Like most people's introduction to the world wide web, Elizabeth McCravy's digital legacy starts with MySpace. At first, she was just a regular participant in this media phenomenon. But then her innate creativity got the best of her. Elizabeth used her MySpace page not just as a way to connect with friends, but she saw it as an opportunity to help her fellow teens express themselves by offering free layouts from her own page. Fast-forward to today, and it's no surprise that she now helps small businesses define their personal brand. She brings it to fruition from print, all the way to websites, with her very own design company, Elizabeth McCravy's Designs. Here's more from Elizabeth in her own words.
Nashville, TN. But, I work with clients worldwide!
I specialize in Showit website design, custom branding, and business + marketing coaching. And, I'm launching Showit website templates this fall too!
Years in Business?
2 1/2 years in business (about 1 year of that, I was working other part-time jobs to get things going)!
Years dreaming of business?
I've been dreaming FOREVER, haha!
Are there any creatives that have influenced your thinking and career path?
I read the book ‘The 4-Hour Workweek' by Tim Ferris my senior year of college. Although my workweek is anything but 4-hours currently, this book taught me SO MUCH about business, time management, and entrepreneurship. I highly recommend it!
Was this your original career path or has the road to creative entrepreneurship been a winding one?
I believe 100% that design is the perfect career for me, but it took me some time to figure that out! In high school, I actually thought that I wanted to be a nurse. Not for any real reason except that I knew it was a common career and people talked about it being “stable” and “good”. Quickly though, I realized the medical field was NOT for me! When I went back to my roots and asked “What have I always loved doing? What did I do for fun as a kid?” — the answer was design and “business”. As a little girl, I wanted to be a fashion designer and was art-obsessed. In middle and high school, I used to go shopping for deals and then resell my purchases on eBay for a profit! In middle school, I also ran a MySpace layout shop with my sister where we created free layouts to help fellow teenagers make their pages more fun. When I think back on my “MySpace days,” it wasn't just a middle school hobby, it was a passion! And although it's different from what I do now, the roots are still there.
How did you get from there to here? Any advice for someone struggling to juggle everything?
In college, I still didn't realize how much of an entrepreneurial kick I had. Back then, my dream was to work at a BIG design or advertising agency — think pants suits, fancy offices, and a big city. My first job out of college put me well on that path. It was a well-paying advertising job, and surprise… I hated it. (Read the full story on Elizabeth quitting her job over on her blog here.) I've realized now that it was less about the work I was doing, but more about the fact that I wanted to build my own thing and I deeply desired the freedom that comes with working for yourself. I listened to my intuition and prayed A LOT, and then decided to reject the long-term job offer this company was offering me. Instead, I put in my resignation and headed out into the unknown! Starting my business was anything but linear. I already had a couple freelance clients I was working with on the side, and I slowly built up my clients. I side hustled with things like nannying and teaching yoga until I was earning enough to go full time. And, by the way… all of this happened when I was 22. There's no reason to wait until a certain age to go for your dreams!
Any advice for someone struggling to juggle everything?
Figure out what you loved doing when you were younger and less knowledgeable about careers, salaries, and all of that jazz. Do you still love that thing? Is there some type of career that could come from it? DO THAT.
What are some of the things that have inspired you through the years in being creative? What do you do when you feel stuck or just want to watch a whole bunch of Netflix?
There are 2 big things that really inspire me.
1. Magazines — Magazine designs are so thoughtfully curated and often super beautiful. I get more creative ideas for the websites I build when I ditch Pinterest and get out a magazine instead. I especially love Magnolia Journal, Food & Wine, and Vogue.
2. Nature — This may sound cheesy, but getting away from technology and outside always lends me to more creativity. Next time you feel like you're in a creative rut, go for a long walk and just let your mind clear!
When creating a business, most people focus on all the nitty gritty,
when it's more helpful to focus on simply finding clients!
How did you find out about Showit? Has it changed anything about how your business runs?
I was a designer on WordPress before switching to Showit. I often found myself frustrated by the design limitations of WordPress, and I wanted a platform where I could draw out a beautiful web page on paper and then turn that into a digital format. Showit was the answer! And, Showit has changed absolutely everything about how my business is run. By allowing me to have no creative limits, I've created a business where people really want to get their hands on the websites I make. I get the opportunity to build beautiful online homes for wonderful business owners — I adore what I do!
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