Kathy Luong

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Kathy Luong

Founder & Creative Director, MADE BY WMN

Seattle, WA

www.madebywmn.co
instagram: @madebywmn

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m the Founder & Creative Director of MADE BY WMN, a women-focused creative agency.
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WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I've always been drawn to how people interact with their surroundings, and how they make their purchasing decisions. My curiosity has often guided me in my decisions leading up to today.

I graduated with my Bachelors in Business Marketing from Seattle University as a result of how interested I was in studying the consumer and all of the moving parts in the marketing realm. At the same time I was graduating college, I became a self-taught designer through taking several Adobe classes at the School of Visual Concepts in downtown Seattle (and not to mention, countless hours of CreativeLive and YouTube videos). Upon graduating, I dived into the freelancing world and opened my own one-woman design studio. I quickly realized that working by myself didn't allow for my own creative ideas to expand, and it grew apparent that I wanted to niche my services and cater to mainly women with a team of women. Fast forward to today, I've made the leap and have transitioned into a women-focused creative agency.

How do you stand out in your field?

I think what helps us stand out in our field is how our team draws inspiration from a fresh perspective in where we live and travel. Our team is made up of talented female creators, designers, and strategists that either reside in Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City. Most of our team have full-time jobs aside from their positions at MADE BY WMN, and travel quite often for both personal and business purposes so we take pride in the freedom and flexibility we give ourselves in our schedules. Because of this, our team draws creativity from all over the world and it definitely gives us an edge to the way we design, strategize, conceptualize, and overall how we go about our work altogether.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

We just launched our MADE BY WMN shop! At the moment, the shop has pre-made brands for small business owners, designed with females in mind. There are a total of 4 collections that vary by type of industry, totaling 12 pre-made brands. Each collection of our pre-made brands have all been individually crafted by one of our MADE BY WMN designers. We are currently working on adding more to our shop this year, specifically design resources and templates to help business owners DIY their own marketing assets.

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WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

I would say clean and fresh, with pops of color. 🎨

Our agency strives to use color to express brand voices/tones to tell a story and evoke emotion. Our client, B Inspired is a perfect example of our design aesthetic.

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WE ALL HAVE MULTIPLE SKILLS OR WORK IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD FOCUS ON MORE?

Visual brand identity and brand strategy.

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Asking for help and slowing down. Most of the time I think I can do it all by myself and end up burning myself out, which can lead to taking care of myself as my last priority. It's a constant work in progress, but having an amazing support system of women that urge you to take a break and remind you that life is meant to be enjoyed (yes, I do forget to enjoy life sometimes) is definitely helpful!

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Manage and grow our social media accounts. I would say social media is something I always end up putting on the backburner, mainly because I feel like it takes away from being in the present moment. I also don't prefer to do any copywriting (I'm that person that gets stuck at the caption for a post for awhile).

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

Stop being hard on yourself. You're doing the best you possibly can in this exact moment. It's OK to not have everything perfect. When in doubt, take a step back and remind yourself to relax, and have fun.

I'm still struggling with this, although it was worse when I was starting out. Stepping away from my work and reminding myself to celebrate all of the small wins has been a huge game changer. I started this thing where when I have a win (small or big), I write it on paper and throw it in a mason jar on my work desk.

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

How to scale our company with the best practices in the industry through financials, legal contracts, and streamlined systems.

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Brands that are looking to grow and scale their brand in a new creative direction on a large scale. We love to support and educate our clients and their internal teams throughout the duration of our partnership as we deliver on our services. It's one thing to execute on the deliverables, but to be able to support and educate our clients along the way has been a game-changer in how we collaborate with our clients. Plus, it allows both sides of the table to come up with more creative ideas and keep the creative juices flowing to produce even greater results.


DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

Our ideal client is passionate about what they do and who they serve, has a strong and clear vision, and trusts us as creative partners that will guide them throughout the journey while working together.

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

Hourly rate $125. Most of our projects are project-based which vary from around $10,000 to $100K+ depending on the scope of work.

WHO IS A CREATIVE THAT HAS HELPED YOU ELEVATE YOUR WORK?

Abbey McGrew

A one-woman brand designer/Wordpress web designer of her own traveling creative studio. Her design approach is fresh, captivating, and full of intention and purpose.

http://wayfarerdesignstudio.com/
https://www.instagram.com/wayfarerdesignstudio/

Deva Pardue

She’s currently the Creative Director at The Wing and worked at Pentagram in New York as a Senior Designer. She also founded the For All Womankind movement.

http://www.devapardue.com/
https://www.instagram.com/devapardue/


Kadie Smith

She has her own brand design studio and gives you all the illustrative feels. She’s also known for her #EnneagramForEntrepreneurs course.

http://dropcapdesign.com/
https://www.instagram.com/dropcapdesign/

Lindsey Pruitt

Art Director of Soul Twin Studio that is run by two twins on the East Coast. A refreshing blend of a simple, compelling, and daring aesthetic.

https://www.soultwin.studio/
https://www.instagram.com/soultwinstudio/

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Head over to our contact page and fill out the inquiry form. We can't wait to hear all about your project!

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Travel and a great playlist that has all the vibes.


This member profile was originally published in February 2019.