We had the good fortune of connecting with Claire Jordan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Claire, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In grad school (I got a masters in emerging media from the University of Georgia), we had several guest speakers come talk to us about their career trajectory. Freelance was always a part of it. It usually took place somewhere in the middle of their timeline. I began to wonder, “what if I just went for it on the front end?” So – to this day – I have yet to apply for a “real” job. I have not updated my resume since 2018. I have not written a cover letter since I applied for grad school three years ago.

During the pandemic, I found that I thoroughly enjoy working on my own timeline on projects that I choose. I found that I was a better ‘employee’ when I could manage myself. My work is better when I can go to Kroger at 3 p.m. and finish a project at 3 a.m. without stressing out some poor project manager. Today, I chuckle at the fact that I have inadvertently ‘structured’ my business like school. Like a true nerd, I always loved school, and I was good at school. So I have based my business on those same structures – project-based assignments, tight deadlines, and late nights. So far, it works for me!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In my work, I want to bring the undefined and out-of-reach to life. Creativity is the best tool for me to sit more comfortably in the unknown – a very difficult place to sit, but essential if you are after something fresh, something nuanced. Ultimately, I believe what sets me apart is how I define success. Success for me is when – at the end of a project – the client feels more understood, feels that they have language or imagery for a part of themselves they never thought could be expressed. So, I try to slow my pace and hear people. I have never liked to feel rushed, and I don’t rush people’s process. I have found that I have very little control over the final product of any creative project, even my own. In working together, we will arrive at a new place that we created – just for us.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them on a nostalgia tour of my childhood. I grew up in Canton, Ga, but we made the trip to Atlanta-proper quite often. We’d start with a coffee at Atlantic Station, reminiscing on the Dialogue in the Dark exhibit. Then we’d stop for a stroll through the High. “What’ll ya have?” for lunch, we’ll go to The Varsity – a cornerstone of every elementary school field trip. That afternoon, let’s take a tour of The Swan House and stop by for a chicken salad and cheese straw snack. Finally, let’s hit up Lenox Mall, grab a bite at the food court, and catch a movie (I saw the first Harry Potter movie there when I was 7 years old). These hot spots never fail to throttle me back in time.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out the New Media Institute at the University of Georgia. I worked with some of those professors (John Weatherford, Megan Ward, Chris Gerlach, and Emuel Aldridge) for five years, starting my sophomore year of college. This team provides a smorgasbord of skills from which students can choose. At various points, I got to deep dive into app development, virtual reality, coding, graphic design, presentation design, video production, media relations, project management, and web design. Beyond the actual skills, this program gave me confidence that I could make something work. Whether that was a piece of JavaScript code, a personalized font, or an animation sequence I couldn’t get right … eventually I did. Eventually, I made it all work. Those professors provided the perfect petri dish for me to grow in ways I didn’t expect. And I use all of it in my business.

Website: clairejo.co

Instagram: clairejo.co

Twitter: clairejoco

Other: TikTok: @greatgrannylonglegs

Image Credits
Feature photo: Savannah Shaw Photo

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