On being an Entrepreneur with Melanie Lea
A Q&A with Melanie Lea of My Billie Designs
Anahata: Tell us a little about you
Melanie: I’m a self-taught designer that got my start back in 2012, but went full time in late 2016. I primarily work with creative entrepreneurs to build their brands and websites but have been excitedly growing a team around my studio and building out my offerings so I can work with more people and make a bigger impact at the studio.
My business is called My Billie Designs, named after my granny who was pretty much my favorite person in the world. I miss her so much and this is a small way to keep her legacy going. She represents so many positive, light-filled things in the world.
Anahata: What project are you working on right now?
Melanie: Oh man, lots! I’m in the middle of launching a new program for other designers right now to help them build their freelance businesses, and am also working on the website workshops for Anahata, helping my clients build out their brands and building a team for my studio.
Anahata: Why are these projects important to you?
Melanie: Becoming an entrepreneur has given me so much purpose in life, which is something I didn’t have a lot of before freelancing. Everything I do in my business points back to supporting other people as they pursue their own passions and purposes.
Anahata: Why is it important to the community at large?
Melanie: I’d say it’s important because as entrepreneurs, we often feel like we’re doing life and business all alone. No one else knows your business like you do, and it’s not uncommon to feel pressure and overwhelm while you’re growing and figuring things out. I’m there to encourage people and support them so they can build the life they want and actually realize their dreams. Most of the time you just need someone to believe in what you’re doing, and remind you that what you’re doing is awesome and worth pursuing, even when things get tough.
Anahata: How does collaboration play into your business?
Melanie: Pretty much everything I do is a collaboration! I collaborate with clients on their brand identities and websites and then I collaborate with other designers on my team to help my clients reach their goals. My designer program has a hands-on and hands-off portion, so that it can be more accessible to designers depending on their needs. There are different levels of support built into it.
Anahata: What has collaborating brought to your business?
Melanie: I’d say the biggest thing that it’s brought about is inspiration and support. I’m really fueled by people and get drained by working through small tasks by myself, so having people help me sort through tiny details helps me reserve energy and stay focused on the big picture. It’s always nice to have reinforcement with your ideas, and it feels great to return the favor and give back to others.
Anahata: What are your goals?
Melanie: The biggest thing I’m working towards right now is a move away from one-on-one work with my clients. Building my team is helping me do that, which gives me more time to focus on big, dreamy plans I have for the future. I’m scheming lots of ways to reach the masses and have a greater impact with the work I do.
Anahata: How can WE as a community help you?
Melanie: This one’s tough - I’m actually really bad at asking for help! I’d say more than anything I’m trying to collect good vibes from my community! It fuels me and helps me spread more positivity with what I’m doing, so I encourage you to say the nice thing you’re thinking or make a point to reach out to someone who sees things differently than you do. Flexing your empathy and kindness muscles makes us all better and stronger!
Melanie has 2 more workshops happening at Anahata Collaborative this week: