Tips on Finding the Work/Life Balance: Meet Jennifer Pace

Tips on Finding the Work/Life Balance

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Small business owners are constantly in search of the work/life balance, but finding it can be tricky. We've recently realized the importance of asking for help when it's needed. This is something that doesn't come natural to either of us, as we're both very independent and used to thinking that asking for assistance is a sign of weakness. If you have a similar mindset, let me tell you - this is the furthest from the truth! 

Running a small business is hard, but the good news is that you don't have to do everything yourself! When Honeybook launched their Creative Community, we jumped in with both feet and decided to reach out to other designers to see if they'd be interested in collaborating on projects with us. We were pleasantly surprised to receive messages from dozens of talented designers, one of them being Jennifer with Pace Creative Design Studio. 

We love Jennifer's design style and knew she'd be a great fit from the start! 

Get to know Jennifer:

Hi, I'm Jennifer Duran and I'm a brand designer and surface designer. I currently live in Arizona, but have lived in several places throughout my life including Atlanta (my hometown), Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Ohio. Growing up, I loved anything and everything that had to do with art, from creating extravagant housing complexes out of cereal boxes to painting and writing stories — I was always doing something creative. 

Being creative is something that has always brought me joy. After taking a graphic design class in high school, I knew design was what I wanted to do. I double majored in Graphic Design and Interactive Media Studies in college at Miami University. For the last 8 years, I've been a full-time designer, from starting my career out as a freelancer to working in-house at a non-profit to now running my own business. I officially started Pace Creative Design Studio two years ago, where I focus on branding and surface design projects.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge being a solopreneur and how do you manage it?

A:  My biggest challenge is that I try to do everything and accomplish all my goals at once. I have to remind myself to slow down and that nothing is going to happen overnight. The other challenge is sometimes getting stuck in the feast or famine cycle, where one month is going great and then the next one you have no projects.

Working on putting systems in place and constantly marketing myself helps alleviate that stress. The journey of a solopreneur can be stressful, but at the end of the day it is really rewarding and I can truly say I love what I do! 

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Q: Where do you get your inspiration from? 

A:  I’m inspired by so many things around me. I find inspiration in nature, books, museums, traveling, mundane life, etc. I have a huge obsession with design and art books and I have three bookshelves in my home studio full of them. I also follow a ton of designers and artists on Instagram and I am constantly blown away by the talent around the world. I recently visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens when I was home and I was so inspired by all the different plants. There was one plant in particular that I couldn't stop staring at — it looked like the leaves were hand painted. I took lots of pictures and hopefully, down the road they will inspire a collection of patterns. 

Q: What's one thing you would do differently if you went back to when you started your graphic design business?

A: Take more business classes! I've got the whole design thing down, but the business side of things is the hardest part. Also focusing on my strengths and knowing where I need help.  

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Q: What do you do to recharge and find a work/life balance? 

A:  Over the last 2 years, I've really gotten into yoga. It really helps me to recharge and focus on something other than work. I try to take a break during the work day to workout, some days I'm more successful of actually taking that break than others. When the weather is cooler in Arizona, my husband and I like to hike and explore different places in Arizona. I also love to travel and the freedom of being able to work anywhere allows me to do that with ease. 

I'm not the best when it comes to work/life balance because art and design are my passions. I find myself wanting to do something creative all the time — like painting or drawing or just taking a new Skillshare class. Though there are times that I just want to completely shut off my creative brain and just chill. 

You can see some of Jennifer's designs for Bittersweet here & here. Thank you for sharing your amazing talents with us, Jennifer! We are thrilled to have you as part of our team!!