How Karolina started her own business as a graphic designer in Dubai
Born and raised in the UAE, Karolina Bechara started her career as a graphic designer in 2017. She studied Business Management and specialized in International Business, and after graduation she worked in different fields. From marketing and promotions to sales and tourism, her educational background was her doorway to a flourishing career in graphic design. Find out how she turned her passion for designing to a business.
Although she hadn’t studied graphic design, she had been doing some sketching and graphic designing tasks in her previous jobs. Until one day she decided to take design courses, watch YouTube videos to learn and started building a client list. At the same time, as a graphic designer Karolina’s best friend is her laptop and iPad; she needs to be online and connected all the time to check her calendar, schedule meetings and calls, organize her communication with the clients and work on her projects. So, she considers herself tech savvy, which had really helped her with setting up an online presence for her small business.
The story behind Karowl
In 2018 Karolina had started to build a strong client base, so her husband suggested that she starts her own business and she felt ready at that time. Karolina explains:
When I was choosing a name for my business, I combined my name Karolina with owls – which are my favorite animals – and I called my business Karowl.
The first thing that Karolina did was design a logo for her brand, secure her domain name and build a website using GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool.
In Karowl.com, you can find a section with her services that include digital marketing, photography and print designs. You can also check the gallery that highlights some of her previous work. There’s also a section for reviews where you can see testimonials from her clients.
As a freelance graphic designer, Karolina faces a lot of challenges. From competition with large corporates that provide the same services to the fierce competition with other freelancers out there; her journey to establish her own business and brand wasn’t easy. Karolina explains what sets her apart from others:
My relationship with my clients is very valuable, I consider them more of a new friend that I’ve gained rather than a client. And I do my very best in order to deliver the best products with competitive prices.
Her advice to freelance graphic designers is to constantly work on yourself, don’t give up, keep learning and accept criticism. She believes that criticism can be the main motive to push yourself to the limit, improve your weaknesses and work harder. Her final advice is to not think about money and finances especially when you’re in the beginning, focus on building a good reputation rather than making more money.
Her website building journey
Karolina believes that every business no matter how big or small it needs a website, she explains that having a website is like a digital office that everyone can visit to check your products and services. She also thinks that it’s not expensive or complicated anymore, as nowadays there are different platforms that you can use to build a website easily without any tech knowledge like GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool.
In 2019, Karolina decided to build a website for her business to showcase her works and advertise for her services, she says:
When it comes to building a website myself, I was very lost until I found GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing tool. The tool was very easy, affordable and gave me the option to design my own website with zero web development knowledge.
After setting up her website, filling in the necessary information, changing the website’s colour and font, she linked her website to the domain name karowl.com and was ready to spread her wings and fly.
The side hustle
Besides her business as a graphic designer, Karolina has established a side hustle with her husband called ifillfull. They started this project because they wanted to share their passion for things they love like travel, cooking and singing in a fun and creative way. Their website ifillfull.com has three categories now: kitchen, trips and media. Since Karolina is very passionate about cooking so she shares her recipes, they also post videos from the trips they take and the places that they would recommend to others and finally ifillfull media is a section where her husband posts videos about music composition, shares his knowledge and experience about media. And you can also check their videos on their YouTube channel.
You can check more success stories of inspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in our blog.