We are coming off of a high of receiving the Best of Business Awards for the Best Young Networking Group in Worcester for yes, you got it right, the 5th year in a row. We are incredibly proud of this recognition and we want to take a moment to thank you, our local members, for showing up to our events and for spreading the word in our community about who we are and what we do. Thank YOU for your support.
As you know, we love to spotlight our members so that you can get to know each other and learn more about events, programs and businesses in our local community.
This month, we are introducing you to Stephanie Audette Connor, Brand Architect & Graphic Designer. If you're an aspiring entrepreneur, you'll want to read on to learn about the path she paved for herself to get where she is today.
Name: Stephanie Audette Connor
Hometown: Grafton, MA
When did you move to the Worcester area: I grew up right next door in Auburn, but have also lived in Sutton, Leicester, Boston, and Spencer.
What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate: My son’s birthday!
Number of seasons with YPWA:
Favorite YPWA event you’ve attended: Abby’s House Cleaning & Donation (a long time ago)
Local Recommendations/ Favorite Hot Spots
Favorite place to grab a coffee/tea: NuKitchen (I’m not a big coffee or tea fan, but I am a smoothie addict)
Favorite spot to bring your family in the city: Currently my son has been enjoying the Ecotarium, we even had his first birthday party there.
Tell Us About Your work in the world. What do you do?
Occupation: Brand Architect & Graphic Designer
What do you enjoy most about your current role? Having the flexibility to set my own schedule, my own salary, choose who I get to work with and collaborate with other creatives.
Do you have career goals you'd like to share? My next venture (hopefully) will be a daycare / coworking/ fitness space for new parents through age 3!
What are three items that are always at your workspace? Water bottle, crystals and my Canvas Light!
Knowing that all journeys are not linear, how did you end up in Graphic Design and running your own business? After graduating from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, I found myself back home struggling to find a job. For nearly three months, I applied for every graphic design job in Worcester County. I even sent my resume to numerous creative agencies who weren’t hiring!
When I wasn’t job searching, I was spending a lot of time at a young startup in Millbury, MA that was called Cre8: A Do-It-Yourself Studio. Eventually, the owner created a position for me and I spent a few years working there alongside her, helping people to design and produce a variety of items. After working at Cre-8, I got my first full-time job as a designer and worked for a few years at a couple of agencies. It wasn’t long though before I realized that my creativity and ambition couldn’t be satisfied by laying out newspaper ads.
I wanted to be in control of my process and have the opportunity to really connect with my clients and work alongside them every step of the way. I started taking on freelance design jobs while working as a part-time financial assistant. It was so satisfying and I had finally found my calling as a designer! Once I had built my clientele and portfolio, I made the leap to open my own full-time design studio on January 1, 2016.
Metrowest and Central Massachusetts are exciting places to be working right now. Worcester, in particular, is going through a renaissance. The activity, energy, and innovation throughout the city captivates me and draws me in. With so many people following their passions, there are many new and evolving small businesses and startups. The majority of these business owners are really committed to keeping their dollars local and working with fellow small businesses to achieve their goals. I love being able to play a small role in their success stories!
Who are some of your ideal clients and why? While I have worked with all types of
small businesses throughout Worcester County and beyond, some of my dream clients include: Restaurants & Bakeries, Baby & Kids Products, Beauty Products & Packaging, and other product based companies.
We know a lot of our readers are aspiring entrepreneurs with an idea for a business. Do you have any guidance for those who are ready to take a leap of faith? Yes! There are some really amazing resources for Worcester area entrepreneurs. Be sure to chat with or attend a workshop at any of the following organizations:
If you'd like to connect with Stephanie, you can find her on social and on LinkedIn:
Thank you so much, Stephanie! We've got several more spots for the 23-24 season. If you'd like to nominate yourself or a friend, you can do so here. We thank all our outstanding members that have shared their experiences, tips, and love of the Worcester area with us this season!