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Riley Youngstrom Shares The Highs and Lows of Running a Creative Business

Hey, it’s Tracy, co-founder of Daisy Made! Over the last couple months we’ve introduced you to a handful of amazing creatives- but until now, we haven’t introduced ourselves! In an effort to share a little more about who we are, Riley and I interviewed each other!

Here’s a little glimpse into the creative heart of my partner, friend + the designer behind all things Daisy Made!

You’re only 20 years old! How does it feel to run a business at such a young age? (No offense)

Haha! I never really lead with my age, because it typically knocks me down a bit, but yes I’m 20! A “child” as they say! I’ve always been a bit of an “old soul” and knew I wanted to make my own path.

Running my own business at 20 either feels like the most incredible thing or the worst idea ever- I typically feel both of those emotions daily. I’m learning to be proud of what I’ve accomplished, and remind myself that I have time to get to where I want to be. I definitely feel imposter syndrome daily, and sometimes I feel like I’m too young to know enough, get hired or seem trustworthy. It’s really important to me that clients trust me and see me as their expert! I truly believe I am, but some days my age likes to convince me otherwise. 

What do you do at Worth It Approach?

I’m a brand strategist and designer! I create branding and websites that help business owners stand out, and be bold in their life’s work. I’m very passionate and believe strongly in the power of strategy when it comes to branding. I don’t think enough people are designing with the intention to solve problems – they’re just designing for trends. At The Worth It Approach, I strategize with my clients to uncover the problems in their business and decide how we’ll solve them through design! It literally lights me UP! I can’t put into words how much I love creating!

Are there other places people can see your work that they might not know about?

Ooh! This one is fun! Well, I am the designer behind everything we do at Daisy Made! So, if you didn’t know, everything you see here is me! I’ve also done a couple of lines of custom t-shirts at Ramble and Company and custom bandanas with Dyeraid

Shirt pictured above is available on Shop.rambleandcompany.com

What has been your all-time favorite collaboration?

Ugh! This one is so hard for me. I love them all (and no, not just in a “I don’t want to be offensive so I’ll say I like all of them” way). I genuinely love all of them and it brings me so much joy every time I get to work with another creative! My dad is a full time artist and has been since I was born- and I’ve gotten to help him with so many fun/cool things. So I would say my favorite collaboration has been anything I’ve done with my dad. 

Someone in our stories asked how we know each other, would you like to share?

This question makes me laugh because it’s hard to think about a life where we didn’t know each other. We met through instagram I would say? My dad knew Tracy through the creative world, and eventually I met Tracy through the creative world as well! We bonded over our love for cute things, a hatred for the word “boss babes” and a desire to share everyday creativity with the world. The rest has been history.

What part of this industry brings the most pressure? 

Oh man. So much. For me, I feel most pressured to do it all. To be the absolute perfect formula of a designer. To be trendy, but not too trendy. To be business minded, but not come off too strong. To share my work, but not be self-centered. To educate people about branding, but not be pushy. To design with intention, but also please the client. I think it’s a lot of pressure I put on myself. Being in the designer industry there’s a consistent pressure to present yourself, your work, and your aesthetic all the time- and to never miss a beat. I think I feel the most pressured to always be ON. To always be trendy, to always be creating new work. I don’t think this is attainable- and I think it’s a reality that should be talked about more.

What brings you the most joy?

Ooh, so many things- but I have to say mornings. I’m a big morning person. Not much of my life is aesthetic or perfect by any means but I feel like my morning routine is the closest I’ve got! Ha! I start my days really early, read and journal, and then go for a run. There’s something about being up before everyone else and running to clear my mind that brings me so much joy. This is such a simple answer and I wish that I could say something profound, but truly, being the only one awake is my joy. Unpopular opinion.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I don’t really remember. I think for a while I wanted to be a vet (original) but when I was a teenager – Olivia Benson. I still want to though, let’s be honest. I was literally obsessed with Olivia Benson on SVU and was religiously drawn to it. I think the idea of redemption and healing has always intrigued me. I don’t do well with blood or police sirens and I’m too empathetic for my own good, so I don’t think Captain Cragen would put me on the squad. Bummer.

What do you need most from the creative community? 

I need the reminder that un-creativity is good too. The honesty that we are not always creative and aesthetic is so needed in this space. I often feel a lot of shame because my life doesn’t look or feel like I am assuming other people’s do. I know I am not the only one in this battle.

What do you try to offer?

I hope to always offer a “me too”. I’ve always been decently blunt about my problems and what I’ve gone through. I love to share what I’ve gone through and talk to people who feel alone. I definitely believe in boundaries and protecting those, but I also believe that when you share something, most likely another person will too. There’s something beautiful about two people understanding each other without having to defend or explain their situation. 

What are you the most proud of?

Going to walk the talk with what I just said above and be open and share something that’s kind of uncomfortable. I think what I’m most proud of changes. But recently – I’ve been really proud of myself for choosing to fight my OCD. I’ve been OCD since I was a kid and it comes in and out of my adult life. It’s taken over my life at a lot of points and has left me sleepless, exhausted, and ashamed. It’s a really hard thing to say that as an adult you force yourself to do certain child-like routines that make you feel certifiably crazy, but I’m proud of choosing to talk about it, share about it, and actively fight it and not let it ruin my life.

What makes you feel the most vulnerable?

I feel most vulnerable when I feel small. And I feel small when I feel left out. I’ve never been the life of the party or the most popular kid in school, and whenever I’m in situations where I feel like the odd ball out, outside the conversation, or unwanted there- I feel incredibly vulnerable and tend to freeze.

How do you hope to see your business grow?

I’d love to keep taking on more and more clients who are ready to solve problems in their business. I am so passionate about helping people see change in their business. It’s what keeps me going, and I would love to take on more people who are excited about this too!

Why did you feel pulled to get involved with Daisy Made?

I crave honesty and authenticity. Ya know, those two words we seem to throw around but never actually practice. I wanted to create a space that celebrated EVERYDAY creativity. The creativity we choose when we don’t want to. The creativity we love because it is honest and joyful- not curated!

If you could tell one thing to this community, what would it be?

Good work gets found. I really, truly think that when you just keep doing good work it will be found. Don’t put too much pressure on curating it, staging it, or promoting it. Do good work and share it. It will be found. Your everyday creativity is the breath behind the world and its realness should be celebrated.

Love Riley’s heart! I hope you enjoyed getting to know her better! Click HERE to read her interview with me!

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