We had the good fortune of connecting with Robyn Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Robyn, how do you think about risk?
You can’t have big results with small actions. Most of us stay small, not because there’s a lack of opportunity but because we don’t think big enough. I’m a calculated risk taker. I’ve definitely bet (and bet big) on myself time and time again in my professional career – not always with big investments but with brave leaps. Sometimes it was quitting a job with no safety net, or starting a business while I was pregnant. I have found that the more I trust myself and stop second-guessing my intuition, the farther and faster I grow.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Robyn Young & co. is a new-age creative agency for mission-driven brands looking to reach the youth market. We specialize in value and purpose based branding through our signature strategy sessions and smart creative output. Our team is comprised of vetted creative freelancers who are passionate, driven, and purposeful about the work they do. I launched this company in 2016 after leaving my cushy tech job as a pipe dream. I had no capital, no clients, no strategy, no real plan how I would make this work. Oh, and I was 2 months pregnant at the time. It started with just one graphic designer and me. Now we’re 15 strong, a multiple-six figure venture, over 50 brands under our belt, and growing year over year. This journey has probably been one of the hardest, yet most rewarding (personally, professionally, financially, spiritually, emotionally, etc) experiences of my life. We naturally evolve and grow as humans, but I feel like being an entrepreneur and business owner allowed me the confidence and strength to feel like I could take on the world. There’s something truly empowering about that, particularly as a woman. The biggest challenge I had to overcome, hands down, was my own imposter syndrome. I had so much personal work I had to do before I felt worthy enough to chase the revenue I wanted. I worked with an amazing coach who taught me to dream and to challenge myself (and to add a “0” or two onto proposals where I never would have even dared myself). I’ve also learned that to balance my ambition, I had to create a daily gratitude practice. Otherwise, it’s so easy to get down on yourself. You WILL hear no more than you hear yes. It’s just something you have to get passed without any loss of enthusiasm or steam.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s so challenging to not be able to visit my favorite places in the city. I’d always been such a metropolitan girl, I’d go to the rooftop bars of The Nomad or Ace Hotel, or The Broad Museum for inspiration. I’m also a huge fan of the arts district, there’s so many cute shops, restaurants and coffee places tucked away there.. Nowadays, I’m finding myself closer to home in Pasadena, where we frequent The Langham (when it’s open), The Huntington Library, Lave Ave for brunch at The Granville or Lemonade. Perhaps hit up the Rosebowl Flee Market (also, when it was open) to find some hidden vintage treasures.
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?
It might sound cliche, but my shoutout is for my husband. I can only imagine how scary it must have been for him when I quit my cushy tech job to start a pipe dream while pregnant, but he’s never doubted me for a moment. He’s picked up the slack at home, held an equal (if not bigger) share of the home workload and child-rearing. He’s made room for my ambition at every stage during our 10 year journey together. He also pushes me to believe in myself and what I can do – more than I even push myself, which is saying something. I also have to thank my network – my mentors, my fellow women biz-owners, my agency friends, my clients, creative, co-collaborators, mastermind group, and everyone who has been there for the woes and the wins, the good days and the shit days.