Before starting Weekday Studio earlier this year, Nina Hans was an Art Director at a couple startups and then she freelanced for four years. Now, as Creative Director alongside her husband and Director of Creative Operations, Jon Hans, she's tapping into her past experiences to create a business that is focuses on people first, design second.
The brand name comes from their love of balance and the beach. By dedicating their full attention during work hours and enjoying their downtime, they're breaking the expectation of the 12-hour workday and building better relationships with their clients and employees. To get the most out of their in-office hours, Nina designed systems for herself and her freelancers so they can always work efficiently and keep their overhead minimal. By doing this, they have the all-important advantage of being able to say no to projects that aren't the right fit. This is a hard thing to do when you're first starting a company, but for Weekday Studio, it's absolutely pivotal for their brand.
Their current client list is diverse and as they build on it, they're focusing more on designing for the hospitality industry — one of their passions. A big part of the Weekday Studio ethos is "keeping our team small and our community large," and we're so happy to welcome them to the Lumi community as our next Talk Shop speakers on Thursday, July 7. Learn more about Weekday Studio below and RSVP here.
What’s the best thing about running your own studio?
We get to choose who we work with and what projects we take on. This is a huge blessing. One of our values is to do good work for good people. Saying no to kooks and jerks is a joy!
What’s the worst thing about running your own studio?
Since we're small that means that we are responsible for everything. Taxes, invoicing, insurance, sales, and making that $$$$. As we grow, we look forward to being able to delegate more and more of the administrative responsibilities.
What does your logo mean?
When working on our branding, we really wanted a mark that we felt represented who we are. We wanted it to be happy, unique, and a representation of things that are true to our core. That led us to all sorts of long discussions, but one kept coming back up — while we love traveling and want to take on clients all over the world, our core business comes from California and Hawai'i, and our long term goal is to have offices in both places. So with that, we started with the sun as it represents two things for us:
1. The day time (we work M-F, 9-5. Weekdays!)
2. California, where our current office is.
We explored the sun for awhile but it didn't feel unique or complete enough to represent everything we wanted. That led us to the rainbow (Hawai'i is the rainbow state!). After about 45 versions, we landed on what we call the Sunbow. Part sun, part rainbow. We also like that it's a bit abstract. Some people (including our moms) have thought it was a cactus, and we're fine with that.
What has been the best advice you’ve gotten since you started running your own business?
How to determine what makes a bad, mediocre, and good client and what to do with them — keep the good ones, get rid of the bad ones, and identify what needs to happen to make mediocre clients into good clients and if those changes can't be made then, they are bad clients and you need to get rid of them.
Who is your dream client?
We would love to brand a boutique hotel in Hawai'i from the ground up. We like kind and honest people who care and value every aspect of their brand's experience.
What’s your favorite way to spend your weekends?
When the week is ending and we're in LA, we're always looking to get out of the city. We love road trips, staying at hotels, drinking and eating, and hanging out with friends. In Hawai'i it's much simpler- we grab poke, boards, and cruise to the beach with our family.
Come talk to Nina and Jon about how they're building a design studio that's people first, design second. RSVP here.
When: Thursday, July 7. Talk is at 6:30 p.m. Feel free to come early and check out our HQ!
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