We were lucky to catch up with Alexis Wesley recently and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Alexis thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. We’d love to hear your thoughts about making remote work effective.
I have always been a fan of the option to work remotely because sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day doesn’t equate to productivity and sometimes life’s necessities need to take place during that time! I have worked at many places that were in-office and if you weren’t at your desk working, your boss thinks you’re not working – it’s crazy! Yes, some jobs need to be done on-location, but creative work can be done anywhere, and sometimes – especially for me – sitting at a desk, with office distractions and migraine-inducing fluorescents buzzing overhead isn’t conducive to a creative atmosphere.
When I started my company, Pixel’d LLC (pxld), I knew that I wanted to build a company with great culture – remotely. If someone has a doctor’s appointment or needs a day off because it’s gorgeous outside, I don’t need to regulate those parts of someone’s life – each person can figure out their own rhythm and work-life balance and as long as deadlines are met and quality doesn’t suffer, I am all for that! Time is the one thing that is limited in an amount that we don’t know and we can’t get back, so live.
I have a small team and everyone is remote, so communication is key. We use Slack for chatting and quick communication, Monday.com as a project management tool – with the automation options they have, it makes everything so easy! We have a board for weekly work schedules and everyone goes in and fills that out at the beginning of the week, so everyone knows when the team is actively working. We have team meetings and creative reviews via Google Meets so we all talk and collaborate there. I have an office and members of the team are welcome to come in and work if they need or want an office setting, but it isn’t required. I hired the people on my team, so I trust them to do their jobs and in return, they love what they’re doing and put out quality work. I’m really proud of the culture we’re creating – I’m really big on good company culture and balance.
Alexis, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I started my company in 2020 – right before COVID hit! I had spent several years doing freelance work, then was the Art Director for a snack company, and once I had a baby I needed more work/life balance (really, less commuting) and set out to start Pixel’d LLC (pxld). We offer creative and marketing services and work with brands all around the country and have worked with a few brands in other countries. The bulk of our work is with CPG brands – package design ( A LOT of that), retail signage, websites, ads, trade show booth design, restaurant pop-up design…really anything you can think of, we can design. We also do product photography and video, social media management, and we do quite a bit of branding – that’s my jam! I love what I do so much! We are in the works of rebuilding our website and are adding on an e-commerce portion where we sell prints, stickers, and resell hype items, collectibles, and records…melding my passions together.
I am most proud of who we are. There are a lot of agencies, large and small, with so much talent! The feedback I get from our clients makes me really proud though. I am often told that the client feels like we’re an extension of their team and that they can tell that we are emotionally invested in their brands and that we really care about them…I love that so much! I want clients to feel cared about and know that we’re advising them and creating things for them with the same care as if their company were ours. I’ve been the client for agencies and felt the opposite – like we were billable hours, rather than people trying to grow a brand. I started this company to help other humans grow their brands and crush their goals and I love that that mission gets across to clients through our actions.
Where do you think you get most of your clients from?
Word of mouth! Fostering great relationships with people is huge. I have spent exactly $0 on advertising our company or myself as a freelancer before starting the company. I’ve always been big on treating our clients well and I try to overdeliver but never underdeliver. I also think taking the time to educate clients is important and it goes a long way. I design purposefully, so if a client asks why I did (or didn’t) do something, I can tell them why – 100% of the time. If a client doesn’t understand something, I will take the time to break it down for them and answer questions…even if another designer has questions, I’ll take the time to help (Community over Competition for the win!). Treat people well and it’ll come back to you.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
I love being able to work on different brands all the time and develop creative styles for people. I love taking a client’s vision and bringing it to life, seeing their face light up with excitement, and then helping them share it with the world! It’s also a really cool feeling to be walking in the store with my husband and three-year-old and be like, “Hey! Mama designed that!” – and see his big, bright smile…he loves art and is starting to grasp what I do and it’s so awesome to me. Aside from that, it’s cool seeing clients learn more about design and start noticing things more. I have some clients that’ll email me articles when they notice something from things I’ve spent time educating them on – yay!