From Retail Manager to Designer: How One Woman Launched a Digital Design and Branding 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 girl bosses, and so much more!
Today, we’re sitting down with our student Alisha Tanner, Founder of S co. Creative Design! Originally from Longview, Texas, Alisha gives us a glimpse into her girl boss journey…
I am the Founder and Head Designer for S co. Creative Design. I collaborate with my clients in designing modern, minimal branding and stellar custom website designs.
My passion is inspiring other female entrepreneurs to take the first step in visually branding their business to help take their vision to the next level.
“I officially launched S co. Creative Design in February of 2019!”
Q: How did you discover the Bucketlist Bombshells?
I discovered the Bucketlist Bombshells through an Instagram ad. My browser history was jam-packed with remote job searches, website building how-to’s, and how do I even start?, so I was their ideal target audience for sure!
Q: What inspired you to enroll in the Bucketlist Bombshells courses?
Before I enrolled in the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy, I knew the bullet points of what I wanted my life to look like. I wanted to create my own reality and my vision was to own my own business to create jobs for others.
My dream was to do something I loved (preferably in a creative field) and I wanted to travel the world while making an income. This led me down many different paths for quite a few years while I was working full-time in my management position.
Through my years of searching and starting multiple online-based businesses, I found a love for the beginning stages of building a business. I had no idea that branding and website design would be where I ended up!
I researched the thought of building websites for clients in the past, but I found it very uncreative and mostly male-based agencies. So, needless to say, I never connected with it.
“When I came across the Bucketlist Bombshells and their amazing community, it immediately spoke to me and opened my eyes to an entire world of like-minded individuals!”
Q: How have the courses helped you to become an online business owner?
My personality has always been equal parts tech and equal parts creative. The Bucketlist Bombshells Academy opened my eyes to an entire world that fit my personality so well and gave me a fail-safe path to follow in creating the remote business of my dreams!
Q: What type of job were you working in prior to running your own online business?
Prior to running S co. Creative Design, I worked full time in the cosmetics industry as a Retail Manager.
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?
Less than six months after completing the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy, I officially put my notice in on August 13th of 2020!
“I never expected to leave my corporate job as quickly as I did!”
When I launched S co. Creative Design in February 2020, I was spending three to four hours a day on perfecting the back-end of my business and marketing, all while working 40+ hours a week at my 9-5. There were lots of late nights and early mornings!
During March 2020, my area was under a mandatory shut-in due to COVID, leaving me on temporary furlough from my corporate position. During this time, I went from my three to four hours a day of focusing on building my business to a full 8+ hours a day!
Q: What was the final push in your story to get you to ditch that 9-5 job?
During the mandatory shut-in due to COVID, I was able to focus 100% of my full attention on S co. Creative Design. I used this time to market my business and this led me to booking myself with clients one month in advance!
As soon as I got word that my corporate job was starting back up in September, I had to have a real moment and look at everything I had grown up until this point and ask myself if it would suffer if I went back to my 9-5. The answer was a definite yes!
I wouldn’t be able to market like I had been, which meant fewer people would be seeing my business. My current clients that I had already booked and were coming up wouldn’t be able to get the attention they needed.
It was the biggest and scariest decision I have ever made, but 100% right no matter how scary it felt.
“I had my largest grossing month in October, bringing in more revenue than I made at my corporate management position!”
Q: How long was it until you landed your first client online?
While going through the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy, I jumped headfirst into game planning my business. So, I took on my first paid client before I even launched! Due to this, I went ahead and officially launched in February and just considered what I had ready as “my first draft.”
Q: What is your process for finding and landing clients online?
I have connected with my clients mainly through Instagram and referrals. Authentically putting myself out there and showing up daily with helpful advice, portfolio work, and behind the scenes with my own business has connected me with so many like-minded people.
I have always been interested in what others do and I am so passionate about helping others who need it. So, finding genuine and authentic people has seemed to come naturally with my business. I am so grateful to have met the clients I’ve worked with – They are some of the most amazing people!
Q: What has been your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was starting, building, and maintaining my new business while working full time in my corporate management position.
“Pushing through the long hours, stressful days, and focus struggles were constant reminders of how badly I wanted to succeed!”
Q: What’s the most challenging part about running your online business?
I’m a natural workaholic, especially when it comes to owning my own business!
There is this preconception that when you have the ability to create your own hours, you will suddenly have more free time. However, that is definitely not the case for me. I eat, sleep, and breathe my business and I love it!
Finding work/life balance while keeping the back-end of my business growing, organized, and making time to travel has been a small challenge. I need to give myself permission to slow down and celebrate my accomplishments more. I know that with more practice and perfection in my workflow, I will get there!
“I’m in the process of hiring my first designer to join and grow my team!”
Q: Looking back on your online business journey, what is something that you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of myself for never letting fear slow me down.
From the first step in purchasing the Bucketlist Bombshells Academy to having my first Zoom call with a client and setting up my business LLC, I had so many fearful, nervous moments. I created a vision board and displayed it in my office as a constant reminder of why I am doing what I am doing and to never let “Imposter Syndrome” slow me down.
“I always remind myself that others have the life I dream of, and I can have it too!”
Q: If you could speak to your past self, what piece of advice would you give her?
You are on the right path… You just don’t know it yet!
Now that I can look back at my full journey, each step that I took that may have not felt right at the time was so necessary to get me to where I am today. From staying longer at my corporate job and taking the management position at my previous employer to starting and stopping multiple e-commerce businesses, each step was so vital in leading me to find my passion!
Q: How do you stay inspired and motivated to run your online business?
So many things keep me inspired every day! My vision of my perfect life and my goal of creating the same freedom and opportunity for others down the road is so motivational.
