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The art of balancing creativity and business

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Balancing creativity and business can seem like a tall order, but it’s not only possible, it’s very advantageous to approach business from a creative perspective.

As a designer in today’s industry, you often have to wear multiple hats. Of course, you play the role of the creative: designing, experimenting and creating are part of your core being.

But there’s another hat: the business hat, which you have to navigate to build your career. This minefield is something that local designer, Tiffany from Studio TKuip’s has been currently balancing since she started her own design company, Studio TKuip’s in 2020.

So how do you find a balance and find time for two seemingly opposite things? How do you go from thinking creatively to thinking strategically without missing a beat?

Discover what Tiffany had to say about life as a designer and a business owner.

Tiffany from Studio TKuip’s.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Tiffany Kuiper. I am 23 years old and I live in Jimboomba. I own my own business called Studio T Kuip’s. I have always lived in Jimboomba. Born, bred and raised in Jimboomba.

What is the start-up story behind Studio T Kuip’s? When and why did it start?

Growing up my grandpa always said I make an excellent businesswoman, but I can’t ask him why or what he saw, because he is no longer with us. There was no big revelation on what I wanted to do with my life, there was a lot of trial and error.

But I know when I went to Uni and specialised in Design, specialising in Graphic Design, I was fearful about being a graphic designer because I didn’t think I would be good at it. But then I finished my degree and I was looking for a job. I was desperate at that point because, at my previous place of employment, I wasn’t even getting enough money to put fuel in my car to get to work.

On the drive home one day, I just had a really weird inkling that I should get an ABN number and so I did. A couple of weeks later, I was required to have an ABN for my new job.

However, once I got this ABN number, I thought I should do something with it. So that was when I decided to start a business. Did I know what I was doing – no but I decided that I was going to do everything in my willpower to make it happen. It just started from there.

Describe a day in the life of a designer and business owner?

Well, it varies depending on what I’m doing. So, some mornings have an early start because I’ve got to be at business meetings at seven in the morning and sometimes it can be a start a little bit later. Sometimes if I have client meetings or if I don’t have any meetings with clients or I need to go out, I just work from home.

95% of what I do is boring and 5% is fun things. I think it’s all the admin stuff that’s the most tiring thing for me. You think it’s going to take 5 min, then 2 hours later you are still at it!

What services do you provide?

The services I offer include:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Brand Style Guides
  • Graphic design for businesses and individuals

What has been the most rewarding moment of your career to date?

I think there are 2. The first rewarding moment was when I took a leap of faith to leave my job and it was kind of a miracle how I got the job. It was with a spritely 80-year-old woman called Robin, she was fabulous, to say the least. She just had a lot of faith in me.

Tiffany from Studio TKuip’s.

She was the best first client you could ever ask for and she was able to give me some valuable tips, like the importance of communication with clients and keeping them up to date.

The second was getting my first corporate job. It was really rewarding because I had done 18 months of hard work and somebody had noticed my skills and thought I’d be a great person for this particular company. That was my first major job.

Both jobs we’re just as important as each other. Both taught me very valuable lessons, but what I appreciated the most was the trust factor. They allowed me to do what I needed to do, they trusted the vision that I could execute and I love those types of clients. People who trust the vision and are open-minded and both of them were.

Describe your design style? Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

My design style is bright, bold, fun and simple. I feel it has got a bit of a European flair in it but I’m not sure how that happened. For inspiration. I just allow my curiosity to take me places and that’s generally how I roll in life – let curiosity take the lead.

What advice would you give someone who’s looking to start their own business?

I think the 2 main priorities to get into business is, one to help people and two is to help solve a problem. You also have to be very persistent and consistent because things don’t happen overnight. You have to get up every day and work at it continuously.

The other thing is rest. Rest is a really important thing, have a day off. You can’t keep going constantly, it’s not healthy. Sometimes you need to take a holiday from your business and sometimes even a holiday from yourself.

Also always be willing to learn that’s a really important one as well – I think the moment you feel you are good is the moment you stifle yourself and the growth of your businesses. You have to be always willing to listen to people, even if they don’t have the same credentials as you, it doesn’t mean their views are less important.

Tiffany from Studio TKuip’s.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?

I’d like to be financially stable and hire an incredible team because you grow in collaboration. I also would like to possibly branch out into other avenues. I also want to have a fabulous wardrobe but who knows.

When you’re not designing/working, what do you like to do to unwind?

I love to sing, play the piano and write music. I don’t get to do it that often now but when I do it’s great.

For more information about Studio TKuip’s or to learn more about their services, visit their Facebook (@studiotkuips) or call 0452 304 098 to speak to Tiffany. Alternatively, you can tune into her podcast, TKuip’s Talks.

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Emily Stack
Emily Stack
Editorial Team
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