We had the good fortune of connecting with Hillary Broadwater and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hillary, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2007 I was a Creative Director for Discovery Education a division of the Discovery Channel. They decided to close our LA office and asked me to relocate to Maryland. At the time I had a 1 year old and a 6 year old. My whole family was here on the West coast. After being given a full 6 month compensation benefits package I decided to open my own design firm. If it didn’t work in 5 months I would go find a new job. Within a week I had my first client and within 2 months Discovery was back as a client this time. 13 years later we are still moving forward and constantly evolving.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We’re QM Design Group — a creative design agency doing stellar branding and marketing. We’re award-winning, time-tested, and woman owned. We give your company exceptional BIG AGENCY creativity and background with the care and attention to detail of a small boutique firm — and we’ve been doing it for nearly 25 years. We are not a traditional agency. We’re creative and casual with a corporate background. We excel at creative problem-solving to produce the most creative, memorable, and effective communications possible for our clients. We collaborate with our clients to uncover the story that will be the support behind their brand creating a uniquely authentic and memorable voice that stands out from the crowd— one that will be heard every time. One of the biggest lessons I have learned is to set boundaries. Clients need to know what the boundaries are in regards to timelines and availability and we as a company need to know the boundaries of work and family time. Finding the balance is a creative balance.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had to make my dream itinerary to do for a few days but stay somewhat local I would start with Sunday Brunch at Salt Creek Grill. We would then go to the Ivy for a spa day. After that we would jump on the 126 and drive up the coat to San Luis Obispo and stay at the Apple Farm. from there we could go to Hearst Castle and the numerous wineries. Then a quick trip to Solvang. On the way home we could stop in Ojai and stay at the Ojai Valley in for a night or two.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow there are so many people that have had a part in my success. When I first started my business I joined The Association of Women Entrepreneurs. The Association of Women Entrepreneurs was run by Tera McHugh. Tera made a huge impact in my business with the opportunity to meet other women business owners and hear from top national speakers on business topics that I could implement into my business. This was also where I was introduced to masterminds that allowed me to focus on more finite business issues and get ideas and encouragement for growth. One of the women that I met during this time was Alison Lindemann, the owner of WSI Internet Consulting. This was the perfect strategic partnership that grew over time. 13 years later we are business partners and share a large percentage of our clients. Alison is a huge part of my business. Having a partner to bounce ideas off of and strategize on ideas to grow our businesses is priceless.