This series means so much to me. Women’s History Month is a global uplifting of women and the heroic roles that innately find us to showcase to the world the power we already possess.
My origin story is a perfect reflection point thats still a fiery reminder to just go; to simply START not having it all together. Looking back 12 years in the making , Octane has always been about defining ourselves in a non traditional sense. To break the biases that our society places on women. Especially women of color and BIPOC communities.
There was more for me
In 2009 my life was so much different. My mind was convoluted with the ideas of ‘making my mark’ but also ‘remaining me’ despite what others expected me to do. I spent hours in my head while robotically moving forward.
I was a young woman. A mom with another life on the way. I was trying to make space for my passions while keeping my lights on in a 500sqft apartment.
I chose a lot of this life. It wasn’t entirely dumped on me. I accepted where I was but not that I would remain there.
Octane came from this idea of both mechanical and thermal energy. I wanted to be the force/energy that propelled things from the back of house without being a front face for it.
I didn’t tell others what I was doing in registering Octane. I didn’t even bother to announce anything outside of being a ‘freelance designer’. I just knew I needed to do it… for myself. And filling out that paperwork is what flipped the switch for me. Going from idea to conception. Transitioning from ‘I’ to ‘We’ without ‘We’ fully formed. It was in wind.
I still had to grind the entire first 3-5 years but I was willing to keep at it. Always testing with design or business strategy. Tinkering until I found a flow that worked best for my lifestyle and my personality.
I missed out on life things for and around my family. I was withdrawn from formidable relationships to keep space for my passions. I truly believe that was the hardest part but I have no regrets because it led me where I am now.
The closed doors and ‘no’ in the beginning led me to long term committed receipts both financially and relationally.
I went through 5 main steps to START Octane:
- Market Research
- Writing a strong business plan
- Registering the business through the state
- Keeping good records
- Having legit contracts
If the foundation is strong, the building will hold. Hoping MY START inspires some else to start their own.
Danielle is CEO of Octane Design Studios, mom of 4 and third generation entrepreneur. She is podcast editor and co-host of the More Than Graphics Podcast. When not working she enjoys gaming and board games with her family, chasing her toddler in the open fields of ‘the old family’ plot and rustic Italian dinners.