Joy Day - Creative Joy
Having trained as a Junior Designer within the glittering lights of London, I was fortunate to learn my craft at two of the very best creative agencies. With a bulging portfolio, I then returned to my roots in Suffolk and worked as a Senior Designer at one of East Anglia’s leading advertising agencies, Jacob Bailey. However the global recession hit us hard, and on my return from maternity leave, following the birth of our second little girl, I was made redundant. Seizing the opportunity to follow my dream and launch my own design business, Creative Joy was born. Drawing on my commercial experience, I began to experience the satisfaction of passing the benefit of my training to local clients in a truly bespoke service and at freelance rates.
Having worked hard to build my reputation as a freelancer and secure a loyal client base, my efforts were recently rewarded by the kindness of a local client who nominated me for the Freelancer Of The Year Awards 2011, following the successful completion of a new company logo. As a finalist in this prestigious national competition, I was invited to a top London venue in the company of like-minded freelancers and an eminent array of judges from the marketing, media and communications community. From 58 nominations nationwide, I was delighted to reach the final six in my category, Design and Advertising; a great triumph for me, personally, having freelanced for only a relatively short time and competing against some of the nation's heavyweights!
Whilst celebrating the contribution of freelancers on a national scale, it led me to reflect on our own business community in Suffolk and the vital contribution that we freelancers make. Although often the unsung heroes of the business community, we nevertheless contribute wholeheartedly with our boundless skill sets and personal dedication to our clients.
Like my own, many new freelance businesses have sprung up following redundancies from larger organisations in these tough economic times. In working for ourselves, the edge we have on the larger agencies and organisations is our ability to offer that extra personal touch, providing a more tailored and cost-effective solution. My clients recognise that I have the skills, passion and resources to solve their problems effectively and see the value of commissioning a smaller outfit, which offers a sterling service at a more affordable rate.
In working for myself, I have also made a conscious decision to acquire great local contacts and am passionate about supporting the local economy. Now, more than ever, local business relationships can be a win-win for both parties. It is my policy to work with local businesses and vendors on client projects, engaging the services of local copy-writers, proof readers and printers, who are all equally passionate about delivering the same high standard of client satisfaction.
The icing on the cake has been the freedom to manage my time, nurturing my new business whilst also, unashamedly, spending more time with my two young children. Whilst working closely with my clients and delivering bespoke, imaginative design that really connects with their target audiences, I am also able to juggle the school-run and never miss a single sports day or nativity play. So my recent accolade was also a timely reward for choosing to spend more time with my girls. Although my career began in the City, I have proved to myself that great design is not dependant on a post-code, as freelancing has given me the freedom to work with great local businesses, producing innovative design, whilst pursuing that elusive work-life balance.