We had the good fortune of connecting with Carey Handley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carey, can you tell us about a book that has had a meaningful impact on you?
One of the most influential business books I’ve read recently is “The Seven Levels of Communication” by Michael J. Maher; in fact, I read it in a day. One focus of this book is a gentle reminder on how to build and maintain positivity in relationships which is then used to build business foundations. Relationship-building has always been a cornerstone in my graphic design and printing business so this book solidified what I believe to be true and took it to the next level. One of the most compelling things that I gained from this book was a reminder that not everyone knows what I do and I should show them! I think for the longest time, people thought I only produced business cards and name badges but the truth is that I design and print nearly everything from small format products to large format items to promotional products. As soon as I finished the book, I started designing a booklet with descriptors and photos of products I’ve produced. Such a simple idea but it took someone else to make me realize how much more effective I could be by having a booklet to showcase my work!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A graphic designer is a storyteller. Professionalism in print is crucial and I enjoy working with business professionals that understand how important print marketing is, whether it’s just a business card or an entire marketing portfolio. I build relationships to better understand my clients and their goals which assists me in the design process. I take as much time as needed to gain understanding which is very different than ordering online print products or even visiting local businesses that may not have an hour or two to spend getting to know you. I’ve seen many jobs that were ordered online and came out looking very different than the client expected. There are many possible reasons for this which is one of the things I safeguard against with my own clientele. I strive to create memorable designs for my clients and offer them unique choices for printing. One of my clients once said that her business card had to speak for her when she was no longer in the room. That’s one of the most accurate assessments of how I look at design and print. Your business collateral doesn’t do any good if it ends up in the trash. Having something that’s different, whether it’s for the client whose card and name badge I printed on wood or the use of foil or strategic gloss on suede cards, will make sure that you are remembered by your clients and prospects. They will tend to keep your card if it’s individualized for you and your business. I’ve won design awards for logos and business cards I did for three of my clients which shows the individuality and creativity I give to my clientele. It’s important to me to get it right and provide fair pricing which is another way I help my clients. Because I’m a home-based business and work with many wholesale vendors around the country, I have no overhead and can provide excellent products and pricing for my clients. Every step I’ve taken over the past 20 years has directed me to where I am now. I’ve built my business through honesty, integrity and authenticity. That’s never changed. Relationship-building has always been how I’ve conducted business. I’ve always met clients where it’s convenient for them and hand-deliver the jobs directly to them. I continue to add new products and suppliers to provide more to my clients. Education is important so I’m constantly learning new skills. All of this makes me uniquely suited to provide attractive and, most of all, effective, designs for those who rely on me for their print marketing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve been in business for 20 years now and have attending many networking groups throughout that time, all of which have provided me with the opportunity to meet some extraordinary businesspeople. Although each group offers something different and has its own strengths, there are two business building groups I credit with helping me build business in a positive way, cultivate relationships and increase not only my sales but the way I approach my business. I joined the Fulshear Katy Area Chamber of Commerce two years ago and, as a business support system, they do everything right. From monthly membership meetings to social events to giving us the online and in-person tools to promote our business, the Chamber functions as a family with an amazing leader (Don McCoy) and two extraordinary support team members (Rachel Durham and Amy Norvell). This Chamber actively promotes its members and provides education and support that is above any other Chamber I’ve known. I am highly involved in the Chamber and love being both a member and a Wrangler (our Chamber’s Ambassadors). Fulshear Professionals is the other integral group and is run by a remarkable leader (Collette Horton). It is an invitation-only group built on the foundation that we are stronger together. This group is purposely small to maintain its integrity. Members support members by building relationships and learning all we can about each other so we can be our own sales force. The activities and knowledge presented by our leader enhance the way we think about our business and how we present it to those around us, both personally and professionally.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carey.handley (personal page)
Other: https://www.facebook.com/PagebyPageGraphicDesign/ (Facebook business page)