Rachel Lane - Curios Design

curious-1-300x141Curious Design provide friendly, high quality, affordable graphic and web design services to large & small companies, start-ups, creatives, not-for-profits & individuals. Rachel Lane and her business partner Marie Dunne design logos, branding, brochures, flyers, leaflets, websites, e-commerce sites and those all important email newsletters for driving traffic to specific landing pages on your website.

What led you to starting your business? Initially Marie was made redundant, so she decided to complete a Web Design course to compliment her Graphic Design Degree. As business grew, Rachel decided to join forces and Curious was born.

How did you raise the start-up funds you needed? The nature of our business meant that we didn’t require huge set up funds and were lucky enough to be in a position to self fund.

What was the most significant lesson you learned in starting your business? The importance of having a good relationship with our clients. The vast majority of our work comes from referrals.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read, business or non-business?Logo Design Love by David Airey and How To Be a Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy. Both books help with the day-to-day challenges we encounter as designers.

Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?Jessica Hische is an American illustrator/designer that we both love. We recently attended a design conference in Dublin and were lucky enough to see Jessica give a talk about what inspires her as an entrepreneur.

What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date? Managing the balance between the creative side of our business and our administrative duties. As we are both from creative backgrounds it is sometimes challenging to keep on top of admin tasks and scheduling, but we have learned so much in the past year!

What has been the proudest moment in your business so far? There have been many, in particular every time we receive a glowing testimonial from a satisfied client!

What was the best piece of business advice you ever got? Someone very wise advised us to always draw up a new contract with every client. The contract outlines the details of the project so that each client knows what is happening and when.

Can you recommend a good time management technique for other entrepreneurs out there? To do lists! There is a fantastic app called Teux Deux designed by Swiss Miss that we use all the time. We love ticking things off our lists!

What magazine do you never miss each month?Eye magazine, it showcases the best of Graphic Design internationally.

What is your favourite film? We have a few between us, Rachel’s are Amelie, Chocolat and The Green Mile, Marie’s are Moonrise Kingdom and Pan’s Labyrinth.

What is your favourite ad?Rachel: I love the Twinings tea adverts but I think my favourite is Sony Heartbeats advert from a few of years ago

 Marie: This Surf one is gorgeous!

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business? If you can, try to work with someone. We have found working together great – we can bounce ideas off each other and solve problems together!

curious-work-298x300What do you like to do when you’re not running your business? We document our out of hours activities on our blog curious casa. http://curiouscasa.com/

We both love art and design in all forms, interior, furniture, illustration, animation and photography.

Have you found the self-employed formula for a work/life balance? This is still something we find quite tricky – having a designated home office space makes it easier to separate work and play. We also try our best to stick to office hours when we can.

What’s your website?http://www.curiousdesign.ie/

Do you have a Facebook page?https://www.facebook.com/CuriousDesignIreland

Are you on Twitter?https://twitter.com/_curious_design

How has Wicklow CEB helped you and/or your business? We found the Wicklow CEB to be a great source of information. The Wicklow CEB also provides great networking opportunites.

If you could start up all over again, would you do anything differently? As with all business start-ups and entrepreneurs, we are constantly learning and there are probably lots of little things we would have done differently along the way. However, if we did anything differently we wouldn’t be where we are now!