Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and do something different to challenge yourself.
When students graduate from university most face the challenge of finding their first job. Lauren Nash didn’t need to – she’d already set up her own business.
In the middle of a three-year Visual Communications degree at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Lauren started working on freelance projects in her spare time.
Her client list grew, and by the time she graduated she realised she had the foundations for her own business already in place to continue her passion for graphic design. Lauren’s creative agency, Culture Fox, now works with multi-million dollar companies, including the Hilton Hotel, Marriott and Four Seasons, along with small and medium-sized businesses.
The company designs and develops visual identities and marketing communications for both digital and print applications.
Lauren’s journey hasn’t been easy. She initially missed out on going straight into her chosen degree. Instead of giving up, she decided to follow her passion and enrol at UTS Insearch to study a Diploma of Design.
“I was pretty devastated that I had just missed the marks to get into UTS,” she says. “But the foundation design course offered by UTS Insearch meant I could start studying what I was passionate about.”
She excelled in her course – achieving a distinction average – and was accepted ‘straight into the second year of a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication at UTS.
Building her own business was a challenge, she says, but she was driven to keep striving for success through every difficulty that came her way.
“Being the founder and sole owner meant I had to take on every facet of the business,” she says. “I met clients, designed and developed each project, and organised the accounts, the marketing and social media. But without that experience, I’d never be where I am today.”
Some of her recent work included re-branding the iconic Hugo’s Lounge in Kings Cross as the Flamingo Lounge. She designed floor-to-ceiling decals of palm trees and exotic floral prints and a hand-drawn logo for the new business.
Her advice to people looking to study design or set up their own business is to pursue their passion. “It’s very easy to get caught up in the expectations of those around you, but as long as you stay true to yourself, that will get you so much further in life,” she says.
Be persistent and focused, she says. “You’ve got to stick with it and be ambitious.” Lauren also recommends taking time out of each day for yourself. “I love to get out of the office and clear the mind, whether it’s yoga, rock climbing, touch footy – or recently rugby sevens.”