Angela Elliott Wingard
I have always been drawn to strong women. There is something about their energy that just sucks me in. Being around them, I am influenced and motivated to do more, to be better, to realize what I have and set goals for the future, and making me believe I can do it! I am also a big believer in things are meant to happen. We put energy out into the universe, and follow the paths that are set before us. I am so fortunate to have met someone through my journey, and now has been by my side as I have started writing, blogging, and sharing my life journey - stories about my family and how Autism has made my world a better place. Angela is a gifted photographer who with her creativeness, started creating logos, blogs, webpages, managing social media content and so much more. On top of all of this, she has an adorable 2 year old girl, Reagan. She is one kick ass empowering woman, and I am so stoked to have in my life!
What did your life look like before you had Reagan?
Oh man. It was filled with work, fitness, and trips. I was working at my corporate job working 60+ hours a week and then freelancing on the side on nights and weekends. I was an avid cross fitter but also had a very healthy balance of fun with fitness. I would indulge on trips, have drinks with friends on the weekends, the whole thing. My life was very…selfish haha. But I’m glad I had those years before I stepped into motherhood. I do miss a lazy sunday though :)
Was design and photography something that always interested you?
Yes. I actually took a film photography class when I was 11. I went to school for graphic deign and photography came out on the side as a hobby and now is probably about 50% of my work besides branding/web design. And design has always been a passion. As a kid, I would clip out advertisements and cool branding projects of stores/products and collage them with photography on my wall. I had an early love of typography.
When did you decide you wanted to make design and photography a career?
It just kind of came naturally with doing people’s websites and rebrands. I would do headshots, shoot their products, social media, etc. And then I was photographing friends holiday photos then weddings…its kind of a nice break from doing branding and web design all day.
You are a successful photographer and designer… how did you achieve your success?
I followed up with everyone I knew in the beginning. I’d ask for referrals and I was lucky to have the best clients in the world who wanted to see my design and photography work grow and referred me work constantly.
How do you juggle work and family?
Still trying to figure that one out haha. I am learning that I can’t do both at the same time because everyone is unhappy, especially me. I feel like I’m half-assing my work and my kid. I get flustered that I can’t get organized and keep my thoughts straight. So when I’m in mom mode, I’m in mom mode. And work is work.
I know recently you took the leap and started a new career… tell me about that?
I was a creative director for a media company for a long time and then that led me to being in more of a sales engineer role. I was on the path to executive status and for a hot minute, I thought that was what I wanted. But over several years, I realized that I wasn’t fulfilled, that my soul needed more. And when our company was going through their second acquisition, I knew that was my time to exit. I had just had a baby and if I wanted to stay with the company, Id’ have to move across the country. So I turned down my dream corporate job and decided to go off on my own full time.
What was that Aha moment that made you take that leap?
Well I had a deadline that I was forced to make a decision by due to the acquisition so that helped haha. But it was when I realized that I would have to give up my clients that I’ve freelanced with for years if I took my promotion so I turned it down and went all in!
What have been some of the most difficult challenges for you with your career?
Hah. The time management, especially doing it the year I just had a baby lol. Probably should have timed that better. But when you’re the owner of your own company, you’re the lawyer, the bookkeeper, the marketer, the designer, the copywriter…on top of doing whatever it is you actually do for a living. So finding a balance in it all has been a challenge.
Where do you see yourself in a year from now?
Hopefully outsourcing some work. I’ve got big plans next year and I know I need to hire someone to help take some of the work off my plate.
What is the best thing about your job?
The freedom and flexibility. Not answering to anyone but me is the BEST.
What advice would you give to other woman who want to start a business or make a career change?
Have faith in yourself. Its hard. Its hard for everyone. And you just have to remember that everyone has bad days, no matter how successful they may seem.
What is the greatest resource tool that has helped you and your success?
The ladies behind Being Boss. I love their podcast.
What is 1 thing you have learned starting your own business and being your own boss?
Its given me a confidence in myself that I didn’t have before. And especially making it a year, hitting financial goals, and surpassing milestones that I set, its really rewarding. And you realize, its ok to be proud of yourself.