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

Hi Kay, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had a typical career trajectory after I graduated from college. I worked as a graphic designer and climbed the proverbial ranks in house and at agencies until I found myself as an art director. I had been simultaneously freelancing the whole time because the small business projects and illustration gigs I got were more experimental and offered more creative freedom than my day job. As my clients businesses grew, their creative needs grew and so the see saw tipped and I was able to leave corporate work and make a living from freelance. Even at this tipping point I wasn’t consciously starting a business, I was listening to my gut saying “this is way more fun and you can make money at it, go do that instead.” My overhead was so low because I worked from home, just me and my computer so I was able to stay out of debt. Each year I learned more and more about business from reading and talking to colleagues, and before I knew it I had grown into a business person. Now I have a firmer attitude toward my business and am looking forward with intention. My husband came on board full time so we at a very exciting stage as we hire staff, learn to delegate and set our sites on future projects!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s been such a winding road to where I am now! I pinged in and out of school earning degrees and working different jobs trying to figure out what was the best fit for me. I didn’t set out consciously thinking “hmm, what’s the best fit for me?” of course, It was a series of trials, errors and successes until I left the corporate world to freelance and then finally started my own agency. I also discovered along the way my passion is illustration, the tool I use to send joy pings out into the universe. If I can capture a viewer’s attention for only a second and make them smile, I have been successful. My sense of humor and wit sets me apart from others. I’ve learned grit and gut can guide you through any situation and that it’s important to trust yourself. Fear is always along for the ride but you can tell it to hush up. Fear is really just your mind’s way of looking out for you, and you can tell it to cool it, you’ve got this! I’ve also learned it is so important to take care of yourself – like full on, eight hours of sleep, exercise, healthy diet, low stress. Running your own business of course spits in the face of all of that, but the battle to maintain my day to day self care always wins out and puts me in a position for success. The last two years have been really exciting – my client’s businesses have grown and along with that their creative needs. My husband and I would collaborate on art shows in college so we learned early on we worked well together. When my workload amped up we realized he could come on full time and we could formalize our partnership as a business. We decided on the name House of Kindling, and rather than call ourselves an agency, we landed on “art department for hire.” We liked how friendly and approachable this terminology was, and it helps us cater to each client’s needs more laterally. We are sorting out hiring employees and delegating so we can grow and keep up with the demand. Our clients are really dedicated to their crafts and industries and we take pride in using our backgrounds in fine art and commercial art to help them tell their stories in fresh and fun ways.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This list looks a little different than it would have pre COVID, so here are my Savannah musts for the current times! • Grab blanket and your sunscreen to head out ty Tybee island beach for the day. You’ll need yummy supplies – I’d recommend cuban paninis and vegan donuts from Henny Penny Cafe, a burger from Green Truck Pub or sweet and sour chicken from Wangs II. • gotta burn off all that eating with a session from Katie Bathrop, personal trainer and owner at Savannah Sport and Wellness. • pull out those sketchbooks and spend time in the courtyard of Foxy Loxy Cafe. Favorite menu items include bacon cheddar kolaches or any of their tacos. I’m a simple coffee drinker so I usually have whatever single origin is on drip. • Pop into Tatley’s and Picker Joe’s to shop for vintage treasures • Spend a day at Bonaventure cemetery. It sounds macabre, but this historic site featuring huge old oaks dripping in Spanish moss and sits right on the Wilmingon River, offering epic views of the marsh. If your lucky you can catch a glimpse of the local alligator! Stop in at Auspicious Baking Co. on the way. They have a tasty selection of sweet and savory treats and the staff is so nice, even just a quick visit brightens any day (and tummy!). • Savannah has an open container law so grab a beer and trot around our beautiful downtown area. No trip to Savannah is complete without a trip to the riverfront. Grab a slice from Vinnie’s. • Have a fancy dinner at Local 11ten, my favorite place to go for celebrations and special events • drive around – there are a ton of cute houses and interesting architecture scattered all over the city • RELAX. Seriously. Stay inside your hotel, order in and relish in your nothing-to-do-ness • picnic in Forsyth Park. The grass is so soft, fluffy and inviting, and you’ll be able to people watch for hours Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My longtime client Jennifer Jenkins has been a huge mentor and pal. Her first business, Foxy Loxy Cafe was my first official client. Jen would go on to open several other cafes of which I did the branding and graphic design for which ultimately guided me to running my own business. She is a straight shooter, kind, thoughtful and gritty. It has been inspiring to watch her grow as a business leader and community fixture!

Website: https://houseofkindling.co/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseofkindling/

Image Credits

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