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Meet Ian Jahns of Jahns Designs in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ian Jahns.

Ian, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Originally I always wanted to be an Architect. I went through college with that as my ultimate goal and attended Cal Poly Pomona to make that dream a reality. As luck would have it, the weekend trial program at Pomona lost funding and the program was shut down during my 2nd year there. During those two years, I was a full-time student at community college with 12 units, worked as an intern during the day, and on the weekends was at Cal Poly all day Friday and Saturday studying architecture.

At the same time the program shut down, the event company I was interning at offered me a full-time position. I took that opportunity and never looked back. It was at that small event company that I was able to grow and understand the business from a hands-on perspective. I went from intern to 3D Designer to Project Manager, and eventually was a jack-of-all-trades designing and managing events all around the US.

Later in my career, I leveraged this knowledge and experience to work at both large and small design businesses gaining as much insight into how they operate. I was fascinated with how different each business’ process was, but was shocked to see where their priorities ultimately were. The smaller firms had amazing customer retention; so much so that I knew our clients on a personal level. That kind of relationship where our clients were more like partners, working collaboratively together for a singular goal.

On the other hand. The large firms lacked customer service and collaboration but excelled at efficiency. To their credit, they were highly successful and could afford to lose some clients, but it always felt avoidable. On one occasion, a prospective client at this large firm fell victim to this poor service and was simply left out to dry.

This is when I made the decision to start my company. I was tired of seeing businesses treat others poorly due to their bottom line, or small businesses unable to make that next jump because of inefficiency and lack of process. I was determined to create a business with the systems and scalability of a Fortune 500 company, but including the personal touch and vested interest that happens within small businesses. And I believe that business is Jahns Designs.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely not.

Starting a business is all about the process, and learning from your mistakes. We have had to hunt down payment from clients who tried to take advantage of us, taken personal risks of ditching a good salaried job to focus on committing 100% to this business and given up an enormous amount time. Time that our families and friends would love to have more of.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a full-service design agency working as an extension of our client’s businesses. While we are best known for our 3D design, our extensive skillset of 2D and digital design is second-to-none. Our goal is to be your in-house design team (Creative Director, Designer, Project Manager, and Consultant) developing and implementing your projects quicker and more efficiently than a designer on your payroll. This way you get to focus on what you as a company does best.

A perfect example of this and one that I am extremely proud of is a company called Amare Global. We reached out to them when we heard their existing design agency dropped out in the 11th hour of a huge product launch. They were about to launch 12 products to be the flagship of their company and were up against a hard-set deadline. They took a chance on Jahns Designs and we were able to design, develop, and produce the labelling and packaging for all of their products within their timeframe. Not only that, but their main product was the winner of the 2018 NutrAward for “Best Finished Product”.

These types of projects only solidify what makes Jahns Design special. Our ability to understand our clients, their objectives, and core values and implement them into their design projects is a rare trait for an agency. In a more tactical way, we utilize technology and software like Asana to take the guessing out of working with an agency. At any moment, you can see where a project is at, its overall status, the completion date, specific tasks that are still outstanding, and what is expected from each person to complete the project.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up I was interested in everything. I didn’t want to take the same path as others and was always pushing the boundaries out of pure curiosity, which got me into trouble at times for sure. Like a lot of kids, I loved sports and competition of any kind. I was never the biggest or most talented but truly believed I could outwork and out-hustle anyone.

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