We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Traci Sampson. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Traci below.
Traci, appreciate you joining us today. Alright, let’s jump into one of the most exciting parts of starting a new venture – how did you get your first client who was not a friend or family?
I had recently started my business and I received a call from a woman who had her own design business but was pregnant and going on maternity leave so she needed help with projects while she was away. We met for breakfast and had a wonderful discussion about her needs for the job. I was very excited! This was going to be an on-going project – doing production work for a banner company. They produce customized tents, banners, table throws, etc. with customer’s logo and other graphics printed on the items. Not super creative, but steady work that would help me establish income coming in. Sometimes the less glamorous work is as important as the creative work to keep your business running smoothly. To this day, we still work together – 12 years later!
Traci, 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?
After graduating college with a BFA from UGA,
I went to work as an in-house graphic designer for a home furnishings company for over 10 years. It was quite the learning experience – from branding the company with new logos, ads, business cards, and signage to billboard design and creating shopping bags
– I was immersed in all things graphic design. This helped me decide to take the leap and branch out on my own. In March of 2010, I started my own business, Traci with an Eye Graphic Design, LLC. I recently celebrated my 12th year in business and I am proud and happy to say I’m still doing what I love – creating designs that help businesses tell their story and stand out from the rest.
Traci with an Eye specializes in creative print design and branding for small to medium businesses. This includes logo, business card, and letterhead design, brochures, flyers, postcards, advertisements,
catalogs, invitations, billboards, posters, and signage. TWAE also designs specialty and promotional items such as shopping bags,
t-shirts, food packaging and water bottle labels, and other promotional pieces your business requires to get noticed. Traci with an Eye Graphic Design is also experienced in social media marketing including creating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages, web banners, web ads, designing cover photos and icons for specialty tabs, as well as e-mail campaigns/blasts.
TWAE works with real estate agents, interior designers, non-profit organizations, chambers of commerce, convention centers, retail and merchandising companies, start-ups and new businesses, law practices, and many others.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, business was at a stand still. My clients were dealing with issues of their own and no work or money was coming in. I was definitely starting to panic because I still had a mortgage and bills to pay. What could I do in the meantime to support myself and make sure I had income coming in? Two ideas came to me – I would make my delicious chocolate bark and sell it as well as create some fun neighborhood art and offer it to my community. I had high hopes this would work and it did!
I offered 4 flavors of the bark, designed some adorable labels, and got to work making pan after pan of delicious bark – some with almonds or coconut I toasted myself and some with dark and mint chocolate. After many, many batches, I sold out of all the bark so I got to work on the other project. I created a fun design highlighting my neighborhood’s East Atlanta Village mascots (a dragon, rooster, and llama) and offered it
online as car magnets, stickers, and buttons. These were so popular – more than I realized – I had to reorder multiple times to fulfill orders! I was so thankful my friends and community fully supported my endeavors and I was able to sustain myself until clients and projects starting
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
I’m not sure I had to unlearn this lesson, but rather learn it. One of my first clients took the work I created for them and not only didn’t pay me, they also used it for their business advertising without my knowledge. A friend was at a local business and saw the flyer I designed displayed on the wall. The valuable lesson I learned very quickly was to make sure to get a deposit every single time you start a project with a client, make sure to watermark your proofs so they cannot be used without your consent, and to only give the completed files to the client once the balance is paid. This will ensure you won’t be taken advantage of and you’ll get paid for the work you did.
- Website: https://www.traciwithaneye.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/traciwithaneye/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TraciwithanEyeDesign
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracisampson/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/_TraciwithanEye
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/traci-with-an-eye-graphic-design-llc-atlanta-2
- Other: email: email@example.com phone: 404-525-9494