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Meet Katie Manos of Verynice and Clockshop in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie Manos.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After I graduated from UCLA’s Design Media Arts program, I worked at various jobs as a designer until joining my partner’s company, verynice. verynice is a design consultancy that gives half of its work away for free to non-profits.

For three years, I was the Design Director, working with lots of business, small and large, and rebranding our own company. I decided to go back to school and recently received my MFA in Graphic Design from Otis College of Art and Design. Now that I’m back in the real world, I have two part-time jobs: I’m the sole Designer at a small arts organization in Frogtown called Clockshop and the Studio Manager at verynice.

These two jobs allow me to switch from my left brain to my right brain every day, ensuring that I don’t get burnt out at either job! It’s challenging and rewarding to have these two roles.

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?
My biggest struggle with my career has been two main issues: imposter syndrome and burnout. Having graduated undergrad in the middle of the recession, the “hustle” was very popular as a way to prove you were doing all you could to get by. Freelancing has never been easy for this introvert; having a job and freelancing on the side is enough to give anyone burnout.

I decide to go back to school to do a hard reset on my life and my career—I wanted to dig into what I was really interested in and get to know myself a little better. Now that I’ve graduated, I’ve come to realize that I don’t like the hustle, but I also don’t like monotony.

I know that I’m capable, so when I feel like an imposter, I remind myself that I’ve worked really hard to get where I am today, including presenting myself and my work to rooms full of people, leaving me very vulnerable, and survived.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the verynice and Clockshop story. Tell us more about the business.
I work at two companies, currently, part-time. Both companies allow me to be part of the art and design world, but in an alternative way. At Clockshop, I get to design lots of things—promotional materials, bandanas, zines, Facebook invite images, all the things.

I feel satisfied with any job I work on there because of the cause of the business as a whole is important to me. I feel the same way about being the Studio Manager at verynice—my day-to-day is filled with invoicing, scheduling, writing checks, mailing books; things I enjoy but feel fulfilled in my role at a company that’s giving back to the global community.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I wouldn’t call it luck, I would call it making connections with people. These interactions, big or small, and how you act on them are how you get work, figure out what you like to do, and set you up for success.

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