We ask our members to share a few thoughts: to introduce themselves to fellow members, and those who are interested in our community.

In this instalment, we interview Cigdem Guven of Crocusfield

Tell us about your business:
Collaborating with small business owners, I create custom-made designs that fit their brand and their needs perfectly. I care deeply about finding unique design solutions that enhance the way my clients communicate with their audience. I am offering mainly branding & logo design service that could transform your business into a recognisable brand, as well as creating marketing materials for print & digital and standing out illustrations!

What 5 words would you choose to describe your business?
creative / imaginative / sincere / collaborative / understanding

What are your most popular products or services?
My most popular service is the ‘ESSENTIAL BRANDING PACKAGE’ that consists of a visual mood board and logo design, creating a colour palette and a basic style guide for your brand. This package is suitable for starting up entrepreneurs who are ready to make a launch or for the ones who are willing to grow their business further with a brand to be proudly presented to their target market! My custom-made drawings are also popular too.

What do you like best about owning a business?
I really like having the luxury of choosing the people I work with. I believe to be able to create a satisfying design work, collaboration is essential throughout the design process. Before we start working, we need to make sure we are a good match / team together. Mine or the client’s energy is contagious and it would reflect to my work. I go for clients radiating positive energy and make working enjoyable to myself.

What or who inspired you to start your business?
We have moved a couple of times with my family and I needed to start from scratch each time, trying to figure out what I want to do with my career. After a point, it seemed logical to me to have my own business which I can take around with me. After giving a break to full time work and becoming a mother, I had the urge to create again but in a more flexible environment. My network here and my husband inspired me to start my own business. It actually took long time for me to take action though! But I finally did…

What makes your products/services special?
First of all, by hiring a professional to take care of your visual brand identity, you will experience patience, understanding and excellent quality of work from me. You will feel you are a part of this creative process. Your needs, feedback will be valued and taken care of. Most importantly, your designs would be created with love, care and enthusiasm. I like to help you with fulfilling your dreams. We can make good designs together.

Who is your role model or mentor?
I must admit that since I have started my own business I got great support from WBII members. If I needed to give one name from my circle, that would be Lisa Hall from Lemonberry. She has inspired me to start my own business when I sent her an email at a period I was a bit indecisive on what to do business-wise, to meet and have a coffee. Since then, I consult her on everything 🙂 and I value her feedback a lot! As we are in the same field, it is a great feeling to have someone like her so supportive and trustworthy. I would like to become a professional like her one day and have such an established business. I have also joined a new Mastermind group in WBII, that excites me to be a part of it.

What is your biggest fear?
I have a few I suppose. My biggest fears in life are losing someone I love, from my small family and also losing my mobility and my overall health. Losing the will to live, or my joy, my peace of mind. Business-wise, my fears are, my work not being appreciated or no longer having my creativity.

What motivates you on a daily basis?
The cup of ‘koffie verkeerd’ I look forward to drinking every morning, my son’s smile and jokes, doing long walks either in city or in the dunes during which I come up with lots of ideas, smell of the sea and nature, cooking, having a glass of wine with loved ones, being introduced to new cultures, making nice plans for the weekends and getting praise from the clients motivate me.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
Becoming a parent. It is both very rewarding but at the same time challenging with a huge responsibility on your shoulders. It was hard at first to accept that my purposes and my demands are not the priority anymore. This sense of responsibility and being a perfectionist delayed me to get back to working after my son was born.

What advice would you give women who are starting a business?
Put your plan into action as soon as possible without losing too much time to begin. Believe in yourself and that you can do it. Surround yourself with people who would support you and definitely join a business network where you would meet like-minded people. Always follow your gut feeling and don’t let anyone destroy your motivation.

What is your favourite business book?
I am not a great business book reader I am afraid! I try to follow the book list of the WBII book club to encourage myself to read more. I have read ‘Building a Story Brand’ by Donald Miller and ‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear with them and I really enjoyed it. I have still a lot on my list waiting to be read!

What are your top tips for networking?
Getting out of your comfort zone. I know it is hard sometimes to get yourself out of your cozy home in the evening to join a networking event. But once you make it, it is worth it! You never know without trying, which doors would be open for you. Slowly build up your network and make precious connections.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
This is always difficult for me to manage. Although I made myself a weekly work schedule, I end up being distracted during the day with a full laundry basket, an empty fridge or school pick-up’s and end up finishing my job in the evening or weekends. I always try to find the time for either a long walk, a couple of stretching exercises or seeing a friend in between jobs everyday. I try to spend time with my son as much as I can.

What is your motto or theme song?
Some day, we will all die, Snoopy!
True, but on all the other days, we will not.

How do you relax?
By discovering a new coffee spot in town, having a bike tour in the dunes towards Kijkduin or by cooking an exciting comfort food and sharing it with my family.

What place inspires you and why?
Datca in Turkey, by the Aegean coast where I spend summers inspires me because it offers the perfect combination of bright sunshine, blue waters and pine trees. London excites me as well, because of its vibe, hidden gem design stores and inspirational exhibitions.

What are your future plans?
I would love to own a small studio space one day or rent a shared space with other creative people where I can work from a couple of days a week. I would also love to collaborate with other entrepreneurs on specific projects. I love the power of team work. Working on your own is a little bit lonely at times.

Are you running any offers or promotions that you would like us to mention?
I don’t have any promotion at the moment apart from the one I have on WBII’s website, which is offering 10% discount to WBII Members on their first graphic design project.

Thank you, Cigdem!

For more information about Cigdem Guven visit Crocusfield.