We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Harans and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
There wasn’t one moment where I decided to start my business. It was more-so a natural progression of my side hustle taking up more and more of my time, to the point where it became clear I needed to choose between my full time job and my freelance graphic design clients. When I stepped back, the side projects were bringing me more joy (and to be honest, more money to my bank account), than my corporate employment was, so it was a no brainer. I filed for an LLC, subtly rebranded as a “Design Studio” instead of a one woman freelancer, opened a business bank account, and put a date on my calendar to give notice to my job. It’s been about 6 months since I made that choice and 3 months since giving notice, and I have no regrets.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My designs are digitally focused, with an emphasis on marketing, ROI and graphics that deliver results, but my style leans towards a heavy hand touch. I think it’s not too common that you will find a graphic designer who is drawn to that overlap, and it helps me stand out. This somewhat unusual combination is a melting pot result of three very impactful work opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have: an internship at Adobe, my first job at a digital marketing agency, and the 5+ years I spent as a graphic designer for Free People.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m by no means a foodie, but my favorite way to socialize involves good food and a great cocktail (or bottle of wine). El Vez, Ambrosia, Audrey Claire and Double Knot are my g- to when friends are in town. I love that they are either byo so we can split a bottle of our favorite wine, or have amazing cocktails (the Double Knot at Double Knot, and the Granada at El Vez are my favorites). If the weather is nice, a walk down walnut and then through the farmers market at Rittenhouse Park is also on my list. In the summer, we often take guests down to Margate for the day (where my fiance is from and his parents still live). I love living in a city, but it is so nice to be able to hop in a quick 1 hour car ride and be by the ocean.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This one is easy – my fiance, Logan. He runs a digital marketing agency that he started in college, called Argyle Interactive. I’ve always been in awe of his passion, dedication, and successes, and being suddenly thrown into a constant work from home situation, I grew even more admiration for what he does as I got a first hand look at his day to day. He not only inspired me to start something for myself, but encouraged me that I was capable, and then helped me work through the nitty gritty of business. I constantly look to him for advice on clients relations, business structuring, budgets, in addition to the love and encouragement. he’s always given me in every aspect of life.