RuthAnn Rafiq

BRAND + WEBSITE DESIGNER / OWNER, R ARTSPACE

I am a brand and website designer and I help ambitious entrepreneurs create a professional and personality-filled online presence so they attract ideal clients with ease.

What inspired you to start your business?

Well, truthfully I never wanted to own a business. I had a picture in my head of what owning a business would look like and I never wanted it. But after several years at my day job and feeling unfulfilled, I found myself reading blog posts and finding women business owners around my age who were doing what they loved and making a living, such as being a graphic designer and working from home. And after seeing it was possible, and understanding I could make it happen for myself too, I gave it a go.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

Ah, so much. In the beginning I struggled a lot with comparison and looking around at what all the other designers were doing. It wasn't until I felt confident in my own work and was able to put blinders on that I really felt free in my work and able to be happy with my pace. It's easy to feel unsatisfied with where you're at if you're always looking around, but I encourage anyone who is in the beginning stages of their business to focus on the people they want to work with (not the "competition"), a community that encourages and uplifts them, and their own goals for their life and business.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I love spending time with my husband. We're big foodies and we love to host dinners and have people over and that's always so much fun. I'm also very involved in my church. I play the keys on the worship team and volunteer on a monthly basis. Aside from those things I love going out to dinner with friends, taking walks, and reading.

Image Credit: Headshot: Becca Blake, www.beccablake.com, @beccablake Office shot: Sarah Hermann, www.sarahdeanphotography.com, @sarahdeanphoto