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 girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Emma Bryson, Founder of Saorsa Design Studio! Originally from Gourock, Scotland, Emma 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 of Saorsa Design Studio, a bespoke creative studio that empowers small business owners to find their creative freedom and become confident in their brand identity! I offer a full branding experience, beautifully designed websites, and an array of marketing materials such as social media strategy and graphics.
Saorsa Design Studio is aimed at small business owners who are building their dream life from their passion. They work hard at what they do and I’m here to help them reach their goals!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy?
While aimlessly scrolling on Facebook during a break at my previous job, I came across a Bucketlist Bombshells advertisement. I felt like it was a sign! I watched a video of a girl who had found complete freedom from completing the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy. So, I enrolled!
“When I lost my stable full-time position due to Covid-19, I had nothing but time to work through the courses!”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy not only helped me discover what I was passionate about, but it also taught me how to turn that passion into a sought-after skill! The skills taught in the courses are invaluable. They teach you the technical skills as well as give you the confidence to be your own girlboss!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Before Saorsa Design Studio, I was working full time as a Sales and Events Manager in the hospitality industry.
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?
Once I lost my full-time job, I committed myself completely to the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy.
“After a few short weeks, I was offered to return to my old job, but I was able to turn it down and focus on building my own business!”
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
While in the middle of going through the Design Skills Course, I showed my boyfriend one of the logos I had designed. I had my ‘aha’ moment when I realized that I could get paid to do this and have the freedom to work from anywhere I wanted. And who wouldn’t want that?!
“I realised that I enjoyed the process of designing so much that it barely felt like work!”
Never in a million years did I think that a global pandemic would be the push I needed to start my own business, but losing my job due to Covid-19 made me realise how important it is to do what you’re passionate about.
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
While completing the Work Online and Travel the World Course, I landed my first client on PeoplePerHour. It developed into an ongoing social media management project and gave me the extra push I needed to get started and put my business out there!
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
Optimising my social platforms has been imperative to finding clients! By engaging on Instagram, I have received a few referrals and have made friends along the way!
“I have an email template that is both friendly and professional that I use to target small businesses.”
Q: What has been your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback has been the power of self-sabotage. I was so nervous that no one would take me or my ideas seriously due to my age or inexperience. However, talking to other Bucketlist Bombshells in the student Facebook groups really helped.
“I realised that if I wanted clients to be confident in me, I had to be confident in myself first!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
Oftentimes, I forget to take a break from work! I have so many ideas and work on so many different projects that sometimes I don’t realise that the most productive thing to do is to take a break and relax.
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of when I finished my website and showed it to my dad. When he looked at my website (via Facetime as he is in Scotland), he teared up at how proud he was of me. It was such a beautiful moment I will cherish forever.
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
I would tell my past self to just do it! Don’t be afraid of what other people will think and stop thinking that you’re not enough. You absolutely can do this, girl!
And thank your boyfriend more for putting up with you asking him every five seconds if he “really does like the website.” 😉
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
I stay inspired by looking to women and creative entrepreneurs who work hard to live the life they want! It reminds me that all the work I put in now is going to pay off in the future.
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
Every morning, I go to my local cafe for a coffee and a morning stroll. I have breakfast, look through my task list for the day, and scroll through my favourite creative social media accounts for daily inspiration!
Then, I’ll work for a few hours on various projects and answer all of my emails. After eating lunch with my housemates, I’ll spend the afternoon drawing illustrations and finishing up any work from the morning. Oftentimes, I take a stroll to the park and think about the projects that I am working on.
I’ll finish working in the early evening and head to the store to get some things for a nice home-cooked meal with my housemates or my partner. After dinner, I’ll go through my social media accounts and engage with other designers, clients, and maintain my own personal social media strategy! Then, I’ll make a list of priorities for the next day.
For a few hours before bed, I’ll chill out and watch a movie or read a good book to recharge for the day ahead.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is that I’m building a business I can take anywhere. After Australia, I plan on moving to Canada.
“I love that I can make the move without worrying about what job I’ll get or what hours I’ll have to work. I can set my own work-life!”
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I love working with small business owners as we share a similar mindset. They are so passionate about what they do that they want to turn it into a full-time job! I love hearing clients talk about why they love their niche and how happy it makes them.
“I love that I am always learning and get to meet such wonderful people from all walks of life.”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
I love working from my front porch on the comfiest bench with cosy cushions! It gets a lovely amount of sunlight and a view of Melbourne’s city skyline. I love it when my housemates come out as they are my biggest cheerleaders and always encourage me.
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
Planoly: I absolutely love this platform for navigating social media. It allows you to see your feed aesthetic ahead of time and is great for showcasing potential social media management to clients.
Asana: I love organising my tasks in Asana because it keeps everything clean and easy to read. This allows me to work in real-time with clients as they can add notes to different tasks and we can communicate throughout the entire project.
Q: What is one of your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love it?
I highly recommend Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg!
“Women need to shift from thinking ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that — and I’ll learn by doing it.’”
This part of the book resonated with me as so many opportunities can be unlocked with that extra spark of confidence!
Q: What’re your go-to favorite podcasts that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
Women Taking the Lead with Jodi Flynn offers a lot of advice for overcoming mental blocks and reprogramming doubt to push you in a positive direction!
Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso discusses how to navigate professional and personal obstacles to become a success!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Try to remember that every business owner that you aspire to be started exactly where you are right now! All you need is a little confidence to back yourself.