When it came to advertising a hundred years ago, a business owner need only worry about a distinct brand image to set him apart from his competitors, a clear storefront sign to indicate what his business provided, and the occasional ad in the daily paper. Fast forward to 2016 and modern business owners must add a website, brochures, business cards, and social media engagement. Branding and awareness has been taken to a whole other level. And from these new business requirements comes new business opportunities for those among us who possess a little technical savvy and a whole lot of creativity. Take, for example, Navy spouse Jennifer Gray, owner of Pixel8 Media, Inc.
Sixteen Years of Gorgeous Graphic Design
Founded in 2000, what began as a joint effort between Gray and her brother, grew into a flourishing graphic design and web development company. “I quit my previous job of 8 years to go work with my brother who did freelance work. I formed Pixel8 as a Corporation and after my brother moved out of state, I took over running the business on my own,” says Gray. “There’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’ve helped another company with their business, by creating designs or websites that they love.”
As a new military spouse, Gray shared that she has yet to experience some of the difficulties military spouses face, but the flexibility to work whenever and where ever she wants helps to make her business PCS-proof. “I love being my own boss and the flexibility that comes with that. I can move and work from anywhere.” “After my brother left, I went from project/client management to designing marketing materials and building websites. Being able to keep this business running on my own is something I am incredibly proud of. It really pays to stick to something you love!”
Gray is right to be proud of the company’s work. Some of their clients include IHOP, Yamaha, and Johnny Rocket’s, just to name a few.
The Life of a Freelancer Can Be Challenging
Freelance work is a great option for military spouses looking to create income or maintain skills while facing the possibility of relocation every two to three years. But running a successful business takes more than just a little skill on the computer. “There are times when I don’t have a stable income, as it depends on when my clients pay me.” Life balance and time management can also be a challenge. “I’m never really off the clock, even when I go on vacation, I still might have to work a bit, especially if something urgent comes in.”
Currently based out of San Diego, after sixteen years in the industry, Gray has faced a lot of business ups and downs. “The hardest thing about getting started was knowing how to form a business, how to market it, after that learning how to find and retain clients was a challenge, but you learn from your mistakes.” In true military spouse fashion, Gray is so dedicated to helping her clients, she sometimes struggles to find the time to apply her skills to her own business. “I spend a lot of time helping others grow their businesses; I sometimes forget that I need to spend a little more time focusing on those same goals for myself.”
Need a Graphic Designer or Web Developer?
Pixel8 Media, Inc. offers a variety of graphic design and web development services including web design, animation, and web hosting. Interested clients can preview Pixel8 Media, Inc’s portfolio and services by visiting their website. They can also be reached by email or by calling 949-709-7799.