Episode 013: Building A Biz You Love From Scratch + What it Takes to Be a Graphic Designer

Episode 012: Seeking: Sane Financial Advice & Perspective
July 25, 2017
Episode 014: How Can Someone’s Travel & Life Experiences Lead to a New Business Venture?
August 8, 2017

Episode 013: Building A Biz You Love From Scratch + What it Takes to Be a Graphic Designer

Alex Harper is the CEO and Founder of Women of Culture, a women’s arts organization in NYC. Her mission is to bring women from all walks of life and all types of backgrounds around interest and love of culture.

The Career Passport Podcast’s theme this month is all about building a biz around what you love or find important. You’ll hear from women doing this in a variety of ways- as a full-time corporate job, as a side project/side business or as a full-time business. There’s no right or wrong here, and I think these stories will open your mind to all manner of ways to think about what might be interesting to you as a career move- either now or in a couple of years.

(If you want to hear all about Alex building a biz, fast forward to 18:30.)

What struck me about Alex is her evolution as she created Women of Culture.  This wasn’t a bolt of the blue kind of moment where she just KNEW she had to do this. Some of my key takeaways are here, but grab the episode by clicking the button below and see for yourself:

  • WRITING: She started with diving deep with a journal. Really working to uncover experiences that mattered to her as a child and things she was missing from her current experience
  • COMMUNITY: She joined a community of like-minded people and creators working on ideas for their next project(s). She found support and camaraderie from the structure of the group and it really helped her with building a biz.
  • DOLLAH DOLLAH BILLS: In the past, she would have dismissed an idea like Women of Culture because “it’s not what’s making me money right now”. Alex busts through that way of thinking like a champ on the show and shows how a side project can become a side business- and who knows- with her awesome plans for expansion, potentially a full-time thing soon!
  • OPEN TO RECEIVING: With all the above in place, her mindset was in an ‘open to receiving’ frequency. If you don’t have that, ideas that come your way bounce off and go somewhere to wither and die. So how can you change your circumstances, just a little bit, to be open to receiving?

building a biz

And if you didn’t think that was enough juicy goodness for one show, we did talk to her about what it’s like to be a graphic designer, her day job, for our Day in the Life Series. This part is first on the show, so if this is a field you’re interested in, check this part of the show out. She goes into detail on:


  • Differences between agency life and in-house
  • Skillsets required
  • Portfolio tips
  • Professional resources and associations
  • What a day in the life is like


building a biz

Show Notes (Timings are Approximate)


Graphic Designer Day in the Life: 2:19

Agency versus In-House: 5:30

Skillsets Needed and Nice to Haves: 8:11

Portfolio Must-Haves & Tailoring: 8:36

“Verticals” within graphic design 9:35

Career Progression 14:30

How to be a standout graphic designer 15:50

Women of Culture intro: 18:32

How she decided to do something outside her 9-5: 20:06

Her journaling methodology: 21:45

How did she get started? 25:40

Juggling Women of Culture with full time job 28:15

Future expansion of Women of Culture/ Business Evolution 29:45

What makes her heart sing 32:55

Upcoming events: 34:33



Resources Mentioned on the Show:


Art Director’s Club

Career Change Kitchen Online Career Transition Course

Upcoming Women of Culture events


How You Can Reach Alex:


Click here to get updates on the latest events

Instagram: @womenofculture1