We had the good fortune of connecting with Misty Winters and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Misty, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly, most of my traditional work experience had me constantly asking myself “what would I do in this situation?” With my operations and human resources experience, I had a constant feeling that I needed to start something from scratch and give myself the opportunity to build something I believed to be great. After many years of working in administration, I found myself feeling incomplete and searching for something that fueled my creative side. I have always done photography and to this day, still feel inspired by the process and the feeling I get when I look at old photos. Back in my college days, I started creating websites for every project I possibly could. To me, it was a fun, creative way of expressing something that may have not been necessarily interesting. I’ve received so many compliments on my photography and ability to create websites and I never thought anything of it until I was feeling unfulfilled as an adult. I re-evaluated what was truly important to me and realized that I needed to go back to the things that made me happy – photography and web design. I started focusing more on these and helping individuals and smaller companies who just needed someone there to support. After building great relationships with my clients, I mainly worked with referrals and my business took off. At first, I liked the challenge of building a “perfect company,” but now, I realize my main focus is the client and being that supportive structure that they need, especially those who are just starting off. Also, who doesn’t like being their own boss? It allows me the freedom to make the best decisions for myself and my clients.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well, I take photos and create websites. A lot of others do this and are amazing at it. And I’m happy they found something they love doing. I think the biggest thing that sets me apart from others is that I care about my clients’ success. Not to say others don’t, but I love getting to know my clients and providing them with any help I can. I’ve created logos, forms, catalogs, rebuilt systems, re-organized processes, among other random things. It’s not just about the photos or website, it’s about them and what they need. Honestly, having the clients and experiences I’ve had makes me the proudest. I’ve been very lucky with the quality of people and hope I continue to build more similar relationships with new clients. I’m most excited about a new project I’ve been working on, Sugar Pine. It’s a rental property that is currently under construction. I’m assisting in so many different parts of this project from interior design to rental management companies to marketing to customer service and it is so unbelievably fun and challenging. I got where I am today because those I’ve worked with challenged me and allowed me to grow as a person and as a professional. Each project I work on, I’m more and more inspired to do more. I love learning how to do things I didn’t previously know. I think that’s what makes doing this special – I can forever evolve and grow and it’s beneficial for me and the clients I work with.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Oh my – this is an interesting question because I actually don’t get out much. I have almost everything I need living in Pasadena, which is absolutely gorgeous. I think if anyone were to come visit, I would definitely take them to the LA Prime restaurant in the Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown LA. It’s a rotating bar located on the 35th floor of the hotel that has great food and drinks. I’m also big on museums like the Norton Simon in Pasadena and visiting landmarks like The Gamble House, also in Pasadena. I would definitely walk all of Old Town Pasadena and shop/eat. One of my favorite places to take anyone is up Angeles Crest Highway. There are so many nature hikes and for the most part it isn’t that busy. The last place I would take a friend is Descanso Gardens, a botanical garden in La Canada. It’s absolutely beautiful and they have fun events all year around.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My success has everything to do with every single client that trusted me. Without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I do. I’d love shoutout to a few of my clients: Tara Yoga – Thank you for being my first client! You made the experience so worth it and motivated me to continue doing what I love. Tara was very sweet and easy to work with and I really couldn’t have asked for a better first time experience. Newcombs Ranch – Fred Rundall, thank you for letting me do your website. Newcombs is such a special place and it was an honor to contribute to it’s image. David Olson – You rock! You were always a favorite and I really hope you continue to find success in the industry. Wolfman Jack Radio Show & Tribute Mania – Jay Harvey, thank you for teaching me so much about Wolfman Jack, among many other interesting things. You truly are a very special person and I am so happy we met! Motorsport Exotica – Jarred Fixler, thank you for trusting me. I know you care deeply about your business and it really shows in the quality of work your team produces. You’ve been a wonderful client and friend for many years. TRAC – Rachel Gagliardi, thank you for being such a wonderful client and person. We’ve done so many fun projects together and hope we have many more. Happy Henhouse – Chad Sutterer, thank you for allowing me to help with your website and logo. I love having off topic conversations about chickens and nature with you. This was such a fun project! Gnomon – Thank you for having me at your company and allowing me to use my talents to further benefit the school. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing school and group of peeps. And the biggest shoutout would have to go to my family and friends. They have been so supportive since the beginning and continue to motivate me everyday.
All images by Misty Winters Design