We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Hagmaier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jessica, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I am self-taught in graphic and web design. In 2007 I got bored at work one day (I was selling cars at the time) and decided I wanted to start a magazine. I had no knowledge of how to do so, but also no money to pay anyone who did, so I taught myself. I kept the magazine going for several years and it even won an award for Best Online Magazine at the Southern Entertainment Awards in 2011.
However, I eventually let the magazine go, and went back in to Corporate America, while doing basic graphic and web design on the side. In 2018 I went to work for a cybersecurity start-up, but three days before Thanksgiving the owners decided to close the business, leaving me without a job or any income.
I was a single mother to a 15 year old, had just bought a house, had no savings to my name and absolutely no plan. But by that point in my life, I was tired of other people’s limitations dictating my success, so I took the next month and a half to brainstorm, and on Jan 1, 2019 decided to start a freelancing first time. That has since grown into my business, WxD Creative.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My company focuses on graphic design, website design and my favorite, retail product and packaging design. I’ve grown my business to this point almost entirely through UpWork and word of mouth/referrals. To this point, I have not invested any time or money into marketing my own company (although if I had more time to focus on this I definitely would!).
While knowing the right moves to grow my business continues to be challenging, I’ve been able to get to the point I’m at because I’ve created some great relationships with that clients that initially came to me through UpWork for singular jobs. Those same clients have now become consistent return clients, and account for the majority of my work/business Ultimately, I think that this is truly the key to my success to this point, connecting with customers/clients on a deeper level, anticipating their needs, and consistently underpromising and overdelivering.
This formula has even given me the opportunity to design for a Top 40 Billboard Artist, a well-known and well-established fashion label, and one of the most well-known entrepreneurs/self-made millionaires of our generation, all in 2021.
Its actually kind of crazy to think about. I had my son at 18, raised him on my own since day 1 and struggled financially throughout his early life. We were homeless (living out of hotels) on more than one occasion, had cars repossessed, lights cut-off, didn’t know where the next meal was coming from etc… and now, I am 100% in control of my success, and all of those trial and tribulations seem like a lifetime ago. And at the end of the day, I was able to do so with no formal training, no savings, no investors, so outside influence.
It really is nuts when you think about it. Good nuts though LOL.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
OMG I am soooo sorry, but Ii can’t answer this! LOL. I don’t go out and when I do its usually because my girls already have a plan on what they want to do.
But if it was up to me, I would be on a beach sipping Pina Coladas everyday! 😀
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give the biggest shoutout to my family, my son Jaelon, my mother and father (Dianne and Dan) and my sister Erin, as well as my best friends (in NO PARTICULAR ORDER, LOL): Tonga, Keeta, Quite and Ranelle.
They all have, and continue to support me through everything, good and bad. I would be nowhere without their continued love and support. As cliche as it sounds, everything I do is really for them. 😀
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