Behind the Brand Podcast: Episode 9, Running Your Own Creative Business with Ilana Griffo



Running Your Own Creative Business with Ilana Griffo

Do you want to create a creative business based on your passions? I have a really cool guest today; you might know her as the owner and designer behind the shop Sugar & Type. She talks in-depth about how she organically grew her business over the years and how she went from freelancing to working a full-time job to now owning her own shop and running that full-time. There are a lot of parallels between our journeys and she shares really wonderful advice about creating products from an authentic place and the tips & tricks to make working from home a good experience.

Topics we cover:

— How what Ilana and I both thought we’d be designing ended up being very different from the work we do today
— Her advice for naming nothing and how she used this process to come up with the name “Sugar and Type”
— How her blog evolved into the business she has today
— The different types of freelancing and why Ilana’s freelance work used to take her into different companies on a short-term basis
— The difference between being freelance and owning a business
— Making the decision when to transition from your day job into running your business full-time
— Using Netflix as a substitute for coworkers
— The tricks that Ilana uses for staying productive and happy while working from home
— How she creates a sense of community even though she mostly works alone
— Creating a mastermind group to grow as a creative and get feedback on your work
— The importance of receiving support for our businesses from our loved ones
— A massive obstacle Ilana faced in her business and what she learned from it
— Advice for designing and selling products
— Continuously learning and updating your skills
— Mixing your personality into your business
— Creating products from an authentic need and a true desire to create that product
— Ilana’s experiences with creating products for other businesses
— Attracting the kinds of projects you want to work on
— The benefits of creating a passion project before starting a business
— Hiring contractors and delegating work within your business
—The experience of attending Etsy Open Call to meet with wholesalers

Show Links:

Coffitivity | The Sounds of Productivity
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Hibrid Blog
Episode 7, Whole 30 and Living a Healthy Lifestyle While Working a 9-5 with Jessica Baker
Ilano’s Etsy Open Call blog post

Tweet it!

Tweet: Not all freelance work allows you to work from home in your pyjamas. – @sugarandtype

Tweet: What’s the difference between being a freelancer and owning a business? – @sugarandtype

Tweet: “My business is as much of a toddler as an actual toddler!” – @sugarandtype

Tweet: Use Netflix as a substitute for coworkers when you work from home. – @sugarandtype

Tweet: There are lots of tips and tricks to help you stay happy and productive when working from home. @sugarandtype

Tweet: “Getting dressed helps me to feel like I’m at work.” – @sugarandtype

Tweet: It’s still possible to build a community when you work alone most of the time. – @sugarandtype

Tweet: “If your products come from a genuine need or want to create that product, it will show.” – @sugarandtype

Tweet: “Find the way that works for you, not just what everyone else is doing.” – @sugarandtype

Connect with Ilana:


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behind the brand podcast, pinegate road, running your own creative business

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