We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Rhoden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Well, ultimately, the freedom of being an entrepreneur is what really drove me to start my own business. Designing is something I truly enjoyed doing as a hobby, whether it was doing a flyer for a friend’s birthday party, designing business cards for an old high school friend, or creating a book cover design for an upcoming author. After hearing all the compliments on the work I did, and how my designs changed my clients’ businesses for the better, I officially started Sedona Designs (www.sedonadesigns.ca) during the pandemic in 2020.

Turning something that I was passionate about into a business – something that continues to help my clients create their dream brand – is one of the many factors that keep me motivated to continue designing. I wanted to help as many business owners as I could with their businesses and, soon enough, I was working with business owners in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, and Sedona Designs quickly scaled into a business that I saw myself doing long-term.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Sedona Designs, proudly black-woman-owned, started back in 2020 during the pandemic. The word ‘Sedona’ really means fierce and on-trend, so incorporating that into the overall voice and vision of the brand really helped us stand out amongst other designers. I wanted my clients to understand that they could have professional branding and still be bold, vibrant, and fierce in their use of colors. I feel that’s what helps me and my clients stand out the most.

Another thing that sets me and my business apart would be my eye for detail and my excellent customer service skills. I try to ensure that my clients have a smooth process from beginning to end. I would want the world to know that Sedona Designs is a design studio that is there to not only bring their vision to reality but to help their business develop every step of the way on their path to success.
My background, thankfully, is in business and accounting so that has really helped steer me in the right direction, but there were still challenges I had to face in the first year. Starting out, admittedly it was a challenge as I was trying to build my business while working a 9 to 5 job and trying to maintain a social life.  As things got busier and busier, I quickly realized I needed to find ways to handle the volume of inquiries and bookings I was getting, as well as to improve my processes to make things move more efficiently so that I would not become overwhelmed. Once I got my systems to work for me, and created a solid balance between work and social life, I was able to be more productive and also enjoy the fruits of my labour.
Over time, I have learned that, despite any challenge you face, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to – you just have to be willing to go for it. You have to get out of your comfort zone and always be prepared in order to set yourself up for success. It’s also important to find a good work-life balance so that you are not driving yourself into the ground. Having the proper systems in place, having a stable team, and being very strict with myself in outlining my creative hours really helped me avoid the famous burnout.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would plan a week filled with excitement! We would visit different black-owned restaurants, clubs, attractions, and musical festivals, and take in all the historical and fun-filled events happening at the time. I am a huge movie lover, so we would definitely catch a movie. Seeing that I absolutely love swimming, we would plan a day for the beach or pool.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Well, first and foremost, I want to thank God for his blessings and grace. Without it, I wouldn’t have the faith, determination, and foundation I needed (and continue to need) to keep going. I want to also thank my biggest support system; my parents, my family and my friends, for their advice and for steering me in the right direction to be the very best that I can be. A few of my friends and family were my first clients and, I will be forever grateful to them because, without them, I would not be where I am today. Lastly, I would like to shoutout the many talented designers that I have come across in my years of designing. We have built a bond and have taught each other a lot, and I would not have grown in my design skills without the feedback and design challenges amongst us all.

Website: www.sedonadesigns.ca

Instagram: www.instagram.com/sedonadesignsco

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/sedonadesignsco

Twitter: www.twitter.com/sedonadesignsco

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sedonadesignsco

Other: www.behance.net/sedonadesigns

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.