March 23, 2022
Women are amazing. You knew that already, though.
Women in business… Now that’s a wonder to behold.
Here at The Design Lab, we’ve worked with dozens of women business owners and entrepreneurs who are solving new problems, supporting underserved communities, and doing things differently.
We’ve worked with women who have an ability to see problems and solutions that are often overlooked by bigger (and often male-owned and operated) businesses.
We’ve also worked with and supported women who’ve overcome so many obstacles to run a business their way, and we love to see women succeed because it means they’re able to support themselves, their families, their communities, and other women.
As this great article by Ellevest puts it, “Nothing bad happens when women have more money. Nothing. Literally nothing.”
Seeing that spark of confidence when an idea is turned into a reality, something that’s real and concrete, is what it’s all about. Supporting women with great design is about so much more than having pretty Instagram graphics. It’s about giving women a chance to show up and play bigger — and yes, to make money.
We also believe design gives women the chance to step into the CEO role, to think forward, and to really embody their vision for their business. It’s not just about creating “something cute” (ugh), it’s about giving these women the tools to really showcase their skills, their experience, and their expertise.
More and more women are starting businesses — and we love to see it. Between 2007 and 2019, women started businesses at five times the national average. Since the pandemic started in March 2020, though, women have started more businesses than men.
It’s clear that the number of women-owned businesses is on the rise. But that doesn’t mean the challenges that come with being a woman in business are disappearing.
Let’s just call a spade a spade: Women have to work twice as hard as men to overcome gender bias in professional settings. We constantly worry about not being taken seriously or having our skills overlooked by the men in the room (or Zoom meeting). On top of that, many of us have to go back home for second shift labor.
We’ve got housework, dinner to cook, kids with homework, aging parents to care for, pets to walk. Simply put: women don’t always have time to do anything for themselves because they are so focused on giving to everyone else (and that pressure is multiplied by millions for all our moms out there).
What does all this mean for women-owned businesses? There’s an innate gap between the amazing ideas we have and our ability to execute on them. Ideas die because these amazing business owners just don’t have the time or resources to bring them to life.
They’re missing opportunities to attract the right people and to differentiate themselves in a sea of mediocre white men (yeah, we said it).
That’s why we’re committed to offering design resources and services for women-owned businesses. To helping them turn their paradigm-shifting ideas into reality — and watching those ideas make them money. To seeing businesses that were once scrambling become successful enough to employ their husbands, mothers, sisters, friends.
The impact women can have when they have the help they need is nothing short of ahhh-mazing. That shit empowers ALL women!!
Think of all the small businesses owned by women, employing women, providing paid leave, maternal support, equal pay, etc. Our design work is more than just pretty aesthetics. It’s giving women a chance to build the business they’ve dreamed of, create a better life for themselves, and show up for the people they care about most.
And while we know it’s a little overzealous to claim that design can help with all of that, we do think it’s an important (and often overlooked) piece of the puzzle.
It’s not that design makes bad ideas good. Design isn’t and never will be a silver bullet.
Instead, design amplifies great ideas so that they look as great as they sound, in their own unique way. When good design and good ideas come together, people are more engaged and ready to trust brands and get excited about what they’re doing next. This, in turn, propels women-owned businesses further and helps them grow.
Design is what gets ideas moving from the test track to the road. It makes business owners feel legit and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. It shows them that, yes, their ideas are real and can be sold. Confidence is a massive challenge for women entrepreneurs — and that’s just not hearsay. In a 2019 study, 86% of French women entrepreneurs and 63% of German women entrepreneurs reported self-censorship and lack of confidence as obstacles to their business growth. (We couldn’t find any U.S.-based studies on confidence for female entrepreneurs, if that tells you anything…)
Great design also shows people that a brand’s idea is legit enough that professionals have invested their time into making it a thing and that the owner believes in it enough to invest in it. It shows them that a perfectly built car can actually drive.
Giving women a chance to amplify their ideas with design means we are playing a part in the bigger picture. We’re helping to create a whole community of women who are sustaining income for themselves and their families while mentoring others and sharing resources.
It all comes back full circle, and each time it does, that circle gets bigger. If we have an opportunity to be a part of that, we want in as much as possible.
But what happens when design isn’t accessible to women in business? That’s where DIY design comes in — and not the scary Microsoft Paint and Comic Sans design.
Most of us business owners have zero time to craft the perfect Instagram feed or make the perfect website. But there are women out there with great ideas who need to get them out into the world, well-designed or not.
That’s why things like Canva templates are so popular — because they make it easy to customize pre-designed graphics for your brand. But one-and-done templates only go so far, and when their time is up, there are a ton of business owners who aren’t sure what to do next.
That’s where we step in.
Our goal is to give women in business the confidence and resources they need to get started, so they spend less time doubting themselves and whether or not their ideas are “good enough” and more time changing the world with ideas that make peoples’ lives better.
They spend less time trying to figure out something they have no interest in doing (i.e. creating the visuals for their brand), spending less money trying to make it happen, and ultimately, have more time to work on their zone of genius.
Less time spent + less money spent = more income. It’s a great recipe for success.
You know your visual identity is as valuable as your business, but you don’t have the time to make it work. You need resources that deliver support beyond just a logo and a cute color palette. And you’re craving a stunning brand that oozes personality AND professionalism. You want something to light up your ideas and establish your business as a force to be reckoned with.
The solution? The Design Lab Shop.
Inside the shop, you’ll find tons of great resources that can take your visuals from blah to beautiful without dishing out tons of cash for it. We’re all about making things as easy as possible for business owners because we know first hand that #TheStruggleIsReal.
What can you find there, you ask?
🌈 Course Design Kits, full of Canva templates that can be customized to fit your brand and showcase your brilliant ideas
🌈 Course Design Kit add ons so you can take your easy-peasy branding a step further
🌈 Workbook guides with insider tips on owning your brand like The Product Guide Bundle or The Brand Style Brainstorming Worksheet
🌈 The Balanced Brand Lab Kit — a DIY workshop to build a personalized brand formula to guide all your design decisions.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Shop around and let us know if you have any questions — firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re looking for done-for-you design services, learn more here.
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