“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Lindsey Riel knew she wanted to do something creative but it wasn’t until she discover web design that everything clicked. Following her passion, she set up Pretty Darn Cute, a design studio that specialises in feminine Genesis themes that are both pretty and easy to use (if you’re thinking of getting one, do it! I’ve used them in the past and couldn’t recommend them enough).
Lindsey’s rocking it with web design. She’s one of the most well-known names in her niche and her designs are prettifying thousands of websites all over the internet. Yet, she’s feeling called to new ventures. Dreams are fun like that. When you make one come true, there’s another waiting just round the corner to be brought to life. 🙂
In this interview, Lindsey shares how she got into web design, what habits have helped her succeed and what she’s learned along the way:
1. What is your dream and how are you currently living it out?
Such impeccable timing for this interview, as I’m currently in a transition period. While web design is still a passion of mine that I thoroughly enjoy, I’m in the process of determining how I can do more meaningful work.
2. What steps did you take to get started in the beginning?
This business sort of happened out of necessity, I wanted to make my own blog pretty while my Husband was deployed. This was before we had children, so I spent hours at my computer each day waiting for him to come online so we could talk. In the many hours he wasn’t available, I would research everything I could about CSS, and HTML. I loved absolutely wrecking my site, and then figuring out how to fix it. It was exciting to learn something I thought was so far out of my league.
3. What challenges did you face to pursue your dream and how did you overcome them?
I’m going to be very honest here, it was never my dream to become a web designer. My dream was to be a Wife and Mother, web design was a fun little side passion I was able to eventually monetize as a bonus. The challenges were never considered such, because it was all “just for fun”.
If you’re not having fun, it’s time to take inventory.
4. What mindset shifts did you have to go through to turn your dream into a reality?
There was a point, years back, when I realized my hobby had morphed into a business, and I had to start treating it as such. That was also exciting, as I’d never imagined owning my own business, although, looking back it made the most sense. I’d never taken to being told what to do by anyone else well 🙂
5. How do you deal with fears and self-doubt?
Oh goodness, do you ever really stop doubting yourself? It’s a daily struggle for me, still. In fact I just posted about this on Instagram yesterday. I’m focusing on training my inner dialogue to be a bit more kind this year.
6. When did you realise you had made it?
This might sound incredibly cheesy, but I made it the minute I was able to make money doing something I love. Being excited to wake up each day and learn something new, AND make money? What a dream!
7. What personal characteristic helped you the most in achieving your dream?
Creativity. As a child, you’d hardly ever see me without my Mr Sketch Markers, and this super shiny art paper. I loved to color. My favorite days were spent laying in front of the television, watching The Little Mermaid and coloring. Sometimes it’d be a Lisa Frank coloring book, or one of those felt posters? Remember those? SO fun. When I learned web design, I was able to combine my love of color, and design with code.
- Fave personal development/business book: Oh, hmm, how do I pick… I don’t typically read many business books, but I’m a huge fan of personal development. The one that comes to mind immediately is “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life” by, Dr Amen. I’ve long dealt with anxiety, and that book helped tremendously.
- Inspiration: My Mom. She is the single most giving, loving, and creative person I know. She has actually attempted to give someone the shirt off her back before, and made us many festive shirts as children for holidays and such. My love of color, and all things sparkly absolutely comes from her.
- Mantra to live by: Be still.
- Breakfast: Mostly coffee 🙂 I’m more of a brunch time eater, so typically I’ll skip breakfast and eat leftovers around 11.
- Fave app: She Reads Truth. Amazing little app with reading plans, and a gorgeous design.
8. Do you have any daily habits or rituals that have set you up for success?
I wake up and have coffee with Jesus. We talk, and I read my devotional. Those are the days when everything just feels right.
9. What are three lessons you’ve learned on your journey?
Keep things fun, don’t take it so seriously. If you’re not having fun, it’s time to take inventory. Be vulnerable.
10. What advice would you give to other women who want to become web designers?
Just do it, man. We need more women developers and designers. I think as women we’re easily tempted to think “I can’t do that” or “my brain just doesn’t work like that”, but girl, it does. Also, trial and error was my teacher and she is amazing.