Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Sheffield.
Hi Rachel, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share your backstory with our readers.
Curiosity started my journey in Eutaw, Alabama, after my mom, Dorothea Sheffield, put me on punishment to think about the wrong I did earlier in the day. You know the saying, “curiosity killed the cat” – being refrained from entertainment killed me. While sitting there in my thoughts, I started to notice my big sister, Evelyn Stoner, drawings hanging on the wall, and it got me thinking if God blessed me with artistic talent like my sister and mom. This prompted me to pull out the sketchbook gifted to me for Christmas. As I put the pencil on the paper, I discovered that I could illustrate different cartoon characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants and other popular characters. It was rewarding to see the results that I decided to display the illustrations on the wall just as my big sister did. Staring at the walls in awe, I knew God blessed me with an artistic talent to share with the world.
To set things in motion, I knew I had to work hard at improving my drawing skills to boost my artwork to a new level. In my spare time, I started building up my fundamental drawing skills by following these steps: practice, trace, use reference photos, use quality paper, learn to see value in an object, focus on drawing shapes, understand different perspectives, and doodling. While I enjoyed teaching myself these fundamentals, I decided to explore higher education in art to learn the techniques necessary to master dynamic character drawing. Summer of 2012, I moved to Ann Arbor, MI, to further my education. After settling into my new state, I buckled down and completed my summer GED program.
In the Fall of 2014, I started my journey to college at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, MI. The experience was unreal. I was in a new environment, had the freedom to explore my interests, expand my perspectives, and connect with peers and mentors to help me successfully transition to college life. The first year went off without a hitch. However, during year two, I started to lose myself and shifted my focus on the wrong things. I could not allow the white noise to take control, so as the semester break approached, I traveled to Houston, TX to visit with family, clear my head, and find myself again.
The week-long visit was rejuvenating and exactly what I needed to thrive moving forward. I was ready to conquer the challenges in my personal life and college. Walking the halls heading to class, an angel sent by God approached me with a note stating, “if you ever need help, reach out.” I knew then that I would get through the rest of the semester now that I have a mentor and a sounding voice. Trulane Rhymes-Pea, the sweet angel she is, also became a godmother to me. She took me under her wings and helped mold me into the woman I am today. I also like to shine a light on Tori Dixon for opening her home, Lavelle Purdy for being a big part of my journey from day one, and the entire Rhymes family for loving on me and getting me through the difficult time in my life.
In December 2015, I decided to move to Houston, Texas, to start a new chapter in my life and reunite with the family I had abandoned for years. My sister, Evelyn Stoner, informed me about Lone Star College, located in Cypress, Texas. I was accepted into the Graphic Design program. By the grace of God, I earned my Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Visual Communication of Graphic Design Certificate during the pandemic in May 2020. Unfortunately, I did not experience walking across the stage to receive my diploma. Instead, I created an at-home graduation visual using skills learned in college to share with family and friends.
Now that I have reached a huge milestone, what was next for me? Instead of going down the traditional route of sending out resumes to different graphic design companies to gain real-world experience, I took a different approach and started my Graphic Design Business, Rachel Designs, on May 15th, 2020, and hired a personal assistant, Donaka Ruffin, in August 2020. The best decision I could have made coming out of college. The business has been booming. We have the honor of conjuring up logos, letterheads, brochures, product packaging, websites, banners, invitations, etc. for many small businesses, colleagues, social followers, organizations, friends, and family. I give all the honor and glory to God. In May of this year, will mark two years of being a small business owner in Katy, Texas. It is a pleasure showing up every day to help turn our client’s visions, ideas, and dreams into reality at Rachel Designs. Our hearts are filled with gratitude that people believe in our BRAND!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Starting a business is hard. Making it successful is even harder. In this industry, you can have clients one week, and the following week, you can have ZERO CLIENTS! You need to brave through storms, be resilient, have a teachable mindset and constantly strive to learn. Going into business without managerial skills and a marketing background was the challenge I had to brave through. So, I invested in my brand by seeking assistance, purchasing study material, and applying skills and strategies learned from working with other organizations and employees helped tremendously.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Rachel Sheffield is a highly creative and multitalented Graphic Designer with extensive experience in 8 different designs. She specializes in designing custom logos for small businesses, branding small businesses, and going above and beyond to make sure the clients experience great customer service during the process of working on their projects. She is most proud to have been around in business for nearly two years and to see how all the amazing designs created have changed people’s lives whether they are using them for their business or personal usage. Many clients have reached out to Rachel Designs after experiencing bad customer service from other companies they have worked with. What sets our business apart from others is INTEGRITY! Rachel Designs is accessible, affordable, and trustworthy! We offer face-to-face or zoom consultations to give clients options to communicate their ideas in a way they feel comfortable. Also, during the consultation, we give a presentation that consists of 7 steps to branding for their business.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
What plays a good luck role in my life and business is being witty, fun, outgoing, entertaining, and a likable person. However, I must tread lightly when it comes to the business to keep clients and family members from taking advantage and bringing bad luck to the business.
Thank you for taking out the time to read my conversation with Voyage Houston Magazine. This was an amazing experience for my small business located in Katy, Texas. All the honor goes to God!
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