Fabi Paolini is a branding specialist, mom, and entrepreneur. We celebrate our small business owners by sharing their stories and how they started their companies.
What’s your business? How did you start?
I’m a branding specialist + designer. I began my career working as an Art Director for Leo Burnett, one of the biggest ad agencies in the world, creating award-winning campaigns for clients such as Smirnoff and Johnny Walker. While I was working in the agency, I started working as a freelancer designing brands for musicians. That slowly moved into TV personalities, companies, service providers, retail, coaches, writers…and so on! Eventually, I quit my job and started my own studio focused on branding and design.
What made you create your brand and your business?
I had always been super clear that I wanted to have my own business. For me, it was critical to have absolute control of my time because I wanted to have it all! I wanted to have a family AND a career. I needed the freedom to be with my family and travel while having a business that I was passionate about.
Did you have a business plan?
Not at first. However, after a few years of experience, I did an MBA, and through that, I built my own business plan. Having a business plan really helped me focus on what was important and have a very clear direction to where I wanted to go.
How do you measure your success?
For me, success is a mixture of things. First, it’s about setting a positive example for my daughter. That we, as women, can have it all. We can do everything. Be successful in business, be a good mom, a loving wife and great friend. For me, the last few months, in particular, have been a great test in my business that has led me to success. You see, I had been working for over 10 years having a thriving career in my country and then I moved to the US and had to start my business from scratch. Since my business wasn’t online (as in, my clients came from recommendations, not from leads or traffic to my site), I had to build my brand completely from the ground up. This has meant creating a lot of exposure and sharing my knowledge all over the place, as well as learning and applying marketing tricks that have been truly effective. The result? I have been able to increase my income by 1000% in the last 6 months (you can read this whole story here). That to me is a measure of success. Getting up everyday, putting yourself out there, tweaking things until they work and never giving up, no matter how hard it might sometimes be.
Is it challenging to be a “mompreneur,” how do you combine both?
For me, being a mompreneur has been a lot of fun. I could very well feel guilty about having to work a lot, but I choose not to see my life from that perspective. I choose to think that I’m setting a fantastic example for my daughter and because of it, I know she will go on to do incredible things. I have had to get up early to work (fortunately she sleeps until late in the morning), I have had to work while breastfeeding, I have had to use Mickey Mouse Clubhouse as an ally, and I have had to stop at times. For me, it has been an incredible experience rebuilding my business while becoming a mom.
What’s your business mission? How do you find your calling?
My mission is to help entrepreneurs create brands that showcase what makes them remarkable while attracting paying clients and building successful businesses. I help entrepreneurs build their brands inside out. What that means is, I start by defining what makes them different from everyone else, determine their mission, brand personality and other foundations of their brands. Then, I go on to design a logo that shows their essence, and finally, I create a website that not only looks great but is also capable of converting leads into sales effectively. I love helping others fulfill their dreams and make a positive impact in their industries. I have worked with all sorts of professionals, and I have so much fun discovering new possibilities through my clients every day!