Can running your own business really bring you more flexibility and freedom? Find out Charlotte's approach to balancing her time between work and outdoor adventures by listening to this episode of About The Adventure podcast. During this interview Charlotte also shares the importance of her personal values that feed into her work as an ethical branding designer, why spending time in nature is so important to her, and a behind the scenes peek into creating The Brand Builder Course. This is my longest episode yet, packed full of valuable wisdom and honest reflection. A very special thank you goes out to Charlotte for sharing her experiences of career change, some of the challenges along the way, and also for answering questions that were sent in by listeners.
"Having my own business has given me that massive flexibility to reimagine a working day."
For my eighth episode I interviewed Charlotte Holroyd, the founder of Creative Wilderness, an ethical branding design agency in Greater Manchester. Charlotte provides intuitive creative design, brand identity, web design and print to independent businesses across Stockport, Cheshire, Manchester, and around the world. In addition to this she has created The Brand Builder online branding course for soulful business owners or designers who want to learn how to build a brand that has purpose, WOW and positive impact. Charlotte also co-hosts a monthly "Conscious Entrepreneurs" meet-up that brings people together in a small group to talk about business ideas, to share wisdom and to help each other.
Charlotte has over 10 years of experience in the design industry working at big agencies on brands. Her first job was at an advertising agency after setting up an indie online zine called ‘Geeek’ which focused on Manchester culture and bought together illustrators and writers around the city. Before jumping into design she dreamed of being a musician and studied music at Paul McCartneys music school ‘The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’. She spent a few years as a pro musician, and still loves to play the saxophone.
All of Charlotte's work is guided by her values which are all about nature, calmness and an organic style. She draws inspiration from her walks, wildswims and campervan adventures. During this episode, Sarah asks Charlotte:
How has setting up your own company enabled you to create more time to spend outside?
Why has that become a priority in your life?
How has your appreciation of nature and outdoor experiences inspired your graphic branding design agency?
Has it also guided who you choose to work with?
Has ethical branding and sustainability always been important to you, or was there a particular turning point?
What have you noticed happens if you don’t make time to get out?
What led you to create your brand builder course?
What’s the journey that you take people on with your course?
Can you give us an idea of what went on behind the scenes? (the highs, lows, frustrations, challenges etc)
How are you reaching the people who you want to share your knowledge with?
Who has helped or supported you along the way?
How important do you think it is to feel part of a community when you’re freelancing or working alone from home?
What steps have you taken to create a sense of community for yourself and for others?
How do your Conscious Entrepreneurs meet-ups work?
Reflecting back on your career, how have you found your way through some of the main challenges?
Question from The Intrepid Creative: How did you attract clients to work with you when you started freelancing as a graphic designer?
They also ask: Is it difficult to push away the doubts about success and financial stability and did you prepare financially prior to starting your business?
How does your lifestyle now compare to your previous work experiences?
Have you had any moments where you’ve thought that you can’t run your own business any more?
What’s helped you to get through the difficult times?
What helped your decisions towards creating a unique branding agency that is grounded in your values?
Is there one thing that has really helped you to define your brand?
How do you know what your values are?
We have another couple of questions that have been sent in by Jessica Sinclair, a creative designer and illustrator. Firstly: Where do you look for clients that are in line with your values?
Has there been a particular platform that you’ve found to be organic in attracting people to work with you?
Secondly from Jessica: What’s your process for ensuring the work that you’re taking on is in line with who you are and want to be?
Can you select three core things that have been essential to your work and lifestyle becoming more enjoyable and flexible for you?
Make sure you listen right to the end, when Charlotte asks a powerful question that can motivate people to start taking steps towards a career change.
I think that this episode will be particularly valuable to people interested in branding, ethical business, sustainability, and creating work grounded by personal values. I think it will also appeal to anyone who is thinking about working as a freelancer, starting a business, or creating an online course.
During the show, Charlotte mentions Daria, founder of High on Yoga, who co-hosts Conscious Entrepreneurs. She also mentions Paul Jardine, a creative independent website designer, developer and consultant.
Please note that this episode was recorded remotely so may sound different to other episodes.
Visit About The Adventure website to email Sarah, your podcast host, with your comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Subscribe to Sarah's newsletter to receive episodes in your inbox, along with career change interviews and career coaching questions. Podcast reviews are much appreciated on Apple Podcasts. Thanks for listening!