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Community Highlights: Meet Gratiana Prince of The Refined Brand

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gratiana Prince.

Hi Gratiana, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Originally, I started my journey designing event flyers for a local restaurant while studying Graphic Design & Web Development in college and quickly pivoted to creating wedding invitations. I felt like I could showcase more of my creativity. While balancing mom-life, a corporate career, and my new small business, I got very overwhelmed and took a step back in 2016. Fast-forward to the COVID-19 pandemic, my close girlfriends were either losing their jobs or were in fear of losing their jobs and I just couldn’t sit back and watch that happen. If they had a hobby, I was helping them turn it into a full on brand — doing things the right way from scratch so that it was sustainable in the long run. I had my corporate knowledge and my design background and I figured fusing both together would, at the very least, help them kickstart their business. It really took off thereafter… I designed a few friends’ product lines and have been building my clientele ever since, mostly by word of mouth.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Absolutely not. Far from smooth. I’ve struggled with confidence because there are so many wonderful and talented women in this industry. Imposter syndrome is real. But, when I decided to drown out the noise and stop comparing myself to others, I really found myself and my confidence. I also had quit my corporate career shortly after starting my studio, and that was really hard. I had left my job (honestly) too soon assuming that the trajectory would keep rising when it really is hard work every single day. There is no security blanket when you’re out on your own and I learned that very quickly. So, I struggled in my down-seasons and not knowing if I was going to have any new clients the following month. But all the struggles over the last year have taught me to keep going. I haven’t ever felt more motivated to go out and chase my dreams than I do now.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Refined Brand helps industry disrupt(her)s step out of the shadows and into their power with branding that resonates. We offer a wide range of design services from brand strategy, brand identity design, web design and development, packaging design, just to name a few things. I think what really differentiates TRB from other design studios is, although it’s small right now, we still value a high-quality, large agency style experience. I always say that if people are investing their money, I want to make sure that I’m giving them the “Rodeo Drive” treatment. I value transparency, so I show up in that way and I think that really makes my clients feel more comfortable when collaborating.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
In an effort to advance Black Women in Business, we’re hosting a bi-annual brand and web design giveaway! People can support us by supporting those giveaways and donating to the companies we’re collaborating with to make that happen. A win for Black Women is a win for me.

You can also hire us directly to design for you by applying directly on our website.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Sara Welch Photography

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