BASED IN: NEW YORK
JPD Studio is an all women-run tech and branding agency here in NYC. We are a full service web development and design firm specializing in custom websites, ecommerce development and branding. JPD Studio has an extensive portfolio of work across all industries, that said we focus heavily on women's empowerment and organizations in the space of social good.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs? Did it help or did that set you back?
Entrepreneurial spirit definitely runs in my family, but I’m the first to start my own business. I’m lucky that creativity was also always encouraged in my family, which allowed me to explore different creative avenues. I always knew that I wanted to work in a creative field doing work that I loved. After working as a web designer at a nonprofit for 7 years, I decided to start my own business in 2007 to meet the increasing need for firms that could deliver websites that achieved both a beautiful front-end design and highly functional and easy-to-use back-end. I was strongly supported by my family to set out on my own.
How do you keep yourself motivated when you can’t keep going anymore?
Compartmentalizing. When things get overwhelming and obstacles seem too big to overcome, I compartmentalize. When you look at everything at once, the “problem” or “problems” appear as one insurmountable blockade. I take time to break each issue up by topic or category and solve the small pieces one by one. It helps to view things piece by piece rather than one solid, enormous problem. I also have an incredible team that I can always rely on to jump in and tackle each front as they can. We depend and rely on each other continually, communicate openly and elevate each other as we are all working towards the same goal.
What part of your personality helped you the most with your entrepreneurial journey?
I am determined and optimistic. I never questioned if it was possible, it was just going to happen. I set out to work for myself and wanted to create a career and lifestyle that would allow me to work with people I loved, companies I admired and missions I could get behind. I pinpointed a need in the market that fit the skills and talents I acquired and took a leap.
Why do you think now is the time to be a female entrepreneur? Do you believe that times are changing for the better? Is it harder being a female entrepreneur or do you think it doesn’t really matter?
This is a great time to be a female entrepreneur! It still has its challenges of course but the cultural climate is shifting to not only empower women but also support them. Culturally, this means more investment in female founded companies, supporting flexible work/life balance and women promoting other women along the way.
Something I'm really encouraged by culturally is that we're starting to abandon selling the idea to professional women (whether they're entrepreneurs or professionals) that you can "have it all" or "do it all." Instead, there's a focus on support of a flexible work/life balance as a main foundation. No matter what level we're at professionally, we're all doing our best to juggle life, family, and our own happiness, and it can be a real struggle. By talking about that openly, we are changing the conversation and can make real strides in supporting ourselves and other women as we create our own definition of what it means to be a professional in today's world.
What are some ways we can inspire other women and young girls to start their own businesses and build them to last?
A quote that comes to mind is “You can’t be what you can’t see”. One of the most important ways to inspire others is to share your own story. Visibility in all senses of the word provides platform to inspire, challenge, empower and build upon. I also think that introducing girls at a young age to STEAM/STEM, trial and error and the very multidimensional careers women have can help reframe the fear around failure we (adult women) experience later in life and widen the scope of what they see as possible for themselves in the future.
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs that are reading your interview?
Build a strong network and community. People are your greatest resource and you can always be a resource to people! Try to help and connect others and always pay it forward. I aim to go into every new encounter with an open mind and an open heart. It’s important to invite new ideas, new perspectives and new experiences.