How Sweet Dreamz Design came to be…

So, you wanted to know, did you?

Well, it all started in my junior year of high school, on the yearbook staff. Before that, my pre-teen & teenage life was filled mostly with piano lessons, Girl Scouts, and marching band (I played flute)…until Ms. Wilie—HS computer teacher + long-time family friend—suggested that I might enjoy working on the yearbook. YES!

Long story short, I fell in love with the magic of Photoshop, Ms. Wilie noticed I had a knack for that stuff, and she suggested that I consider a career in graphic design. To which I replied (in awe): “You mean people actually get paid to do this for a living? Wow!”

Fast forward a bit, to me sitting in the admissions counselor’s office at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, being asked to choose a major. After some deliberation, I chose graphic design over music, and I haven’t looked back since!

With my dad, at my college graduation.

With my dad, at my college graduation.

I graduated four years later to much fanfare, and held a small handful of internships, regular day jobs, and freelancing gigs…and while they were great for paychecks & gaining experience, they weren’t that much fun. Along about 2010, I was fantasizing about striking out on my own—thinking about how I work best solo, I wanted to be my own boss, didn’t want to spend an hour a day commuting anymore, and just really wanted to do my own thing—when my supervisor called me in and announced that I was being laid off.

She apologized profusely, saying how they wished they could keep me, but the budget had run dry, and that was that. I pretended to be more disappointed than I was, reassured her that I would be fine, but that little voice in my head was jumping up and down screaming “I’m FREE! Free, free at last!”.

In the four years since that day, I’ve made the transition from “freelancer” to “entrepreneur”, from “local” to “global”, from thinking small to thinking the sky’s the limit, and from serving any client who’ll pay me, to serving the most awesome + inspiring womenpreneur clients (a stark contrast to the smallest, most cut-n-dried client I ever had: an elderly gentleman who paid me $50 to create a real estate flyer to help him and his wife sell their house!).

Freelancing after college, I was known only by my own name. When I left that aforementioned job, I used the moniker “CreativeGem Designs”, until 2012 when I changed the name to the much more fitting “Sweet Dreamz Design”. (I spell it with a “z”, because the “sweetdreamsdesign.com” domain name was unavailable, and because it seemed fitting as a reference to the association of dreams with sleep (Zzzz…) and symbolic of the fact that I’ve had narcolepsy since age 12).

So, all of this in a nutshell…what began as simply a love of graphic design as an art form, has become (for me) a love of entrepreneurship, a celebration of women-in-business, and a deep understanding of small business branding, and how BRANDING + DESIGN + MARKETING all work in concert to help you reach your target audience, and grow your business.

10 Not-So-Random Facts About Me…

  1. I love all things creative: Including, but not limited to, your fantastic website + snazzy new logo, my oil paintings + handmade jewelry + other hand-crafted goodies, and a host of other great things.
  2. Drop me off at a craft store like Micheal’s, and I can entertain myself for hours. It comes with the territory, you know…being art-and-craft-and-design-obsessed, I can’t help it.
  3. I’m a spelling queen. No kidding, from K through 12th, I amassed no less than two trophies + four medals + countless accolades from teachers, for my attention to detail in writing (that includes a school-wide spelling bee championship!).
  4. I have a particular weakness for cake frosting. No kidding, I can eat that stuff by the spoonful (not the canned stuff, or the dairy-free whipped stuff, but the real buttercream icing—mmm-mmm-good).
  5. I’ve lived with narcolepsy since age 12. Coping with this “disability” for the past 17+ years, has effectively made me a much more thoughtful + compassionate + patient person.
  6. Get me started talking about UMHB, I double-dog-dare you! I’m kinda biased when it comes to my alma mater (in all seriousness, it really is a wonderful school!). My blood runs purple, so even if you think I don’t talk much…start asking me about Cru football, the beautiful campus, and sweet college memories, and I’ll give you an earful.
  7. One of the many blessings of attending UMHB, was growing a strong Christian foundation for my life. And I have many wonderful fellow students/alumni + faculty and staff to thank for that.
  8. I once thought that “business” was boring. That was, until I discovered that “business” could be awesome! It just depends on what you’re passionate about (and to reiterate, I’m most passionate about art & design). What’s your passion, and how can I support you in that?
  9. I love you, Sweet Dreamer! You’re my friend. My fellow freedom-fighter in entrepreneurship. And no matter how different your business is from mine, we have that “march to the beat of our own drum” thing in common.
  10. And because I love you, I want nothing less than to see you succeed! When your brand shines with authenticity, your clients and followers practically drool over your offerings like kids in a candy store, and your business grows by leaps and bounds, that’s when I know I’ve done my job right.

Wanna learn more about my design services, and the kind of clients I serve? Start HERE.