This week we are excited to chat with our next design team duo, Kathryn Whyte and Brittany Davis of Saturday Studio. These two graphic designers joined forces in Charleston, SC, just a year ago. In that year they have built a beautiful, fresh, and modern body of work that we can't get enough of. We are especially in love with their motto: "Do what you love and every day will feel like a Saturday."
Tell me about your paths to becoming designers. How did you decide to join forces and start a design firm together?
We were both graphic design majors in college (Brittany at CCAD in Columbus, Kathryn at Tyler School of Art in Philly), and met in Charleston in 2013. In getting to know each other we realized we have similar design histories. We both did a lot of freelancing after college, had both worked as in-house designers for different food & bev businesses, and were working full-time at the same design firm when we met. The next step seemed obvious—let’s team up and do things our own way!
In the beginning, how did you attract your first good clients?
Word of mouth and referrals from friends were helpful when we started (and still are)—people were really supportive of our new venture. Getting our work out on social media was key, as well—especially Instagram and Pinterest.
Do you have any tips for being your most productive?
Stay organized! It's much easier to focus on a task (design deadline, preparing a proposal, etc), when we plan, schedule, and delegate. It limits distractions and second-guessing.
What has been your greatest struggle as a team so far?
We're still a pretty new studio (we've been Saturday for a little over a year), so being patient with ourselves and the process of getting our name out there can be a struggle. We have a lot of skills and experience under our belts, but you have to start at the beginning with a new business—we're always working toward realizing the potential we see for Saturday Studio.
What is your favorite thing about working as a team?
We always push each other to be better. We have a lot in common, but we have different strengths—both creatively and in business. That balance keeps things from getting stale, and helps us look beyond just settling for the first idea we come up with.
"We always push each other to be better. We have a lot in common, but we have different strengths—both creatively and in business. That balance keeps things from getting stale, and helps us look beyond just settling for the first idea we come up with."
Do you have any advice for handling communication as a partnership?
Be honest, but be constructive. We're sure a lot of partnerships start out as friendships, and it can be a challenging transition. We both have our stubborn moments, and both like to be right (who doesn't?), but knowing when to compromise is important. It comes down to respecting each other's opinions and feelings.
"Knowing when to compromise is important. It comes down to respecting each other's opinions and feelings."
How do you continue to attract your ideal clients?
Keep working! We keep our website as up-to-date as possible, and stay active on social media. Maintaining good relationships with our current clients goes a long way toward attracting new ones—happy clients are the best way to gauge if we're doing things right!
In addition to client work, we try to make time for self-authored projects. One of our favorites is Talihina Cold Brew. We wanted to brand and design packaging for cold brew coffee, but we didn't have a coffee client, so we made one up! It was an opportunity for us to explore branding, typography, printing, and photography, and in the end was another project that could attract potential clients.
Do you have any tips for dealing with the nitty-gritty business details?
The business aspect of our job is probably the least interesting to us! It's a huge component, though, so we make it a priority. Again, organization is key. And knowing when to ask for or hire help.
Since you are your own bosses, do you have any advice for maintaining a work-life balance?
When you work for someone else you can go home at the end of the day and not think about work again until the next morning. That definitely changes when you own your own business, and it wasn't something we took lightly when we started. We're almost always thinking about projects or ideas on some level, but we're ok with that—the important thing for us is to take a break from the desk, and from executing the ideas. Making our own schedule is a big perk, and works to our advantage when we need a break, whether it's a whole day or just an hour to get some doughnuts.
The 3 greatest attributes you need to be a freelance creative are:
confidence, patience, sense of humor