There’s something intimidating about the first blog post. It’s like opening a completely empty notebook wary to put ink to that first page. I’ve always been that way though – an artist with a love/hate relationship for blank canvases. After staring at the empty screen I decided to just start with a little bit of the Eunoia backstory.
For those who don’t know, my name is Mackenzie and I’m the founder of Eunoia Design Co.. At the moment, the business is run by me, myself, and I. I wear the hat of sole designer, head of marketing, social media manager, public relations officer, web developer, customer support, and (not to brag) consistent employee of the month.
I know everyone says that, but I mean it in the most shameful, nerdy, way possible. When I was probably about 12, I got my hands on a bootleg disk of Photoshop 7.0 and a Photoshop textbook complete with a disk of tutorials. I taught myself the program and quickly got to work making cringey photo-manipulations and fake album art to share with my 5 followers on DeviantArt. I’ve since tried to recover that old account, but it appears to be lost in the void. I am sorry to report I have none of my early masterpieces to share with you.
Despite this, Photoshop was just a hobby for me. In high school I was determined to be a traditional artist with dreams of one day showing my art in my own gallery (still a goal, honestly). I was accepted with scholarships to Pratt, the Art Institute of Boston, and Lyme College of Art. Unfortunately, even with the scholarships, those universities would carry a heavy debt. In this decision, I led with my head over my heart. I chose to attend Eastern Connecticut State University with free tuition through the university’s honors program. I got my first job as a graphic designer in 2013 working for the University Admissions Office and I’ve been working in design ever since.
I spent years underselling myself, giving work away for free, and questioning my skills. After college I got caught up chasing someone else’s dream and I put myself on the back burner. I found myself in North Carolina working for a tiny sign shop creating anything and everything for next to no money. My boss would sell logos for $25 and had a “whatever the customer wants” mentality. As a result I made some truly garish creations, but I also got to have some fun in the chaos. My photo-manipulation skills came in handy when I was asked to Photoshop a woman’s pet iguana into the rainforest so she could have the hood of her car vinyl wrapped with the design. I wish I had a photo of the car, but I do have the artwork. Remembering that this gem is driving around the streets of North Carolina absolutely brightens my day.
My life took a sharp turn in 2019 when years of putting myself last finally caught up to me. I was in an unhealthy marriage, I was struggling desperately with my mental health, and I hardly recognized the person in the mirror. The fallout was life changing (not even exaggerating), but that’s a whole separate story. I was divorced by the end of 2019 and in 2020 the global pandemic hit. My world turned upside down, but I saw it as an opportunity to grow.
I bought my dream car (a Jeep Wrangler) in April of 2020. By November I built a sleeping platform in the back and I went on my first cross country road trip. I was finally trusting myself to lead with my heart. Never before had I done something so purely because I wanted to and never before had I relied so fully on myself. I was rebuilding myself from nothing, so I financed the Jeep on a loan and funded the whole trip with a credit card. I’m still paying both off today. No regrets.
By 2021 I was slowly returning to the person I once knew. I felt disenchanted with the corporate environment and kept daydreaming of travel and my own creative pursuits. Only a few months after returning from my cross country trip I settled on the decision to start my own business. I got my LLC in July and opened the envelope with tears streaming down my face. It was mine. Just mine.
By September I had left my full time job and I was now officially on my own. Thrilling, terrifying, empowering, and unnerving. To make things more interesting (cause apparently quitting my day job and starting my own business wasn’t enough) I decided to build the second iteration of my sleeping platform and pursue a nomadic lifestyle. I got rid of roughly 80% of my belongings, moved out of my apartment in New Hampshire, and was on the road to Arizona by October. From October 2021 to May 2022 Arizona served as my home base. The high desert became my new backyard and I lived off the grid only 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon. In that time, I saw 10 national parks, drove cross country solo (with my pup) 6 times, visited 25 states, and learned more than I could ever quantify.
Recently, I made the tough decision to put travel on hold so that I could focus fully on my business. I’ve since returned home to Connecticut and am back to a living in a regular house with electricity, running water, and infinitely more square footage than I’ve been accustomed to. I spent the last few years growing into the type of person who can be a strong, confident entrepreneur. Now, I have every intention of utilizing that journey to better serve my clients and build an impactful business.
I wholeheartedly pursue design as more than a source of employment and a means to an end, but as a way to change lives, empower others to chase their dreams, and bring beauty to every day. I’ve learned to find the perfect balance of head and heart, pouring my passion into my work while guiding it with strategy. Once the company grows I plan to incorporate more charity work and advocacy. This whole story shows just a snippet of the meaning the tagline “think beautifully, live authentically” holds for me. Just you wait, Eunoia Design Co. is going do big things.
Thank you for coming along on the journey with me. I’m so glad you’re here.
My name is Mackenzie and I'm the founder of Eunoia Design Co.. I help business capitalize on the power of authentic identity through personalized, strategic, design. Thanks for checking out the blog! Don't hesitate to reach out - my inbox is always open.
I'm so glad you're here!