Emily Gardiner is a highly accomplished Branding Identity & Design Architect, widely recognized as the visionary Founder of Free To Be Creative. With an unwavering commitment to infusing businesses with a unique dose of creativity and forging distinctive identities through captivating design, Emily has earned her reputation as a trailblazer in her field.
In her role as the Founder of Free To Be Creative, Emily and her team are renowned for their ability to breathe life into conceptual ideas, turning them into tangible and compelling realities. With a knack for crafting scroll-stopping design, she has successfully transformed numerous enterprises, setting them apart in today’s competitive business landscape.
Emily’s dedication extends to collaborating with impassioned business owners and forward-thinking agencies, facilitating their ability to express their authentic selves and distinct personalities. Her goal is clear: to empower her clients to magnetize dream clients of their own by crafting recognizable brands that offer premium experiences and foster the growth of freedom-based businesses.
Outside her professional endeavors, Emily Gardiner indulges in the renovation of her cherished countryside cottage, a labor of love she shares with her devoted partner. Her love for travel has carried her to various corners of the globe, infusing her work with a multicultural and global perspective. This international influence and creativity coursing through her veins are now generously shared with ambitious entrepreneurs, empowering them to breathe life into their brands and businesses.
Tell us about your brand Free To Be Creative?
I am Emily Gardiner (33, Rutland) a branding identity and design architect that gives businesses an injection of creativity and a distinct identity through scroll-stopping design; breathing life into ideas to make them a reality.
I provide unique web design, branding identity and design services to passionate business owners and agencies to express themselves and their personality so that they can attract dream clients through a recognizable brand that provides a premium experience and creates a freedom based business.
What made you want to start your own branding company?
My life was turned upside down after the death of my father in 2017 when I was just 27. My dad was an extremely hard worker and was very successful in his career, he was also a keen DIYer and loved renovating our family homes – something I admired and looked up to.
Although this bereavement left a huge hole in my life, I decided life was too short and that I needed to follow my dreams and make my dad proud.
At just 29 years old, I quit my corporate job and travelled the world; two huge life decisions. These bold moves gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and led to the birth of my business – Free To Be Creative; this was not just the freedom to be creative, but having the freedom to travel and work from anywhere in the world!
So, my dad is and always will be my motivation and the thing that gave me that push to jump out of the ‘settled’ pool and into the brave new world of entrepreneurship.
If you could use three words to describe your platform, what would it be and why?
I love this question, as I am all about embodying our brand values. I would say creative, freedom and adventure – something I personally can’t get from sitting in the same room with the same four walls. It KILLS the creative process which is something I struggled with in the corporate world – holiday requests denied, inspirational visits missed and something had to change.
I’ve travelled the world and I’ve actively sought out opportunities to learn and develop my skills and knowledge. Everything I do comes from the soul, and if something doesn’t feel right, I know it’s not aligning with the soul of the brand.
Creativity runs through my veins and I’m incredibly passionate about creating top-tier content for my clients and my audience. I strongly believe we can always take inspiration from nature and the natural world around us to inspire creativity in our own lives; beauty is all around us, so let’s use that to fuel our life choices, decisions and direction.
How did you personally prepare for the success your company has achieved?’
I have always been one to invest in a coach throughout my business career and also in my personal life. Having that support network from professionals who understand you can help you strive for the next level of success that you may not always be ready for. Mindset work has also been another helpful tool as sometimes that horrid imposter syndrome crops up, and when it does we want to remind ourselves that we are powerful, we are worthy and we are ready for what is coming next!
Do you have any tips for upcoming entrepreneurs looking to join the branding industry?
Branding is all about being intuitive and understanding your clients brand strategy – almost like people able to read their minds. I would say practice with your creative skills on different platforms until you find your niche and think about whether you want to get into the strategy side of branding, branding identity or if both areas interest you. Knowledge, experience and having that natural creative flair are all key in the branding industry, so get researching, mood boarding and get out into the world to see what branding you walk past in the street – it’s all market research for creating your own unique style!
What is next for you in entrepreneurship?
I am diving into the world of being the ‘creative architect’ if you like, in creative agencies and for service providers who want me to help them with their own branding and design, and also the needs of their clients too. Almost like the design department for online business owners – without having to take someone on as a full time designer. I am also about to release something I have worked incredibly hard on – the ‘Ultimate Branding Checklist’ freebie for those who are looking to start their own business, and for those who are no longer aligned to their business and need a branding refresh.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
We see so much online about how you don’t need to hustle in business anymore, but I think any woman who starts their own business needs to push themselves in all they do – even ten years down the line. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, pushing the limits and boundaries you have around yourself and pushing through the mindset barriers that may arise, as well and pushing yourself to the top of your success ladder. The hustle never stops because we as women should never settle for anything less than the best.
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