Thinking back to where I was a year ago helps to keep me grateful! I am so lucky to have such a supportive family to inspire me every day and the most incredible clients that keep my creative juices flowing!Things like my vision board, my Passion Planner, and my supportive family help to remind me of my Why. Every day I make a cup of coffee, walk into my home office, and take a few minutes to look over my vision board. Any celebration that happens in my business (small or large!), I write down in my Passion Planner and mark off my goals!
Q: Tell us what a “day in the life” looks like for you now that you’re running your own online business!
I usually wake up around 7 am and go straight to my Chemex Coffeemaker. I love slow mornings with my dog, Subie, and my boyfriend. So, I always take at least 30 minutes to soak up some morning sun, eat a little breakfast, and take in my vision board before getting ready and starting my day.
With coffee in hand, I commence operation zero inbox. I check my emails, upcoming Zoom calls, Asana, and take care of anything that may need my immediate attention. Typically, I block out a small amount of time to market my business. I also usually block out my Fridays for any major business back-end to-do’s. I love to share my behind-the-scenes with clients throughout the day, so by now, I’ve checked in on Instagram.
From there, I begin client work for a few hours and then break for lunch. This may be at home or at a local cafe and, of course, Subie always joins!
After lunch, I step back into my office to finish off my client’s to-do list for the day. My goal is to sign-off around 5-6 pm for a chill evening with my family.
Q: What’s the best part about being your own boss?
The best part about being my own boss is that I have complete hourly freedom! Coming from working in the cosmetics corporate world where Saturdays were mandatory, I missed so many birthday parties, road trips, family get-togethers, etc… My travels were limited to three separate weeks a year, so my dream of working while traveling was not an option.
“Now, I have the freedom to create my own schedule!”
I have the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world. Plus, I get to decide when I want to work. It’s an absolute dream!
Q: What do you love most about the work you do and the clients you work with?
I absolutely love the creativity behind crafting something from just a client’s vision alone! Being there every step of the journey for them from the initial idea, the design strategy, designing each element, then the absolute tear-filled happiness of the launch celebration gives me so much happiness and life!
In the beginning, sharing my personality more on social media was a struggle for me. I am a natural introvert at heart but I love connecting with like-minded people. Showing up more has 100% helped me to attract my ideal clients for my business.
“I now have the privilege of working with some of the most amazing people that do the most incredible things for a living from all over the world!”
Q: What is your favorite destination to work remotely from?
Due to going full time with my business during COVID, I’ve chosen not to travel as much right now. However, I took my first trip while working full time for myself in August to Santa Fe, New Mexico and it was life-changing! Having the ability to run a successful business from anywhere in the world leaves me so grateful for where I am. Not to mention, it was on my vision board!
Q: What’re your favorite business tools that you’d recommend to other girl bosses? Why do you love them?
The #1 business tool that I would recommend would be investing in a website for yourself. It shows clients that you take your business seriously, gives them a home to come and visit, and it shows that you are a true professional in your industry. I LOVE Squarespace due to the ease of updating when the design is complete. Plus, their customer service is next-level.
Also, having a platform to organize your to-do’s is a must! I highly recommend Asana. The free version has been perfect for my business and I communicate with my clients through the client boards.
I also recommend investing in a Passion Planner. It has been a game-changer in my life and business! I am a huge believer in manifestation just for the constant reminder of your what, why, and when. The Passion Planner helps you break down your yearly, monthly, and weekly goals to help keep you on track with life and business.
As you probably know by now, I highly recommend creating a vision board! I do this once a year, usually on New Year’s Eve to celebrate! Taking this in daily has been so rewarding.
Q: What are your favorite business books that you would recommend to another girl boss and why do you love them?
I have three favorite books to help with both business and mindset:
1. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. It’s not the girliest or most fun, but definitely a must-read to help with your personal financial decisions. It was a gift from my dad when I started my business and acts as an encyclopedia every time I have a finance question.
2. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This book helps to see everything in a different light when it comes to stress, anxiety, and the mind. It’s such a great reminder to breathe when things get hectic!
3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. This book is like number two in the way of it helping to balance life but in such a different aspect. It really helps to look at the things that matter most vs. worrying about the things that don’t. This was my go-to when I was stressing during my corporate position.
Q: What’s your go-to favorite podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
Hands down my favorite and most valuable podcast is the Limitless Life Podcast with Melyssa Griffin. I could go on and on about how valuable this podcast is!
The She Did it Her Way by Amanda Boleyn holds such a special place in my heart. Not only does it showcase some incredible female entrepreneurs, but I also listened to this podcast when I was just starting my business. One specific episode featured a branding and website designer that had a very similar story to mine, Victoria from BrandWell.
Fast forward five months later and I now work side-by-side with Victoria in creating beautiful Squarespace Website Designs for her clients. One website design client is actually Amanda of the She Did it Her Way Podcast! Talk about full circle!
Q: What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
You will go through fear, Imposter Syndrome, the scary firsts, and those hard decisions that you will have to make on your own… But with every low, there is a high right around the corner that is so worth it!
“Keep going and give it your all, no matter what!”
Take each negative thing that happens as a learning curve. I constantly repeat, “This too shall pass” as a reminder that the negatives are only temporary, as well as the positives, so take in every moment!
Don’t focus on what others are doing at their step ten. It’s okay to get inspired by other businesses that are similar to yours but don’t get caught up in comparison to your step one. The perfection in your business will come through your journey! Your clients will connect with your personality and your style, so do your best to let that shine through!
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 women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
Today, we’re sitting down with BB student Marion, Founder of Modali Branding! Join us as she...
We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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