“I love being creative,” Allison Biggs said, “and graphic design is something that allows me to be creative and support myself at the same time.”
But success as an entrepreneur didn’t happen overnight. Frustrated by the job market early in her career, she landed a position she wasn’t happy with — which ended up being eliminated anyway.
“I figured, if I wasn’t finding a job, it was as good a time as any to start working for myself,” she said, so she launched Allison Biggs, Graphic Designer in May 2007. Five years later, the enterprise continues to grow steadily.
Biggs — who teaches a class in Computer Graphics at Westfield State University — focuses her company mainly on branding and print design; she’s also writing a book titled Discovering Your Identity — Aligning Your Brand with Your Values. Her client base is mostly small businesses and new entrepreneurs, ranging from tradespeople, accountants, and manufacturers to hypnotists, massage therapists, and life coaches.
“I feel that’s where I can make the most difference, with people who are just starting their business and are passionate and excited about it,” she explained. “Sometimes, when you work for large corporations, you do something that ends up almost disposable. But when you work with someone brand-new to their business, every little thing you do is so integral to their success.”
The struggling economy, she said, has not slowed her down. “People are always saying, ‘we’re in a recession; haven’t you seen a drop in business?’ But my business has only grown since I started it. In fact, in the entrepreneur community, you almost don’t notice a recession because so many new businesses are starting.”
Biggs is active with organizations such as the Women’s Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley — she maintains the group’s social-media presence and markets its events — and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield.
“One of the things about being an entrepreneur is that, if you’re not careful, you can become isolated,” she said. “Networking isn’t just about going to events and getting business; it’s about meeting people in the same position as you, with the same mindset.”
— Joseph Bednar