Welcome to the first Flourish Friday of the new ‘How I Flourish in Des Moines’ blog series!
If you’re new to this concept, head over to my intro post to learn what this is all about.
I’m thrilled to share the stories of local women in business so we can all learn more about the unique ladies behind them, how their businesses got started in the Des Moines area, and what advice they have to share.
Introducing Regan Doely and Doe a Deer
This week, we’re highlighting Regan Doely with Doe a Deer, a graphic design and product-based business. I’ve admired Regan’s handmade-focused brand and approach to small business from afar for a while now, and luckily we were able to meet in person earlier this year. Since then, I’ve tapped into Regan’s design knowhow for both my business and a local group I’m involved with.
In her answers below, Regan offers a great perspective from taking Doe a Deer full time earlier this summer. Get a behind-the-scenes look at Regan and her small business journey:
1. What is your business, and what do you do?
Doe A Deer started as my freelance design business – this aspect of Doe A Deer is still very much alive, well & thriving. In the fall of 2016, I decided to create some products and start an Etsy shop. I participated in my first craft show in November of 2016 with 2 notepad and 2 towel designs. Since then, my product lines have expanded to nearly 15 towels, 5 notepads, greeting cards, mugs and more! I love designing products. They are a true reflection of who I am, my design style & my personality. I also LOVE working with small businesses on branding, marketing materials and social media. My job pretty much rocks 🙂
2. How long have you been in business?
I officially launched my Doe A Deer brand on Facebook in August of 2016. I just made the leap to full-time Doe A Deer this June.
3. What sparked your interest in becoming a small business owner?
I am so passionate about small businesses. I love working with them, and I love being one. There is so much heart that goes into being a small business owner. The impact I get to make as a service small business is amazing. The appreciation and excitement from my clients is something you just don’t get working in Corporate America.
As for the product side of things, I love meeting retailers. I love going on a road trip and just seeing what shops are out there & how they each have their own unique style. I have always wanted to have my own brick & mortar shop some day. It’s the best feeling when a shop owner reaches out to me and wants to carry Doe A Deer products.
4. What gap does your business fill?
There are many talented designers in Des Moines. I believe we all bring something unique to the table! I pride myself in my personal style, efficient & open communication and working hard to make sure my designs truly represent my client & their businesses. I feel personally invested in my clients brands & products/services and love following along on their journeys.
The product side of Doe A Deer is unique in that all items have a hand drawn component (& the majority of them are mostly hand drawn). I believe this gives them a look & feel that can’t be replicated. The style, colors and heart + soul behind these products makes them stand out amongst others.
5. What do you enjoy most about operating a business in the Des Moines metro?
Even though I live about 30 minutes from the Des Moines metro, I find the opportunities that Des Moines brings to be very essential to Doe A Deer. Two of my production partners are located in Des Moines & I love going into Des Moines and working at various coffee shops. There is also a wonderful community of female small business owners that have been so encouraging & helpful during this journey.
6. What is the best business-related advice you’ve received?
I think the best advice I’ve received is to just go for it. During my time as a small business owner, I’ve never been afraid to ask for things. You never know unless you ask (or try), and I really believe this is one of the main reasons I’ve gotten to where I am today. The worst thing someone can say is no! I can think of so many opportunities I would have missed out on if I would have stayed in my bubble and let my doubt keep me from asking the uncomfortable questions.
7. What tip do you have for other women in business?
Definitely my answer to the question above! Also, don’t be afraid to lean on the community around you. There is likely another woman business owner out there who has gone through a similar situation and would love to lend you some words of wisdom! Do your research, be confident and just go for it. You can always figure out a plan B.