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Meet Andrea Fowler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Fowler.

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Andrea. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in small-town Kansas but had dreams of moving to a big city… doing what I didn’t know, but I knew I wasn’t meant to stay in my hometown. So in 2006, two days after graduating from college, I packed up my car and moved to Chicago. No experience, no contacts, and no plan.

But I was young and having fun. This is what your 20s are for, right? The first five years here were spent serving and bartending and freelancing whenever I could. I would take any design job I could get my hands on. Slowly but surely built my portfolio, with brochures and invitations, bar fliers and posters.

Finally, it paid off. A friend recommended me for an unpaid internship at a small local publishing company.

Working for the magazine changed my career trajectory. After my 3-month internship ended, I was hired full time as a graphic designer and communications manager. Luckily, it was a small company, and I was able to expand my skillset and explore social media and web design.

At the same time, a few of my very close friends were beginning to start their own companies and asked if they could hire me for contract design work. Never being one to shy away from a side hustle, I said yes.

It was these collaborations that made me realize that what I really wanted to do. And have the courage and strength to take the leap into self-employment.

In 2018, I formally launched Andrea Fowler Design. A boutique design studio providing visual branding and web design. And in 2019, I finally quit my day job.

It’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m very blessed to have the support of my family, friends, and clients, especially my amazing husband, Dave. Without this incredible tribe of people, I doubt I’d be where I am today.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’d love to say yes to this. Because I expected it to be harder than it has been, but I wouldn’t call it smooth. Everything is a learning experience. What could I have done differently to make it better? Until two years ago, I didn’t even know exactly what I wanted to “be” when I grew up, a designer, yes, but what kind of designer?

I think the biggest struggle is finding work-life balance, and making sure I’m not overextending myself. Realizing what kind of business I want to run, and how I can best serve my clients is my number one goal. But if I’m not taking care of myself as well, it’s not going to be sustainable.

Tell us about your business – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Andrea Fowler Design is a design studio that specializes in web design and creating visual brands for small businesses. We pride ourselves on providing personalized design services, taking your vision, and turning it into a recognizable identity that builds brand equity.

When you partner with Andrea Fowler Design, you get more than just a one-off designer. We are here FOR YOU and consider ourselves an extension of your in-house team. We take the stress of the digital world by helping you build a successful online brand.

I like to say we’re creating digital storefronts for online consumers.

I’m most proud of how far we’ve come in the past two years. We are growing our client base, but also retaining our relationships with current clients. Our clients think of us as a team member and not just a vendor. We strive to really understand their mission and help them be as successful as we can.

Our slogan is “Your success is our success,” and I genuinely believe that. The majority of our clients are small, new, or emerging businesses, and if they aren’t successful after we’ve worked to build their brand, what does that say about us? I think this is what sets us apart from other design companies. We’re invested in our clients’ success.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, personal success is being able to enjoy all aspects of your life. Working on something you’re passionate about, spending time with people you care about, and putting your energy into making the world a better place.

Success as a business, is being known for the quality of our work, and the experience our clients have with us.

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