Member Highlight: Denise McCall of McCall Design Studios

For those of us who know the joy of working for ourselves, there is perhaps no greater allure into the crazy and challenging world of entrepreneurship than the ability to use your passion and creativity to build your business. Denise McCall, of McCall Design Studio has done just that.  We asked award-winning graphic designer to share her thoughts on business and life as a military spouse entrepreneur:

clip image005Name:  Denise McCall
Business:  McCall Design Studio, Visual Communications
Years in Business:  24 Years
Business Structure:  Sole Proprietor

Q: What are some things you like about being in business for yourself?
The parts of being in business for myself that I appreciate are the autonomy, creativity, and opportunity to reach for my goals to help organizations and businesses reach their goals.  I enjoy helping people, enterprises, and communities.

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Some of the challenges faced were frequent technology advancement expenditures, through the decades, in a rapidly changing and evolving industry during the information age.

Q: How has being a military spouse helped/challenged your business?
It was an honor to be a Military Spouse serving our country active duty for eight years and retired service for three years, currently.  Active duty spouse service helped my business take root in various other parts of the country that I may not have had the opportunity otherwise, gaining immersion in various cultures.  I appreciate the friends and partners I have been fortunate to be inspired by, along the way, which adds to a fuller life and business.

The challenges were five duty tours in the first six years, with my business relocating four of those tours; and the fifth being a 13-month long Independent Augmentee (IA) tour — spouse serving abroad “Operation Enduring Freedom,” and I serving on our HomeFront.  Much family loss during the years of service away from family added to these challenges, but my personal and business service to my military family/community continued, and helped ease the transitions.  Many business goals were delayed, but my business still stands, and I became enriched and stronger by the challenges faced.

Q: What would you like your customers/future to know about you and your business?
I would like my customers/future to know that I care about their goals and challenges, and welcome the opportunity to serve them through my business.  I hope those interested will reach out so we can get to know each other.

In addition to my business and military spouse service experience, I have long term corporate identity experience in Marketing & Communications.  I hold a BFA in Graphic Design with minor in Illustration; Certificates in Computer Graphics and Design Leadership; and Continuing Graduate Studies in Business, Marketing, and Interactive Design.

Q: What are some things people may not know about your business?
My business, client, and printer were recently honored recipients of 2012 Communicator Award from the International Academy of Visual Arts, NYC.

Q: For fellow military spouses considering a business, what advice would you give them?
The advice I would give fellow Military Spouses considering a business would be to follow your dreams and instincts.  Whatever you can dream you can achieve.  The American economy thrives with small business growth.  Join MSBA.  Your goals are not impossible, when you keep learning and reaching for them, and believe in your unique purpose.  Here is article you may find inspiring:

Q: Tell us about a business experience when you’ve had to learn something the hard way.
The lesson I learned the hard way was that doing it all yourself can help one to learn a lot and save money, but may not be the best for the business.  I have read articles since and learned that spending the money for some services that could free your time for your core services, can be worth the business in the long-run.

Q: If you could go back to the day you started your business with the knowledge you have now, what would you change?
Looking back, I would of spent more money on the business.  I would of saved time by delegating more, and maybe secured a loan instead of doing it all with my time, and the money I earned.

Q: What do you wish you had more access to? How can MSBA help you?
I wish I had more access to the customers that could benefit from my experience and services.  Each of us through MSBA can help through referrals to each other; and also by MSBA continuing to promote itself as a source for enterprises across the country, so more are aware of all we have to offer.  MSBA can help by continuing to aid each of us to work together towards our mutual goals of prosperity for businesses/organizations, ourselves, our communities, and our country.

Q: Anything else you want to share with our members?
Thank you for all that you do every day to serve our country, and make a difference in our economy and our communities around the world.  I have seen 30 or more years of individual military spouse service from many; and I believe in our collective potential, and growth in business as well as our military communities.

Website/Contact Info
Studio Website:
Call McCall @ 610.805.7316

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