Spotlight – Dariela Cruz from Dari Design Studio

Spotlight Dariela

[SPOTLIGHT] Latina Entrepreneur Of The Month

~ Where I get the chance to share with all you ladies the journey of someone who was in your shoes at one point, took the leap and has gone from Full-Time Employee to Entrepreneur.

Today I have the pleasure to introduce to you Dariela Cruz from Dari Design Studio, a fellow Venezolana who after 15 years in Corporate America, decided to take the leap alongside her sister! How fun is that!

I’m so thankful that I got the chance to collaborate with her.

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Tell me a little about you and your business. How would you describe it?

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Since I can remember, I love to play with colors, shapes and letters and so I always knew I wanted a degree in Graphic Design. Once I graduated I followed with a long career in several Design Studios starting in Venezuela then Mexico and even working at a toy company in California designing toy packaging. After that, in 2008 I decided it was time to work on my own designs and partnered with my sister Dariana opening a graphic design studio together: Dari Design Studio. Our company can be described as young and fresh creating designs that look “Modernly Eclectic” and sometimes “cute busy”.

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Why did you start Dari Design Studio? What was the pivoting point?

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All along my career I had quit several jobs with the goal to start on my own but it was very hard for me, I was a 9 to 5 kind of girl, very used to the monthly paycheck, I went back to full time jobs again quickly. My sister has always been the opposite, such a self-starter, and the last business she was working on (called Folklore Eye, which was a creative paper company and invitation design) was something I really wanted to participate in since the beginning but I was working full time.

And then something wonderful occurred: I had my first baby.

Having a baby made me feel I didn’t want to be in an office all day anymore or climb a corporate ladder, and that was the fuel that helped me join my sister part time which after a couple of years turned into full time and rebranded into Dari Design Studio.

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How long have you been in business?

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Since 2008

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What has been your biggest challenge in transitioning from Full Time Employee to Full Time Entrepreneur?

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Getting enough money to pay the bills! There are still always lots of other things that help us get money for the bills that’s not necessarily our work in Dari Design, I also do design freelance, I used to do phone interpreting too.

Managing my time is also difficult for me; it’s a challenge every single day.

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What advice do you have for other creative women who are looking to support themselves from their work?

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Having a partner has worked for me. I know this is not for everyone but it doesn’t have to be a partner, it can be a friend for accountability. Or it can be a collaboration, the thing is that by working as an entrepreneur it gets lonely so having someone to rely on is key. Bartering has helped us a lot too. We don’t always have the funds to do marketing or copywriting but we have managed to barter and it has worked out great! And last, having a long term goal and always keeping that in mind on any step we make is essential.

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If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, tools, books, coaches] you’d recommend to other women starting a business, which would you include and why?

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Managing money is essential to own a business and even at home. I love Dave Ramsey, me and my husband took a class and now my sister/partner and me are going to take one to learn more about managing our business. I highly recommend him!

Also, I recommend to use lots of social media, even though it can be distracting, there are so many tools and websites to be found around your interests, you never know!

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What are 3 things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?

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  • You’ll work hard today but you’ll see the results tomorrow, keep going!
  • I love what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing. I love what I’m doing.
  • It’s going to be the best design ever!

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What is the wildest thing you have done in order to make this work?

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At the time, quitting my full time job felt like a very wild thing to do!

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What would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

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I would have started way sooner!

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Dariela is an established graphic designer and blogger based in San Diego, California.

After working in corporate environments for 15 years, Dariela co-founded “Dari Design Studio”, a full house studio offering a broad range of design services. She also runs a bilingual lifestyle blog, Mami Talks, which is full of culture, stories and inspirations infused with her unique designs and photographic touch.

Find out more: daridesignstudio.com



Abrazos,

Jennifer

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Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.

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About The Author

Jennifer Kent

Jennifer Kent is an award-winning entrepreneur who helps you define your dream career and ditch your boring job.