We had the good fortune of connecting with Marielle Cruz Cabillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marielle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Honestly, it took me up until recently to even consider my services as a business! I had just graduated from college amidst the pandemic, and an old classmate from Elementary school asked me to help design her logo. I thought, “Okay cool, I get to use what I learned from school.” After I posted the work I’ve done for her on my design page, suddenly more and more people started asking for design work. I really thought about just saying no- since being a freelancer was never a thought in my mind. But as the pandemic intensified, I realized how many people were starting small businesses, and how much I wanted to offer not only my services, but also my support. And even though this is not my main stream of income, my business that I have created from scraps has now become the most fulfilling job I have on my plate right now.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It was definitely not easy getting to where I am currently. The imposter syndrome is so real, and that post-grad depression might even be realer. I overcame all the challenges that came my way when I would take a step back and realize a lot of the things I trip over are all in my own head. Whether or not I’m doing enough, whether or not I deserve the blessings I received- it was all just my own inner critic trying to bring me down. I started thriving when I realized I don’t have to listen to it. I don’t need to “humble myself” because I know how hard I’ve worked to get here, and these are just the seeds finally sprouting!

What sets me apart from others and what I am most proud of with my work is that there is always a bigger meaning to everything. I’ve done work that had heavy and deep messages behind them, but no matter how intense the subject matter is, I always find a way to design a fun and bubbly piece of work. I can create the most abstract and colorful design ever, but the meaning behind it can be very intense and almost groundbreaking. End of the day, I am proud for being a designer for the people. Always. You might see it as a logo for a baking business, I see it as helping someone expand on their dream. You might see it as another flier for a pop-up event, I see it as a way to get multiple small businesses more exposure, more sales, and more motivation to keep going. Everyone deserves to follow out their dreams!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In the Bay Area, I would probably take someone to the beaches in Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. Get boba in SF. Drinks and dinner at Flights in San Mateo. Daly City for that Naan N Curry, 85 degrees boba, and Shaking Crab. Go back to SF for San Tungs and Carbon Grill. I can keep listing food places but I’m going to stop because now I’m hungry, lol!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
If I can name drop every single person I have ever met during my creative journey, y’all know I would! I’m such a strong believer in the saying “it takes a village”.

I want to shout out all of the friends I’ve made at San Francisco Statue University’s design program. They are the definition of AUTHENTICITY. Every single one of them never made me feel like I was doing too much, and they really helped me grow into my skin. If you knew pre-rona Marielle, you knew her as someone who would always apologize for just existing. These people really helped me see the beauty in not only my work, but the beauty in myself as a person.

And my friends from before I even decided to become a designer- my old school friends, old job friends- my life longs! I want to thank all of them, because we are all in such different fields embarking on different journeys, but I have never felt like I was alone. Even when I would be freaking out over deadlines and things that made no sense to them, they were always there to ground me and hold it down. Especially the ones who would give me critique, I loveee you!

To all my clients: returning ones or ones I only worked with once- I can literally cry thinking about how appreciative I am. You all are so patient with me. There’s a lot I am still learning about my craft and myself as a professional, and every step of the way you all have shown grace. I don’t know how I got blessed with having such kind-hearted people, but I’d like to think I attracted people with similar core values as me. Each brand is for the community, is sentimental, is a brand that is MORE than a brand. I wouldn’t want it any other way- designing for a cause!

Lastly, ugh fine okay…my family, lol! I know we don’t talk about how proud we are of each other that often, but I know I am supported even when it is not verbalized. A lot of my college experience has been me snapping at them because of late nights on my laptop and taking my stress and frustration out in unhealthy ways, so shout out them for dealing with it all. I hope I’m making everyone proud!! She’s tryinggg.

Also, if you read all of this and you’re like “um, what about me?” I guarantee you that you fit into one of these categories. Text me I’ll tell you all the words of affirmation you need! Haha. I love all my people- you know who you are!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/work_in_progress.ai/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariellecruzcabillo/

Image Credits
okay so shout out Son & Garden for their photo op lol, JST Designs, Goddess Meals, and Melonaire Juice

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.