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Entrepreneur Profile , Angela Hill

VITALS

Name: Angela Hill.

Titles: President and creative director.

Company: Incitrio Design.

Company address: 10951 Sorrento Valley Road.

Company phone: 858-202-1822.

Year founded: 2004.

Prior business experience: Worked in graphic design, marketing and branding industry since 1992.

Prior national clients from past jobs include: Hallmark, Williams-Sonoma, Mars candy, Energizer, Ford Motor Co., Sun Microsystems, Intel, Maersk: Shipping and Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric, Merrill Lynch and Visa.

Average hours worked weekly: Forty to 50 hours per week.

Sources of startup capital: Savings, 401(k) and credit cards.

2008 projected revenue: $520,000.

2007 revenue: $371,500.

2006 revenue: $295,000.

Number of employees: Three full-time and nine contract workers.

Web site: incitrio.com.

BACKGROUND/PERSONAL

Birthplace: Columbus, Ga.

Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Washington University in St. Louis.

Age: 35.

Current residence: Solana Beach.

Family: Husband, Daniel Kornbluth, 46; sons, Max Kornbluth, 6, and Sammy Kornbluth, 4.

Hobbies: Hiking, rollerblading, photography, painting and singing. I am a classically trained coloratura soprano and sing Italian opera.

How do you relieve stress? Exercise, wine, music, chocolate, acupuncture.

What books are you currently reading? “Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,” by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.

Your favorite/least favorite book: “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference,” by Malcolm Gladwell (favorite), and “Finnegans Wake,” by James Joyce (least favorite).

What are the biggest achievements in life aside from your business? My children, my college degree, working the presidential debate in 1992 as the student security coordinator and direct liaison to the Secret Service, and being the first female basketball manager for the men’s team at Washington University.

What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned? Trust your gut.

Do you have any rituals you go through before big meetings or hard decisions (lucky socks, etc.)? Deep breathing and listening to jazz.

Who/what are you listening to in the car, on your iPod, etc.? Jazz, alternative music.

Best part about working in San Diego: Working with people who are as passionate about doing great work and making a difference as I am.

JUDGMENT CALLS

Reason for getting into business: A potential partnership didn’t work out so I did it for myself.

What need, in your industry, did you perceive was unmet: Branding. At the time, no one was offering branding analysis and strategy paired with fully integrated graphic design for print and Web design.

How did you see you could do better than others already in your field: I developed a proprietary branding process to establish a set of agreed upon criteria to measure the success of any graphic design for print or Web design/marketing tactic, and to ensure the firm was both internally and externally aligned for maximum success.

Greatest advantage of owning your own business: Being able to take time off and read with my son and his first grade class every Thursday, do an art history project with his class once a month, and take care of my children when they are sick.

Biggest disadvantage of owning your own business: Having to work three or more jobs but only getting paid for one.

Business’s major strength: Dedication to excellence, integrity, authenticity and service.

Business’s major weakness: Saturated marketplace and competing with firms in San Francisco and New York for work from the larger corporations.

What is the greatest need you have in your business? Time , can’t get enough of it.

Smartest business decision: Starting my own company.

Largest risk: Cashing in my 401(k) and taking out money from credit cards until I became profitable.

Significant business mistake: Not figuring out the secret combination to making my business profitable earlier.

Toughest career decision: Leaving my established career in San Francisco to start a new career and life in San Diego.

Biggest ongoing challenge: Balance.

The most important part of my business: I love to collaborate and partner with my clients to help them achieve their business goals. Producing fantastic work that generates results for my clients is truly what makes me jump out of bed in the morning.

My business works best when: All members of the team (employees, clients, vendors) are completely aligned and moving forward with the same goal in mind.

Best way to stay competitive: Integrity.

How I measure success: Producing high-caliber work that generates results for my clients and balancing my life so that I have enough time to take care of myself and my family.

GOALS

Goals yet to be achieved: My goal for San Diego is to transform the city into a center for art and culture. And my goal for the business is to make the world a better place through the companies and nonprofits that we serve.

My five-year business plan: Grow the business to $2 million in revenue and figure out how to work only nine months out of the year.

I would sell my business only if: I felt the timing, the caliber of work and corporate culture of the partnering firm would be a good match for my employees and my clients.

Guiding principles I will continue to follow: Integrity. Authenticity. Excellence. Trust.

, Andrew Schweizer

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