Solo Business Stories: Quoin Design was trying to find its footing. Then they worked with Jackie and made discoveries.

Joshua and Qiana of Quoin Design

Joshua and Qiana Rickabaugh Rich of Quoin Design.

Quoin Design was trying to figure out what its brand was.  Jackie helped narrow that down.

Name of Business: Quoin Design, owned by Joshua and Qiana Rickabaugh Rich.  Name meaning: “It is an architecture term for corner,” according to Joshua.  “It is also hard ware that holds letters in place in typesetting.  And, it is close to my wife’s name.”

Years in business: 17

What the business does:  Specializes in branding, web, and print.

Origin Story:  “I’d learned by getting work experience during college and had also been an in-house designer for a couple of businesses (my major was Fine Arts). When my wife and I were getting married in 2001, she was working as a commissioned painter. She offered our flower vendor a painting. The flower vendor, Françoise Weeks, said, “I’d love a painting, but what I really need is a brochure. Do you think you could help me?” We said sure, and that is the first professional design project we worked on together as a team. We enjoyed the experience and realized we could do a lot more with it. I stayed on part-time employment for a few years while we got off the ground, and then we went full-time.”

What’s working now?  “What works for me right now is networking, and nurturing referrals from existing clients.

“We love to work with women-owned businesses, and one of our latest successes was working with Moxie and Moss Workwear last year as they were beginning to seek funding. Partly with our help on their pitch deck and web site, they were acquired by Portland Product Werks, and our relationship has continued.”
Advice/Lessons Learned/BSR Wisdom:  
“Find clients you can really work well with. Creative businesses need to have a very comfortable relationship with their clients in order for the work to be really good. Your client has to trust that you’ll deliver work that meets their business needs, and will do it on budget.
“Keep marketing because you never know when that amazing client is going to have a leadership change and forget about you.
“Always work with a good contract and have your attorney’s number handy at all times. And creatives should work with an attorney who is expert in creative fields — it’s much less expensive because they already understand the nuances of IP, copyright, work-for-hire, etc.
“Also, I do what Jackie tells me, which is: ‘Raise your rates!’”
Want Jackie’s help?  Check the events page for upcoming classes here and register.