Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Poplett, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I have a multidisciplinary art studio specializing in graphic design and illustration. My customers vary- My design clients consist mostly of small businesses, writers, and musicians. I design event posters, logos, packaging, merchandise, book covers, and social media posts... The list goes on! I also sell original paintings, art prints, and greeting cards from my online shop, as well as wholesale to various shops in the US and internationally.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business in the midst of the pandemic. I had been looking for a new graphic design job for a while and wasn't having any luck. I had always wanted to start my own business, and with the help of my therapist, I made the leap and started my own studio. Each day I'm motivated because of the joy I receive from my clients. It is so satisfying to see their happiness when the vision they imagined comes to life. I'm also motivated because of the pure enjoyment of creating. I love trying new things, and as a small business owner, there is lots of freedom to experiment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is having my work sold internationally! Having my work in stores already felt like a big accomplishment, so when I received an order from a shop based in Paris, I was over the moon. It was definitely a dream come true.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing for me has been powering through when times get tough. It helped me to rely on the support of friends, family, and a great business coach.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

If you have had a dream of starting a business, do it! It can be scary at first, but I believe we are all given our dreams for a reason. My second tip is to keep going. Oftentimes there is a point where a business struggles, and that's when most people give up. You never know what is past that point of hardship unless you keep going. It could be something wonderful. My third tip would be to have fun! That is the joy of being self-employed. There are no rules, and you have the freedom to cultivate a process that brings you the most enjoyment.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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