Interview with Ali Hicks-Wright
Ali is the Founder and CEO of Amari Creative
, a full-service branding and design studio focused on inventing and building high quality, everlasting brands through stunning design, captivating storytelling, and strategic marketing. Ali works with entrepreneurs to tell stories and bring insights into creating engaging and effective brand strategy. Her expertise lies in merging the gap between left brain and right brain by melding traditional marketing techniques with cutting edge brand design. Ali's well-honed process provides the ideal framework for new ideas to emerge and resonate with your distinct vision. Ali specializes and excels in bringing her client's visual narratives and experiences to life.
Ali, how did you start Amari creative? What lead you to branch out on your own?
Hi there, my name is Ali. I am the founder of Amari Creative which is a Boulder-based branding and design studio and I started my business at 22 year old. I had done a vision board just to put together what I wanted in the next year, five years and ten years and mapped out my big dreams and goals. On my fifth year, I put to start a business. A few months after that, I was thinking about how I was going to reach each of these goals. I went through my list of goals and I looked at the goal to start a business and thought, I'm not ready for that, I'll put that off and wait until I'm ready to do it. Then I realised does any entrepreneur ever feel ready to start a business. From there, I started thinking about how to start and what I wanted to name it and all those things you go through when starting a business. A few months later, I founded Amari Creative. That's how it all began. I figured I'm young and I might as well just jump in and give it a shot. I did just that and started the business as a 22-year-old and have never really looked back since. I've just reached my two year anniversary and am looking forward to year number three.
Who are your clients? Whose stories are you telling? Any past campaigns you are particularly proud of?
At Amari, I'm fortunate enough to say that we have the most incredible and lovely clients. We get to work with the best small businesses from all around the world, mostly based in the US but we have a few international clients as well which is a lot of fun. But we work very closely with our clients and assist with anything in small business. We have worked with lawyers, to yoga studios, to hairstylists, and pretty much everything in between, a lot of established companies that have many employees, all the way to a solo entrepreneur who is just starting out. It's a lot of fun to get to work with a variety of different small businesses. It's so much fun as we get really close to our clients and we've made many lifelong friends with our clients and we have a lot of fun with them. We're very fortunate to have incredible clients.
What got your started in this synthesis of marketing and design?
In school I studied business and journalism, I did a double major. I got a little bit of a taste of marketing and a tiny taste of design but not all that much. From there, I knew I had a passion for it. I got the design software and started teaching myself more as a hobby and I truly fell in love with it and I figured out that's what I wanted to do with my life and with my business. I was self-taught. I joke very often that Google was my co-founder and I think the same is true for many entrepreneurs. The resources are at our fingertips and we're able to use Google to help us answer questions and learn new things and always be growing and learning and teaching ourselves. That's been really fun to do.
Working for yourself, how do you create a healthy work and life balance? What do you do when you need to restore or be inspired?
Finding a work/life balance is a great question because it's something that I'm still working on myself. I work from home and I truly just love what I do. I am so passionate and it's honestly just fun for me. That means it's very easy for me to just work and work. Working from home means it's easy to go up into the office and not leave for the rest of the day. But luckily I have a sidekick, a golden doodle puppy, who is with me all day and she insists that we get outside. Since I do live and work in Boulder Colorado it's very easy to get up to the mountains and that's my place to escape, unplug and disconnect and really get inspired by the outdoors and take a little bit of a break from work. But I do need to be very intentional about unplugging because it is hard for me to disconnect from my work and my clients just because I love them so much.