We recently connected with Kyleigh Wentworth and have shared our conversation below.
Kyleigh, appreciate you joining us today. Naming anything – including a business – is so hard. Right? What’s the story behind how you came up with the name of your brand?
When I first started freelancing I knew I wanted a business name that wasn’t just my name. It took me a couple of days of brainstorming, but the right name showed up eventually. My last name is Wentworth and once upon a time I wanted to convert a bus/van into a tiny home to travel the US. I also love a good play on words, and so Went Designing came to be.
Kyleigh, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
I’m Kyleigh and some days my business feels like a living thing, moving to its own beat and leading me along.
I started Went Designing in 2018 after getting fired (!) from my full-time job. I may have cried that day, but turns out it was the best thing to happen to me. I got out of a job I wasn’t thriving in and got to embark on my own little adventure!
I spent the next three years building my design and branding company and found a niche within the residential and multi-family industry that I absolutely loved! I offered everything from branding to print design to web (I even taught myself to code and can absolutely hack a Squarespace site to customize it all to heck).
I love graphic design so much, it’s truly a passion for me and I couldn’t think of another job that would fit me better. I care so much about my clients and their businesses/products and hope that it shows in everything I create.
But, because being a freelancer wasn’t enough work (/s), I also took the plunge into Etsy and created an enamel pin and sticker shop. I personally collect enamel pins and have too many stickers—that I’m too afraid to stick to anything—so getting to bring to life my own versions was something I was very excited to do.
I’m also an advocate for efficiency, the fewer clicks the better. You’ll probably hear me say “Do Less” more than once every day. It’s a concept I stand by 100%, especially with the turn towards hustle culture that has affected creatives—especially freelancers—in the last couple of years. It’s my version of self-care, if I have to do the work, might as well make it efficient. From keyboard shortcuts to styles to changing InDesign’s default text box to auto-height (in the text box options, it’ll change your life), if it can save you time, now or in the future, do it. Do Less.
And then, as with all good things, they must change to grow and a little over a year ago I realized that the branding and design side of my business wasn’t serving me. I enjoyed the work but the business part of things really got me down. Invoices, contracts, scheduling … *snore*
So almost a year ago, I accepted a full-time job with one of my clients which allowed me to keep doing the work I loved, but not the parts I didn’t. It also opened up more free time to focus on my Etsy and work on creative projects for me.
Today, I’m still loving my day job (I just won a company award for my work!), I’m working on growing my Etsy and getting better at social media, and I’m chasing a passion from my art school days designing book covers and binding hardcover books!
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
That you always have to be working to have value.
I think it’s probably something that a lot of Millenials and people my age struggle with. But during the height of my business, I was working 80+ hour weeks and still felt like I wasn’t doing enough. That any free second of my day not spent working for a client was wasted. That I shouldn’t spend time watching TV or reading or even sleeping, because those activities weren’t “productive”.
Do Less was one part of my answer to that. Working more efficiently, means I get the work done faster. And the other part was reminding myself that time off for my brain to rest and to recharge is important for my health. It’s important for being able to continue being there for my clients. And it’s important for my creativity to keep flowing.
There are still days I struggle with overworking, but on those days I have to remind myself that I’ve come a long way and every day is a new day to try again.
For you, what’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative?
The feeling of finishing a project—bonus points if it was finished without falling into my overworking/procrastinate-until-the-last-second tendencies.
It’s a simple thing, but when you export that final print file or see an image of the final product. Especially one that I enjoyed working on or tried something new with. That’s the good stuff for me.
- Website: wentdesigning.etsy.com
- Instagram: @wentdesigning for business and book things, @airpirate_kiwi for photography and MidJourney art
- Twitter: @wentdesigning