For Women’s History Month and to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), we asked some of our industry friends to share their top advice based on their experiences and what they’ve learned along the way. Don’t miss this special series featuring women-owned and operated businesses throughout March!
Charity Jackson, the co-owner of Visual Horizons Custom Signs, has been in the sign business since 1995 and specializes in vehicle wraps, design and project management, and workflow. She works alongside her husband, and they each have their likes and dislikes within the business. Her top tips for others in the industry:
- Whether you’re a man or woman, you should know your stuff. If you’re working with a customer, you should know how to measure their vehicle properly. You should know substrate options, how to guide the customer on design and artwork files, warranty terms, and recommended media for a particular project. Educating yourself on the industry so that you can help the customer make smart choices will earn you their business no matter your gender.
- Bring your best. Some women don’t like the installation part of the industry, but some men don’t either. Because my husband and I are both hands-on owners, we do a bit of everything, but he likes working with customers more, while I prefer the installation end of things. Whether I’m up on a ladder, climbing on the roof of a semi-truck, or laying on the ground to tuck graphics under a vehicle, I make sure that I’m giving 100%. On the flip side, some days I’m at my desk designing a wrap or working out quotes for a wrap project, and that’s another area I’m good at. So, it doesn’t matter what the task is or what your gender is; if you’re going to take on a task, do it to the best of your abilities.
- Learn from others. Whether you’re an owner or a fellow employee, learn from those around you. There’s a fairly famous saying, “You never want to be the smartest person in the room,” meaning that you shouldn’t be afraid to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you because that’s how you learn too. If you dismiss the ideas of those around you or assume you’re the smartest person in the room, you’ll never learn. Again, no matter your gender, you should always strive to learn, grow, and improve in your place within the industry.
Stay tuned for more Women in Graphics throughout March!