Claire Jenks is a regular coworker at our Clavering House and Blyth Colleagues on Tap venue’s. It was great to find out more about Claire and her successful business Claire Jenks Graphic Design.
Tell us all about Claire Jenks Graphic Design…..
As a graphic designer I work with a variety of clients from small start ups to worldwide companies. As a consultant and an extension of their company I help them communicate effectively with their customers in order to hit their business targets. Building relationships with clients is something I pride myself on, understanding their brief, advising them and producing solutions that are tailored to each individual in a timely manner to bring them the results they are after.
Specialising in branding, I work alongside businesses on a personal level to create, build and develop their brand, carrying it through across all their marketing collateral, on and offline, covering logo design, brochures, stationery and websites. Not every business is at the start of their journey so taking brands that have already been developed but need refining or a refresh is also an important area of my work to ensure their values and messaging are still focussed.
So what made you decide to work for yourself?
I started freelancing as a graphic designer full-time in July 2011. To be honest, starting a business was not something I had planned! In June 2011 Barbour in South Shields approached me to ask if I would be interested in meeting to discuss freelance opportunities with their Global Marketing department. At the time I was working full time, so I had to say no, but as it turned out I was made redundant two weeks later, so I quickly made contact with Barbour again and luckily the vacancy was still available! That lead to my first freelance contract, so all of a sudden I was in business!
What are your biggest achievements so far?
Establishing a business to start with without consciously planning to which has just passed the 4 year mark and being confident to say I am successful and still love what I do.
Tell us three things you’re pleased you’ve learnt since you started out in business?
Definitely the thing that’s surprised me most is how rewarding running your own business can be, and if you’re willing to put the effort in you reap the rewards. In terms of what I’ve learnt:
- Don’t be a hero – at times I can’t do everything myself and have learnt to admit it!
- The value of time – there are only so many hours in a day, and only so many days in a week. I’ve learnt to invest my time wisely and focus on what I’m good at, and find experts and apps to deal with the rest!
- Look back in time – looking back at what I’ve achieved helps me to re-focus, to realise what I’ve accomplished so far, and to set realistic goals for the future.
You are a regular Coworker – how has Coworking Days helped you and your business?
I started attending Coworking Days in May 2013 and found they added huge value to my business, allowing me to meet like-minded people in similar positions, who can offer support and advice from their own experience. Being in a work environment, outside the four walls of the house, also meant I could be more productive, finishing the day off with an empty to-do list.
It’s also a great way to share skills and network without the pressure of standing in a room with a handful of business cards. The office is full of a range of people across many industries, opening up opportunities for new jobs, referrals and collaborative projects.
Thank you, Claire!
If you would like to find out more about Claire Jenks and her business please visit her website www.clairejenks.co.uk