I first met Ryann at a Cocktails for Creatives AIGA event at Julep in June, and I knew immediately that we would become friends. As a fellow paper lover, I have a sincere admiration for Ryann’s work as a stationery and graphic designer. She is the owner of nine0nine creative, which she explains the meaning of below in her interview.
I took head shots and product photographs for Ryann two weeks ago (fighting Mother Nature the best we could!) at Meredith’s house, and we had so many good laughs. Her stationery sets are seriously so gorgeous – I love her work, and I’m excited to introduce her as my most recent #GIRLBOSS (read past interviews here).
WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
I’m proud to be a native Houstonian.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS?
nine0nine creative – I love it because its my son’s birth month and birth year, plus it gives me freedom to design more than just invitations. Who am I kidding? I love designing invitations!
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND. HOW DID YOU GET INTERESTED IN YOUR FIELD, AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO LAUNCH YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
I worked at Randalls Food Markets for 5 years in the public affairs department and absolutely adored both my bosses and my job. How many people get to say that?! Now, I’ll backtrack a little and tell you I worked for a PR firm straight out of college that nearly sucked the life out of me. But in both roles I was tasked with graphic design work and was able to hone my skill set. When I realized how much I loved design, specifically creating custom invitations, I opened an Etsy shop about two years ago while still working full time. Then, after my second child was born I decided to stay home and really focus on building my business (as much as one can while raising two small children!). I do still get business from Etsy, but the majority of my work now comes from referrals and repeat clients.
WHO IN YOUR INDUSTRY INSPIRES YOU THE MOST?
Anna Rifle (Rifle Paper Co.) is amazing with surface pattern design. I also have had the opportunity to hear Whitney English (Day Designer founder) speak and she’s the most genuine, encouraging woman both in her personal and professional life. And one more, Liz Cooke of Lionheart Prints creates some of the funniest greeting cards you’ve ever seen and does amazing hand lettering that’s very unique.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST PART ABOUT OWNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? THE MOST CHALLENGING?
The best part is also part of the challenge – getting to stay home with my kids while they’re young. It is a very fine line between being able to build a business and spending enough quality time with them and something I am continually trying to figure out. Also, the isolation factor of being a one woman shop can be nerve wracking sometimes!
WHAT PIECE OF WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I’m about to have a wedding invitation suite featured on a national wedding blog so I’m pretty excited about that! But more than that, I’m proud that I have repeat clients and clients who refer their friends because to me thats the biggest compliment.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER WOMEN WHO ARE INTERESTED IN STARTING THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Find a community to support you – whether it is in real life or via social networks. It is SO important and has been my saving grace time and time again. I went to Stationery Academy where I learned so much about my industry and also made some amazing friends – some of whom I am in an accountability group with now. They push me to accomplish goals and lift me up on the hard days. Also, don’t be afraid to mess up – we are all human and if you do mess up – just own it and move on!
BOOK? I’m an avid reader so I could list a dozen but probably my current top 3 are: Night Road by Kristin Hannah; Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum; These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf.
MOVIE? Steel Magnolias (what girl in the South in the 90’s didn’t love it!?!).
STORE? Paper Source – my husband jokes that we should have stock in that place…
DESSERT? Tiny Boxwoods‘ chocolate chip cookie. But truthfully, I have never met a cookie I didn’t like.