Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Houseman.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I started providing freelance design for small businesses during my college years while earning my graphic design degree. When I graduated college, I went on to work at a couple of different local businesses doing design and marketing. I thought I was content working for someone else until I found out I was pregnant… those two pink lines totally shook my whole world!
I started doing more freelance before my first child was born, but it wasn’t until after he was born that I really got serious about starting and running my own business. When he turned one, I knew it was time for me to leave my corporate job and make my business a big focus in my life.
I initially started out by offering freelance design and branding services for other entrepreneurs and local businesses. I did have a 4-year degree in graphic design, But I quickly learned that I really had a passion for the strategy behind the design. I didn’t just want to provide my clients with a beautiful end product, but I wanted it to work really well for their business as well. My mission became to provide them with a design that would also give them a return on their investment.
It has been a lot of trial and error to get to where I am today. It wasn’t easy stepping out into entrepreneurship all on my own, especially when I had a newborn and became pregnant again shortly after starting my business. But I’ve learned that the key to business success is never giving up.
Along the last six years of running my business, I have been able to expand my knowledge and skillset to include website design which is my main focus now. I love building an end product that has such an impact on my client’s businesses, especially since 2020.
Over the years, I have grown in not just knowledge and experience but in confidence and passion for helping my clients succeed. There have been many times where I’ve questioned what I’m doing, wondering if I’m doing any of it right. And there have also been big wins along the way that make it all worth it. Entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs, but mostly, I love being able to run a business from home, doing what I love, with the people I love beside me.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
One of my greatest struggles along the way has been having to juggle all the hats while building my business. Now, I have a team of amazing experts to help me do what I do, but it wasn’t always that way. In the first few years of business, I was trying to do all the things on my own, and it was SO overwhelming. When you’re a stay-at-home mom also trying to run a business where you are responsible for everything, you can really feel the stress from that. It was actually very freeing to partner with other experts in different industries who were able to help me take tasks off my plate and share the load. One of those people is actually a new business partner, Melissa, who co-founded our newest business, Carbon and Clay Design Co. with me.
So. my recommendation to anyone struggling with feeling alone or like they are wearing all the hats in their business is to find friends and other experts who can help you share the load in your business. It may be hard to give up some of the profit to build a team under you, but it’s the only sustainable way to continually grow your business.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am known for being one of the go-to website designers in the Squarespace industry.
I mostly work with newer entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey. I love working with this type of client because I can relate and remember being in their shoes… and quite honestly, I just remember feeling overwhelmed about all the options. I want to help make their journey of getting their business online as quick, easy, and painless as possible.
I love working with Squarespace because it allows me to build my client’s site and then put the power of their new site in their hands. Since they have smaller businesses and are just getting started, they usually don’t have a ton of extra money to throw at a designer every time they need anything changed on their site. Squarespace makes managing your own website easy. I build their website for them and then train them on how to use it moving forward. I’m always there for support and help along the way if needed.
I am also known for providing the strategy behind the design. The thing is, more monthly viewers aren’t actually serving you well unless they are also reaching out to you and filling out your contact forms or joining your email list (aka. becoming a lead). Your website should be working FOR you, and you really should be gaining new leads from your site each month.
Since my clients are usually launching and starting newer businesses, they don’t usually have the robust clientele that some businesses have. I have still been able to help new business owners sell products and courses within hours of launching a new website, double or even triple their monthly bookings from their new site, and grow their email lists substantially, just from their new website.
I am also a Squarespace Circle member and have been awarded the Squarespace Premium Web Designer Award along with some other amazing designers in the industry. (https://www.bealignedwebdesign.com/best-squarespace-web-designers#sandra-houseman)
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to never give up. If your business is what you want to pursue, then don’t stop. Success is found in the journey. The thing is, you’ll never arrive at a place where you feel like you’ve experienced ‘success’. So, you have to stop and find joy and contentment in the journey that is making you who you are. And just always keep going.
- I sell Squarespace website templates starting at $97
- Our done for you website packages start at $997
- Website: sandrahouseman.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamsandrahouseman/
- Other: https://www.pinterest.com/iamsandrahouseman/
Hannah Deer Photography (https://www.hannahdeerphotography.com/)
Lauren Elizabeth Photography (https://www.instagram.com/laurenelizabethphotographyllc/)