When I began my college career, I was lucky to know exactly what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean I already knew how to do it like my fellow design-major friends.
Most everyone had design classes in high school and came in with a solid foundation of the basics and more. I learned quickly that I would have to play a mean game of catch-up. The program taught basics for the first two years and then we had to apply and be accepted among a select few to complete the program and determine an emphasis. It was a five-year program I completed in four.
My confidence was shaky from day one. I just knew I would never quite measure up to the talent that surrounded me. I still feel honored to have been in the same program with these young creative experts. It produced many highly successful artists who are currently sharing their talents with the world.
Determined to enhance my skill set and broaden my level of experience, I got my first taste of designing in the corporate world for The Integer Group. I was young, eager and loved every minute of it. I had the unique opportunity to work with senior level artists critiquing and challenging me each step of the way. Clients at the time included Blackberry, Cingular Wireless, Eight O’Clock Coffee and Dave & Buster’s. I was inspired and felt believed in.
My seven years at Jameson Management, Inc., served as some of what I consider the best of my life, both personally and professionally. As a high-end dental consulting firm, not only did it require me to become a service-minded professional, it allowed me to learn about the field my husband was, at the time, training for. While he became a dentist, I learned what that meant from a business and marketing perspective. I hold him, and all who work in the field of dentistry, in high regard. As many young professionals do, I started out assisting and coordinating, with some opportunities for design. Eventually, I proved my worth and worked into the role of managing marketing plans for private practices. From there I grew to the the lead designer for the company’s internal marketing. Learning to communicate well, understanding clients’ needs, event coordinating, marketing planning, corporate design, travel, accepting my flaws, and ultimately having the time of my life are just a few of the ways I evolved professionally at Jameson.
My career took a turn when I accepted a position as a graphic artist for a paper goods company called My Mind’s Eye. The corporate office is based in Salt Lake City, thus it provided me an opportunity to learn to work from home while designing alongside some of the very best in the field. My design skills were tested on day one, but I accepted the challenge head on. This was a new level of design and it pushed me to be better. Designing for national accounts such as Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, JoAnn and TJMaxx was thrilling. The first time a design of mine hit the shelf at Hobby Lobby, I just stood in disbelief. One of the highlights of my design career was creating an entire line of Halloween paper goods that were sold at Michael’s stores across the country. Something I never dreamed would happen when choosing a career in design.
And now, a new chapter begins. I’ve been given the skills, opportunities and experience I need to take this leap and launch my own small business. I’m humbly joining the likes of almost every family member before me who currently does or has owned their own business. As my brother said, “It’s literally in your genes. It’s a part of your lineage.”
So here I go. I’ve stepped out of the boat.
To those who shaped my career thus far, you know who you are. I have you to thank. And now, as this chapter begins, you are all supporting me along the way. A dream come true, humility washes over me as I type.
To those who believed in me to do this and encouraged me, you know who you are. I still need you.
And finally, to those who will become clients of Polka Square, thank you for trusting me with your needs. It will be an honor to partner with you.
“Sometimes I do the POLKA when I think no one is watching because deep down I know it’s hip to be SQUARE.”
So proud of you, Rachel! xo