Naomi Sarnstrom, 24, is a freelance graphic designer located in Ellsworth. She started her business, Penny Acre Designs, in March 2021 and likes to joke that her co-workers are her three cats.

The Republican Eagle spoke with her about how she got started in the creative world of designing, what she hopes for the future and more.

What is your background?

My background is actually music performance. I studied clarinet very seriously for a long time and even started going to college for clarinet performance at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2015. Even though that particular path wasn't meant for me after all, I've always had a background in the arts and been drawn to creative fields. 

I developed a hobby with Photoshop and soon got an internship at Hub 70 in River Falls. There, I learned graphic design through mentors and on-the-job experience, working my way up to lead graphic designer within four years. So, I am all purely self-taught in the design world. 

I am proficient in AdobeCC software as well as the print production process and am continuing to grow through my own design business now.

What is your profession?

I run my own graphic design business, Penny Acre Designs, out of Ellsworth. I work remotely and can work with clients from anywhere. It allows me freedom to have a flexible schedule while providing my design services to individuals and businesses located anywhere.

What design services do you provide?

I provide graphic design services to individuals, small businesses and large corporations. I offer creative design solutions on almost anything, including logos, branding, print materials, digital media, weddings, and even graduation and other events. I'm here to make my clients look good.

What clients are you hoping to have in the future?

I am looking to build long-term relationships with other businesses. I really enjoy creating and/or refreshing a company's brand and working with them to create marketing materials, both digital and print. I like to do it all, whether it's logos and business cards or brochures and infographics. Another one of my favorite things to design is wedding invites. I feel like wedding materials are where I really get to be in my element with my creativity. Most of all, I just like to create things that make my clients happy.

What is your business process like?

My business process can differ from project to project, but there is always an outline I follow. First, I consult with my client to understand what they are looking for. In addition to finding out their needs, it also allows me to get a feel for the style they're going for. 

Next, I collect any information for the project and discuss a timeline. From there, I will take all the info and put together an initial proof to send to the client. Once they review the proof, we can make any edits to improve the work. 

After the design is finalized, I provide any file types necessary. Once the project is complete, I hope to continue a relationship with my clients and provide any design work they may need in the future.

What do you like to do outside of work?

My favorite hobbies right now are plants and crocheting. I love to learn as much as possible about something once I get into it. I've quickly been collecting plenty of houseplants and really enjoy caring for them. 

And I love spending time with my cats, of course. I like to say that my cats are like my kids and my plants are like my pets.

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