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I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Eight years is a long time. When you look at the number eight, it looks like an infinity symbol. This July would have been eight years of Lealea Design. It seems like forever.
When I first started my business back in the summer of 2005, it was more reactionary than well-thought-out. I’d always thought I’d start my own business, but mostly, Lealea Design began with the realization that I am not cut out for a typical, corporate environment. I wanted the freedom to set my own hours, the pride of finding and winning my own clients, to help businesses reach their goals and the ability to choose to deal with great people.
I am fortunate and proud that I’ve been able to do all of the above for eight years straight, and then some. People not only wanted to work with me, they wanted to hear me speak about my experiences, write about my expertise and teach a future generation of designers the realities of working in the industry.
Throughout the years, as people tracked my career and chatted with me at conferences, they always asked me if I intend to expand or join an agency. All the time, I just said, “No, I’m pretty happy where I am at! Would just like to make more money!” And that was true: I’d pretty much built a business that made me happy, my clients happy and was earning enough money to be sustainable. Success!
While all true, that didn’t mean things were perfect. The reality of being solo is that the only person you can rely on is yourself. I’m extremely independent, am the eldest of my siblings, and am used to forging my own path. That comes with its obvious pluses, as well as negatives: it meant that when I was ill, when I had a business or project hiccup, all responsibility and risk with a project still fell on me. And it meant answering emergency phone calls while on vacation in Mexico.
While that last part was an anomaly and most of my clients respect my time, there are some inevitable situations that occur when you’re truly the only contact. This isn’t always ideal for me OR my clients.
Additionally, being solo means doing everything. And I didn’t always want to “do it all.” But I didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
So, it’s with great joy and excitement that I announce I will now be Lead Designer of Emily Lewis Design, LLC.
Serendipity, or Why the Internet is Awesome
Emily and my relationship began serendipitously: following each other on social media, chatting briefly at conferences and mostly admiring each other professionally from afar. It wasn’t until I had the opportunity to run The EE Podcast that our paths would merge once more, and that our podcast relationship would grow to be more than just a side project.
We’ve been running the podcast together almost two years to this day. Unbeknownst to me at the time, we would end up speaking almost weekly, planning and working on the podcast, with our meetings punctuated by off-topic cajoling and updates on each other’s business and personal lives.
It was during this time that I learned what a stalwart professional Emily is: punctual, meticulous to a fault, obsessively organized, and struck with a personal sense of responsibility for everything she does and touches. Then, of course, there is her quality of work, and her pride and expertise in code, always tempered with humility.
On top of it all, she’s funny as hell. Personally, she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever known and extremely honest. I don’t think she knows how to behave any other way. Long story short: Emily is a fantastic individual, personally and professionally, and I am proud to be a part of her team. I think part of my past hesitation in expansion was uncertainty whether I’d meet someone who met my exacting standards. I wasn’t sure I would meet someone who cared about the quality of their work and their relationship with clients as much I do. Fortunately, Emily meets and exceeds all my expectations.
To say the decision to dissolve Lealea Design was difficult is an understatement. Lealea Design carries my professional brand, and it’s one that’s purposefully tied to me personally. However, for those who wonder or ask how I feel by letting that go, I say to you:
I haven’t. What’s the point of building a personal brand you can’t take with you?
And I’m taking it somewhere awesome.
Onward and Upward!
Please join me as I embark on this new journey with Emily Lewis Design! We want to provide you the best customer service, while creating sites that help you build your business, share your message and grow your presence into something that we are all proud to be a part of.
If you have any upcoming design and development opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to working with you!