We had the good fortune of connecting with Desirae Barkan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Desirae, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have worked for other people in multiple environments under management and marketing; from start-ups to corporate, with clients world wide. After a little while it became clear that Graphic Design was my passion. I started working on projects as a side hustle while employed full time. After about a year it was clear I could do this full time for myself. In college I graduated with a major in Marketing/Management and minor in Entrepreneurship. Starting my own business was the easy part. Keeping it alive and well has been the harder part. However; I truly enjoy what I do so even that is not really hard. Designing packaging, marketing materials, brands, and so much more gave me a sense being present in the world. When you are driving by a vehicle that you designed the wrap on or see your label in a store, it validates your creativity. I work mostly business to business as I can relate with their need and understand the psychology behind marketing (emotions, triggers, etc).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always been inspired by color, texture, and movement in the world around me. My mother was a highly creative person and we grew up painting, drawing, sculpting, gardening, quilting, creating jewelry… pretty much any outlet we could get our hands on. I have always taken classes in a multitude of art disciplines to continue my grow and challenge myself. My mind operates in 3D color all the time. When people are talking to me I see images of everything they say and are often building their logo or design in my head as they offer information. Digital art was a clear transition for me and gave me a whole new toolbox to work from. Anything you can think of you can do with Adobe. Working B2B gives me a way to help others grow their dreams while allowing me to pull from my life experience and be creative. Finding new innovative ways to showcase things you see everyday, plumbing service or soap packaging, is a creative challenge that who I am and what I have done aligns with.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Day 1: Breakfast at Overeasy in downtown Chandler, pack a picnic lunch and kayak at Saguaro Lake, wrap up the day with laid back live music and local brews at QuartHaus. Day 2: Hike Camelback mountain and eat a light breakfast at the top, spend the remainder of the day at the Zoo, Botanical Gardens, and Hole in the Rock. There are plenty of eateries in the area, but dinner at Tandoori Times with belly dancing entertainment would be my suggestion. Day 3: Grab coffee and a Avocado Toast at The Kind Bean and then head out to browse the shops in our historic downtown (Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, etc). Lunch and dinner would obviously depend on where we are when we get hungry but a few places that come to mind are Culinary Dropout or DC Steakhouse. Day 4: Today would be a day to relax by the pool. A fresh lemonade from The Original Chopshop and subs from Cheba Hut for lunch. We would round out the relaxing day with a movie and dinner at Flix Brewhouse. Day 5: Picking back up the pace we would look up a local festival, concert, or event. There is always something going on somewhere in the valley. We would cater our day around that events location in regard to food and smaller complementary activities. Day 6: Swing into SoZo Coffee House for baked goods and fresh coffee on our way to float the Salt River with our packed lunch. Spend the day slowly enjoying nature and friendship. Grab Niros Gyros on our way home. Day 7: Spend the final day at MIM, Heritage park, the Science Center, and surrounding museums and art exhibits. Grab lunch at The Park and then dinner at Ruth’s Chris.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
While at my last employer, Tom Balding Bits and Spurs, I worked as the Marketing Specialist. He was a huge catalyst to moving me towards where I am now, through encouraging me to be more hands on in the design side of our marking. I fumbled through my first few ad designs in Photoshop and then searched out the training I needed become proficient. Every step of the way Tom and the team was there to offer support, feedback and opportunity to grow in this field. Tom Balding Bits and Spurs still works with me a valued client. The Chandler and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce have both been instrumental in getting me out in front of clients. The power of building a trusted network of power referrals is a key to growing your business. I also cannot say enough good things about my amazing clients. Their continued business and support is the only reason I am able to do what I love on a daily basis. Thank you all so very much for believing in me!