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Meet the Founders of Boldhouse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Laura Krabill and Asia Forbes.

Mary-Laura and Asia first crossed paths in the fall of 2015. Asia was easing her way back into working as a freelance graphic designer and event stylist.

She had taken a few years off from art directing in advertising and corporate branding in order to focus on raising her children with her husband. Mary-Laura had started her career on the east coast working in marketing and advertising. She took a detour to follow one of her life’s passions to start and run an organic farm in New Jersey with her business partners. As life took a turn a few years later, she found herself in Los Angeles freelancing as an event planner.

The second they connected on an event project in 2015, they knew that it was the beginning of something bigger. Their work energy was different than anything they had experienced before. Within 6 months of meeting, they created and incorporated Boldhouse in early 2016.

The unique synergy they found in each other is the foundation that has given Boldhouse the stability to grow quickly.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We’ve worked really hard to try to avoid typical struggles new businesses tend to go through, but it hasn’t been easy. Owning a business is hard work, and there’s no way to get away from that. One of the most important things we’ve done is put our head down and work quietly on what is internally happening within the business. It’s easy to get distracted by what other companies in creative industries are doing. We do our best to stay focused on our goals, and how to continue to strengthen our infrastructure. In the early days we found ourselves spending an unexpected amount of time working the logistics of running a successful business—things like accounting, knowing when to hire extra help, and how to price ourselves correctly. All we want to be doing is the fun design stuff! We’ve had to set aside a good amount of time researching what works for other businesses and making the best decisions for our own. One of the best decisions we could have made was bringing Kim Downing, our Managing Director, on board. Joining forces with her has only expanded our potential. Her expertise in large-scale production allowed our infrastructure to catch up with our capabilities. She’s been the force pushing us to make the (sometimes not as fun) business decisions, so that we can support all of the fun creative for our clients.

The biggest and most gratifying struggle has been learning how to prioritize our families along with our growing business. We honestly don’t believe in a work-life balance. Being entrepreneurial women, as well as mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters is not easy. We are constantly focusing on being more productive with our work hours and making sure we carve out sacred time to be present with our loved ones. It’s never perfect, but it’s a beautiful challenge to be constantly juggling. Having our business be built by and surrounded with like-minded professionals has been the best thing we could have asked for.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Boldhouse – what should we know?
Boldhouse is a creative coalition. Since Boldhouse was formed in 2016, it has grown with our clients. Their needs have shaped our evolution. We were originally established to fill the demand for full-service events, and have grown to become a bi-coastal comprehensive design studio. After focusing primarily on design-heavy events and production, we now also provide clients with branding, commercial art direction and original content creation—bringing together copywriters, graphic designers, photographers, artists and interior designers.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
So many people! There’s no way we would have made it this far without the love and trust from our husbands. They’ve supported us both financially, emotionally, and creatively, and have had to take on a lot of unexpected roles and struggles alongside us. Boldhouse is definitely a family-run business. Our parents and extended families have definitely had their share of extra childcare duties and long venting phone calls as well.

Meeting and collaborating with so many strong, beautiful, and talented creative souls along the way has been a huge factor in keeping us going. From our incredibly trusting and supportive clients (who saw potential in us from the beginning and decided to back that up by signing those very first few contracts), to our friends and fellow creatives. Each one has taught us something golden, and made us better at our job. We have met and joined forces with strong talented women that make our team and company that much stronger. Lately, we keep coming back to the mantra of “we are stronger together”. The beauty of working with others who find ways to collaborate and build each other up, instead of compete, is what is at the core of our success.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Pilar Valtierra
Katherine Ann Rose
Lauren Scotti
Hazelnut Photography
Jes Workman

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