Q&A with Laura Sayegh, President & Chief Design Officer at Laura's Design Studio

This week's Q&A is with Laura Sayegh, President & Chief Design Officer at Laura's Design Studio. Laura talks about nature, staying current with Technology and finding your niche.


Q. Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up in Detroit, Michigan my first 15 years and then my family moved to Miami, then Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I went to college in Pennsylvania for a semester and then to The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas where I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising Art. I lived in Texas for 15 years and worked in an in house agency for a software company and then a communications company. I always missed the weather and beaches in Florida, so I moved back to the Tampa Bay area in 1998. While working full time at other agencies, I always had a freelance business on the side. I knew one day I would be brave enough to go on my own. In April of 2010, Laura's Design Studio was fully launched.


Q. What do you do for inspiration?
I love to travel and see the other cultures architecture, landscaping, art galleries and museums. I am most interested in nature. I take a lot of photos of landscapes and serene scenes. I love the patterns and lines nature creates.


Q. What is the all time most memorable moment of your career?
Starting Laura's Design Studio and finally taking it full time. I was not sure how it was going to happen but all the pieces fell into place 2 weeks after I quit my job. I landed Bright House Networks as my first big client. I can't tell you how elated I was.


Q. What's your favorite project you've ever been involved with?
I worked on the re-branding of the Tikanis logo and menu. Tikanis is a local restaurant in St. Petersburg that serves pizza and wings. It has a family restaurant feel. I created a logo and menu that complemented the décor of the restaurant. The owner Jeff was so happy with the design he did a video testimonial for Laura's Design Studio. You can check it out at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgvv3z1ZBpXNP7V1siSL8wA


Q. What does the next 10 years of advertising/marketing look like to you?
All I can say is change. Make sure you are staying current with technology as it continues to evolve. I have met some people who are talking about technology that is going to change the way we live in our environments. I don't know the specifics but it sounds fascinating.


Q. What's your favorite thing about working in the Tampa Bay area? What do you think Tampa Bay has to offer that other cities don't?
Obviously the weather is great for me. I really enjoy the people I am networking with lately. They have that same entrepreneurial spirit I have. St. Petersburg has really blossomed since I have moved here and love that I can be a part of it growing.


Q. If you weren't working in advertising/marketing, what would you be doing?
Gardening of some type. Maybe landscape design. I know it would have to be something creative to create beautiful things.


Q. What advice do you have for students/people just starting out in advertising/marketing/creative?
Do what you love since you will be doing a lot of it. Make sure you work with positive people who inspire you. You will be working or dealing with people most of your career. If you don't enjoy the people you are working with then move on to the next company. It will get better once you find your niche.


Q. Where can people connect with you or learn more about you?


Q. What project have you always dreamed of doing? (Existing or conceptual)
I really love package design. I did some software and video packages when I first graduated from college. I would like to do more of it now that I am a more seasoned professional. I would love to work on Apple product packaging. They know the value of great design and don't hold back on spending money for the right paper and design to create the best experience for the customer. Every time I buy an Apple product I just marvel at the package design and keep it.


Q. What do you regard as being your biggest achievement? (Personal, professional, individual or as a biz owner)
My biggest achievement was starting Laura's Design Studio and landing Bright House Networks as a client. It's so easy to get up in the morning and be eager to start your day knowing that you are working for yourself.


Q. Before you go, is there one last piece of wisdom you can drop on us?
Yes, live below your means. I learned this through the Motley Fool and the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you are living paycheck to paycheck then you might consider downsizing your car, apartment, getting a roommate, bring your lunch to work, not buying $5 coffees etc. The rule is to pay yourself first. Set up a savings account that takes money from your checking account automatically. If you can't see the amount in your checking account then it's not so painful. You need to be saving and investing when you are young. I wish someone told me that when I was in my 20s. I know that does not sound fun but if you invest it in your early years then you will be set for life in your later years in life. It comes quicker than you think.


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