written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Laura Wallace was “born and raised in Greencastle, Pennsylvania 17225.” She has an Associates degree in Graphic Design from the Bradley Academy for the Visual Arts in York, Pa. and a Bachelor’s Degree, Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division.
Married to her high school sweetheart for 17 years, they have “an incredible little boy. He’s eight — his name is Kandon. He’s a creative and soft, beautiful spirit.”
When Laura isn’t busy with business or family matters, she loves tackling house projects. For Laura, that means “putting on my old-pant paint jeans, breaking out some basspart paint and painting the house and tearing things up. I love to see something go from construction to completion.”
She started Worx 9 years ago in July. She’s now the Creative Director of a team of five women — three designers, a copywriter and a creative assistant. All designs are created in-house within their walls.
She’s also the founder of The Green Couch Project, encouraging risk takers to ‘spill your gutsy’ and nudging others to follow their dreams since 2014. And, she’s the author of Brandstarter — an entrepreneurial workbook.
Laura shares that creating the ultimate brand experience begins with a clear understanding of what a brand is and it’s different aspects.
* Visual Brand – This is what people see. “It’s your logo, colors, typography, what your ads look like, what your website looks like.”
* The Brand Experience – This is the emotional part of the brand. “It’s how people feel when they interact with you — how people speak about your business when you’re not around.”
Laura continues, “It’s how people respond to who you are to them and how you make a difference to them.” And, yes, any business can create it.
“Even the smallest of businesses and the largest of businesses can create a brand experience by staying true to who they are — creating company culture by having consistent branding and marketing.”
* Consistency is Key!
It’s making sure all platforms look, sound and represent the same way. “When somebody goes to your website, are they feeling the same way as if they’re experiencing you in person?”
Pregnancy Inspired The Birth Of A Business
Laura started her first graphic design job directly out of college. She created ads for Ogden Directories Yellow Pages and also assisted with marketing and phone book advertising.
Looking back, she recalls “It was a solid experience. I got my first real world experience in how to work with people and projects and real deadlines — not school deadlines, but REAL deadlines.”
Time To Start A Family And Entrepreneurship!
When it was time to begin a family, it was time to make a career move. “I’d always had a kind of entrepreneurial spirit to me. I always knew that I wanted to be the ‘boss’ — I wanted to be the person that was able to lead and inspire people.”
Pregnancy turned out to be a catapult! “I built up this incredible energy and confidence when I was pregnant to quit my job. Maybe hormones. Maybe confidence. Call it whatever you want.”
Laura continues, “I had been freelancing for a while on the side and figured now was as good a time as ever.” She left Ogden Directories behind and gave birth to her son … and Worx!
The Biggest Challenge of Being An Entrepreneur
“Creating boundaries is something that I didn’t initially anticipate when becoming an entrepreneur. It’s very easy to plug in at any given time on any given day. It’s easy to be in your business while you’re with your family or it’s easy to be with your family while you’re in your business.
Creating those boundaries — saying when I’m at work, I’m at work and when I’m at home, I’m at home — and separating some of those emotions that can overflow into one another, is an ongoing challenge but something that you can condition yourself to do.”
Laura notes that it’s easier to turn it off if it’s not constantly in your face. “Turn off the notifications after a set hour.”
Advice That Laura Would Give Herself If She Could Go Back In Time
“You’re going to question yourself almost every step of the way but always follow your gut. Your gut has a louder voice than your mouth, or even your mind sometimes.”
She adds, “While you may not be certain if what you’re doing is correct or at the right time or even makes sense, take out the mental chatter and just listen to what your gut is telling you.”
Making A Difference By Turning Ideas Into Something Concrete
“We get to work with entrepreneurs that have really cool ideas.” They know what they want but how do you show somebody what’s in your head?
“We get to work with them on a very intimate level to help draw those things out of their minds. What their purpose is…who they are..how they want to impact the world..what are they offering.
We get to present them with something that takes what has been in their heads for any given length of time and now they have something visual to represent that idea. So, it’s no longer ‘hey,I’m thinking about starting this thing’ but it’s ‘look what I’ve done.’
It’s extremely empowering for us and it’s just a cool place to be at. We’re helping to be part of their process or part of their story.”
Inspiration Leads To Innovation
Laura recalls starting Worx working at a couch and a coffee table. When she was browsing a furniture store with her husband and came across a lime green couch, her creative instincts kicked in but she wasn’t sure why at the time. But, she knew she had to have THAT couch!
Returning later to purchase it and discovering that it was gone and ‘out of stock’, it stayed on her mind. Her “wonderfully supportive” mate made an extraordinary effort to track the couch down in some distant warehouse and ordered it.
Laura soon made the connection and realized that it reminded her of the excitement and uneasy feeling that enveloped her as she started her own entrepreneurial journey on a couch. Her new purchase became the foundation for The Green Couch Project. Other risk takers sit on this couch to candidly interact and reveal their own hopes, dreams, fears and excitement.
Laura Relies On TimeFox To Keep A Handle On It All
TimeFox is a product of Function Fox. “It allows us to balance our time management skills, clock time, breakout actions and look at deadlines. It’s kind of a hub where we keep all our information.
An Inspiring Book And An Inspiring Mantra, Too!
For anyone looking for inspiration in a book, Laura highly recommends ‘Successful Women Think Differently’ by Valerie Burton. “It talks about resilience and being able to bounce back.”
Her personal mantra is “If you’re not ridiculously excited about what you’re doing, then it’s time to change it.” Feel free to make it your own, too!
Reach out to Laura at Worx to put her incredible talents to work helping to create the perfect brand experience for your business.
Main office – Greencastle 717-643-1141
Hagerstown (by appt. only) 877-850-WORX
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast #042: Eric Verdi Interviews Laura Wallace