I’ve been a supporter/fan/blog follower of Kyla Roma for nearly a year now.  She’s an amazing lady who works for the famous Freckled Nest Design, runs her own jewelry shop on Etsy, and keeps up an enjoyable blog.  I’m still in awe of how she does it all!  Kyla was so nice and sat down to share a bit of advice with you!  If you’ve been thinking of hiring a web designer, designing a website yourself, or have been tossing around the idea of freelancing, you’ll want to read Kyla’s interview!

Recently you moved from a job in entertainment and theatre to web design.  What made you decide to make the switch and how many months of planning did it take?

I worked in entertainment marketing, first in theatre and then in music, for a number of years. I loved the fast-paced style of the work and coordinating so many things all at once, while still having a hand in the creative side of things. It was a great learning experience, but after a number of positions in a number of fields I realized that I hadn’t ever felt at home in my jobs. My husband and I decided that a traditional workplace just wasn’t going to work for me – and that while we didn’t know what would, we would start dreaming about it together and keep our eyes open for opportunities. It was scary, but it gave me permission to imagine a different future for myself – even if I didn’t know what that was yet!

After that conversation I got very serious about my blog and started selling jewellery on Etsy and designing part-time for Freckled Nest Design. After six months my creative work was paying me half of what I made at my day job, so I quit and moved to a transition job where I worked part-time and had more time to put into my creative work. After four months I was making up the other half of my income and could become a full-time creative!

You have the enviable job of creating beautiful websites and stores for artists.  What advice would you give people who want to work with a designer?  What should they have ready?

It can be intimidating to have someone else lend a hand in creating a visual impression of your brand online. Because of that, it’s really important to have a lot of visual references for your business’ style. Pinterest is perfect for this! If you create a board for your brand’s style it can let you take the “That’s so me!” moments you have when you’re surfing the web and combine them in one place that shows you what all those little things add up to in a bigger picture.

A great design will take all those things and amplify them to set you apart from the crowd, but at the end of the day what people will fall in love with is your content, personality, and product. It’s helpful to think about your design like it’s the frame around the painting of your brand. You don’t need to put pressure on the design to convey absolutely everything about you and your brand because that’s the magic that you bring to the table!

Do you think it’s necessary to have a background in web design to become a freelance designer?

I don’t think it’s necessary but education is an incredible stepping stone no matter what field you’re going into. I’m addicted to learning and have been designing and taking design courses since I was in high school, but my work experience is in entertainment marketing. Design is like any workplace, if you ask everyone how they go where they are you’ll hear dozens of different paths. That being said, as a freelancer you’re not only finding your own projects, you’re also managing your own business! The more experience you can bring to that, the better.

If someone is building their own site, what is the most important thing they should keep in mind?  (In terms of design, not over-stimulating visitors, branding, call to action, etc.)

I think it’s really important to think about who you are and how you use your blog or website so you can frame your design around those things – but make sure you think about that in a visual sense and in a business sense.

For visuals, consider your style of posts – if your blog features a lot of photography with vivid colours, you’ll want to make sure that the colours in your design won’t clash and that your design won’t distract from your content. From a business perspective, make sure that your design naturally leads your clients to your call to action.

Can you share a few examples of your work with Freckled Nest? 

Definitely! You can visit my blog, Kyla Roma, Vintage ViewMelissa Goodsell or While Tangerine Dreams, and if you’re interested in booking a design just visit FreckledNestDesign.com.