Ce'Erica Allen: From Freelance to Full-Time
BBC: We are so excited to introduce Ce'Erica Allen of FRSH Marketing Branding and Design. Share with our readers a little about yourself.
CA: I was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. But I moved to Georgia after deciding to attend Savannah College for Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta. As I navigated my way through school, I worked hard to make the Dean's list every year, stay active in extracurriculars and land as many internships as I could. I was certain that when I graduated from SCAD in 2017, employers would be knocking my door down. The reality was as my senior year came to an end, I was jobless. I consistently found myself considered "overqualified" in some situations or just not the candidate they were looking for. For a while, this really made me internalize the rejection and have extreme doubt in my self as a professional.
It got to a point where I began to look for work to pay bills and I became desperate often applying to jobs I knew I did not want to do. I had a child and got married, so I took some time off to focus on family. During this time, I realized that I had to be the one to create my own way. I also wanted to stay at home with my daughter, so my freelance journey began. Now I am working full-time branding, marketing, and graphic design for local small businesses.
BBC: Wow, I think we can all relate to how we think life after college will go in our heads. What other challenges have you faced along the way?
CA: Since I've started my own business, the biggest roadblock I've had has been breaking out of my comfort zone. I have been blessed with so many opportunities which have pushed me to try new things. From an operational standpoint getting the equipment, I needed to successfully run my business from home, has been a challenge. So things such as a printer, Mac computer, and design software were a must but overlooked because always had access to them at school. I never knew how expensive things could get. In addition to that, when dealing with clients having legal documentation is a must! I constantly had to tweak my contracts to be sure that I was covering all my bases.
BBC: Despite these early challenges, what motivated you to start your business, what keeps you moving forward?
CA: My husband was a tremendous support in getting my business off the ground. I also wanted to leave a legacy for my family and to encourage my children to find their own way. The biggest lesson I have learned is to have faith and to trust the process. In entrepreneurship, you can be up one week and down the next. Keeping faith in the outcome helps to stay focused on the bigger picture. The best piece of advice I got was to never stop learning.
BBC: How do you assist entrepreneurs with their branding needs?
FRSH Marketing Branding & Design is a design company set to help small business owners work smarter not harder through the approach that less is more. Providing design solutions without unnecessary "EXTRAS" is why the "E" is missing. As a company, we are most proud of our work with business to help them thrive in their fields. Aside from offering clean and hassle-free services, we also equipt them with the tools they need to continue to grow. We believe if our clients do well, we do too. With FRSH Marketing Branding & Design our job is not done after projects are completed, we will always be there cheering our clients on along the way.
BBC: What are you most proud of in your business?
CA: My biggest accomplishment so far would be the "Fresh Start, Marketing & Branding
Workshop" I hosted this past July in Michigan. It was a sold-out event, and it allowed me to speak candidly with my community of business owners about their businesses, and how they can grow. It also gave many others the platform to showcase their services/products to the community for well-needed exposure.
BBC: That is quite an accomplishment. Thank you for sharing your story with Black Business Connect. Keep up with Ce'Erica and FRSH Marketing Branding and Design by visiting her website and following her on social media.
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