirements of my art directors as a young designer, to learning efficient ways to navigate Adobe programs, as well as marketing and business strategies, I gradually became more prepared to create my own business. I spent many late nights working on new products and marketing after a full day of going to work, picking up the kids from daycare, making dinner, bedtime, and on and on. The thing that kept me going was my passion and excitement for creating. As tired as I would be sometimes, I was excited to work on it all when I finally got the chance (the hard part would be making myself get to bed at a reasonable hour once I got started!). Something that sets my products apart from others is the personalization options, plus my customer service, and attention to detail. I love making my coloring books and sheets personalized–kids love seeing their name in print! My products are not just coloring sheets, they are keepsakes.
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.
Day one: After picking my friend up from DIA, we’d stop at Hacienda Colorado in Denver (my favorite!) for lunch or dinner on the way back to Fort Collins.
Day two: A good day to go on a hike near Horsetooth Reservoir and then spend the afternoon/evening at Coppermuse Distillery at The Exchange in Old Town Fort Collins. (We might also grab some tacos and queso from Vatos Tacos while we are there!) Then wander through Old Town and stop at Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream for dessert.
Day three: A day trip to Estes Park with a stop at Kind Coffee on the way into town. Then shopping and lunch…hopefully we’ll spot some Elk along the way.
Day four: We’ll eat at Cafe Mexicali and then stroll through Colorado State University’s campus and/or Spring Creek Gardens. In the evening we would visit Somewhere Secret Escape Room in Old Town–the most impressive escape room I’ve done!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends have always been so supportive and patient as I navigated my way through the process of creating my business. I also spent many hours doing training through sites like Etsy on Autopilot (from Kelsey Baldwin) and Mastermind Your Marketing (from Morgan Nield), as well as accounting resources from Paper + Spark (from Janet LeBlanc). I’ve also utilized several resources with the Larimer Small Business Development Center in Fort Collins.
Other: Etsy Shop: www.SamanthaBDesign.etsy.com
Intro photo: Edward Wranosky