From Chemical Engineer to Designer: How One Female Founder Launched a Branding and Web Design Studio
Ever wondered what it takes to ditch the cubicle and become a full-time girl boss? Our Student Spotlight Series interviews our students who have made the transition from 9-5 to remote CEOs!
From what inspired them to start their own business, their favorite podcasts, go-to morning routine, advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Katherine Hassan-Legault, Founder of Casia Luna Studio! Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Katherine gives us a glimpse into her online business journey…
Q: What type of online business do you own and what services do you offer?
I’m the Founder, CEO, and Lead Creative at Casia Luna Studio. We provide branding, web design services, and business coaching for online service-based womxn business owners who want to gain freedom.
Casia Luna Studio launched amidst COVID-19 in April 2020!
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells through their Instagram and Facebook ads promoting their Work Online and Travel the World Course.
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
My main inspiration for enrolling in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy was seeing other Canadian women just like me creating a life of freedom for themselves.
For almost five years, I had wanted to become an entrepreneur but didn’t know where to start. The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy provided me with a system and the skills necessary to get started in the right direction!
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Design Skills Course gave me the foundational knowledge about graphic design elements, as well as how to use the appropriate software, Adobe Create Cloud.
The Tech Skills Course helped me to gain confidence in using WordPress for web design as well as the required elements for a website.
Finally, the Work Online and Travel the World Course helped me set up my systems to be able to offer my services professionally.
Most importantly, the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy gave me the confidence to become an online business owner and to view my worth.
“The course communities gave me the opportunity to make friends with like-minded women!”
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running Casia Luna Studio, I was a chemical engineer.
Q: How long did it take you to ditch your 9-5, and how much time did you dedicate in order to make it happen?
It took me five months to set up my systems and gain my first client. I was putting anywhere between 10 to 20 hours a week to make this happen!
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
One of my life mottos is, “Life doesn’t have to be so hard.”
Before Casia Luna Studio, I was working in a job that felt soul-sucking with very little freedom. It didn’t have a positive impact on the world, my teammates and I didn’t really get along, and my supervisor and I were never on the same wave-length.
At some point, I ended up taking a week vacation from my 9-5 job to work on my business… And I never went back. I fell in love with the work I was doing, the freedom I had, and my newfound purpose!
“Life is too short to live so miserably!”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
I feel incredibly lucky to have landed my first clients while I was still working on completing the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy!
Two weeks after finishing the Work Online and Travel the World Course and simultaneously working on the Design Skills Course, I landed a book editing gig. I obviously don’t do that as part of my business now but it was a great learning experience!
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I land a majority of my clients through networking and asking for referrals. I love talking to new people and learning what they do and what their dreams are!
One of the clients I landed recently was actually through a market research/branding audit call. Basically, I just “fearlessly” put myself out there and tell people what I do. People are attracted to that energy!
Q: What has been your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback has been the lack of consistent income that comes with starting a business. I’ve had to rely on my partner, some government assistance, as well as take up a remote job contract to make ends meet.
At first, I felt really bad and guilty… as if I was giving up on my dream of being a successful business owner. Initially, I saw it as a failure on my part. However, I’ve come to realize that it was a blessing because now I have the space to create an online course that I’ll be able to sell on the side as passive income, diversifying my income stream.
“Had I not struggled, I don’t think I would’ve tried to develop this fun program!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
I’ve found that I’m super critical of myself and that I don’t always give myself the credit that I deserve.
In a creative field like design, it can also be super easy to compare myself to other more established designers, illustrators, and artists. I’ve had to unfollow a lot of them from social media because I was starting to really doubt my own worth!
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of myself for taking the leap of faith and trusting myself to work it out, even though I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning.
“I was just a girl with a dream. And in the last few months, I’ve been making that dream come true. There’s nothing more fulfilling!”
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I would tell my past self to follow your heart because it knows exactly where to take you. Trust the process… you will learn so much. Anything is possible!
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I created a vision board that I use as my laptop wallpaper so that any time I open my laptop I SEE exactly why I do this!
Setting goals with deadlines and working towards them every week also helps me to stay inspired and motivated. I love being able to cross things off my to-do list and see projects come together.
Lastly, I celebrate every little milestone with gratitude (and sometimes a bit of bubbly of course!)!
“Appreciating the life I’ve created for myself helps remind me of how far I’ve come!”
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
Monday through Friday, I wake up around 6:30am, meditate for 15 to 20 minutes, and then go for a short run. Breakfast typically consists of my favourite coconut chia cereal and a whipped hazelnut coffee or extra-strong chai.
Freshly out of the shower, I choose where I set up shop for the day, whether it’s my dining room table or in the cute cafés in my neighborhood. Typically, I work about 9am-4pm, but it truly depends on how I’m feeling. Some days, I work until 6-7pm and other days I stop at 2pm.
I love that I get to respect my body and work in ways that resonate with my energy levels. More than anything, I love being able to take a mid-afternoon break to grab an ice cream or smoothie with a friend if I feel like it.
“I love that I don’t have to ask anyone for permission and don’t feel guilty about my work schedule!”
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is the freedom that I have — Freedom to be authentic. Freedom to set my own hours. Freedom to have the impact I WANT to have. Freedom to spend time with the ones I love!
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love that I’ve created space to have a creative outlet that will be of service to other womxn entrepreneurs. Additionally, I love that I get to be compensated for my hard work, however I define that!
“I love that I get to empower other business owners through boosting their confidence and showing them that they also have the freedom to design their own success, no matter what that looks like!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
My favourite place in the whole world to set up work is at my mom’s dining room table. I live quite far from her (5-hour plane ride) and there’s honestly nothing like having the freedom to be able to spend a few weeks at a time with her and my family.
Q: What’s your favorite business tool that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love it?
I’m kind of old school, so my favourite business tool is my sketchbook. It’s small enough that I can bring it everywhere with me so that I can take notes when inspiration hits. The paper is a texture and thickness that appeases me. I also love the fact that it’s blank so I can sketch out design outlines or ideas!
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I absolutely adore You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero because she makes the wealth mindset SO relatable and easy to understand!
The journaling and reflection exercises helped me uncover a few subconscious blocks I had about making and retaining money, which played a huge part in how I was showing up in my business. I’ve been able to seriously increase my pricing and not feel nervous or awkward about it!
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
My favourite podcast right now is the Soulpreneur Podcast with Christine Nicole. I love that she delves a bit more into the spiritual side of things. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been able to learn a lot!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Be radical enough to believe in yourself. You are strong. You are incredible. You are already successful!
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
Meet The Bucketlist Bombshells
Hey! We're Cassie & Shay - we're obsessed with helping millennial women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping millennial women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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