I’ve been freelancing full-time for a while now and while I love it, the uncertainty of freelance life can be frustrating and just plain scary. That’s why I was so happy to discover that an old classmate of mine was not only a fellow freelancer, but a seriously successful and talented one!
Melissa Noucas and I went to Drexel University together and I knew I wanted to interview her the blog because she’s sort of exactly what STATEMENT/scene is all about – she’s someone who is turning a artistic pursuit into a full–fledged business, embracing innovation without ever losing sight of creativity. She also happens to the girl who designed the blog’s new logo. Doesn’t it look amazing?
As someone who can barely draw a straight line, I really admire Melissa’ artistic ability, not to mention her classic and feminine sense of style. If you want to learn more about her and her design services, head here and be sure to read on for some insight into her life, style and career.
Statement Scene: You work as a freelance designer, which is not always the most stable or predictable job. I should know since I work as a freelance writer! Were you ever afraid of the unpredictablity of that lifestyle?
Melissa Noucas: Definitely. Luckily, I’ve been able to make a smooth transition into freelance life, but it absolutely took a huge leap of faith to give it a try. I’m both creative and business-minded so having not having the 100% stability of a 9-5 job was definitely a little scary at first, but the rewards of working one-on-one with clients and growing my business have greatly outweighed the fears that come with it!
SS: When did you decide to work as a freelancer instead of at a full-time job?
MN: I’ve been taking on freelance jobs since graduating from college, but it wasn’t until this year that I made the decision to officially venture out on my own with my product line and design studio.
SS: You studied fashion in college and your overall design aesthetic can only be described as ‘fashionable.’ What role does the fashion industry play in your work?
MN: I’m extremely influenced by fashion – it’s my first love – especially personal style. I draw a lot of inspiration from what comes down the runways each season, but personal style – my own and others’ – is what influences me most. I love seeing what people wear and how they choose to style themselves. Fashion is an art form itself that we all interact with on a daily basis, and I hope to expand even more in that direction in the future with my product line.
SS: You have a blog that goes hand-in-hand with your business. How would you describe the relationship between blog content and your designs?
MN: Both are based on what is currently inspiring me. Sometimes I’ll see or dream up an outfit, a print, a color combination, and some things turn into product, while others translate into blog posts.
SS: How do you put yourself out there? What’s your go-to method for attracting customers?
MN: Since I launched it in 2012, my blog has been great for getting my work out there, and has also helped me build relationships with other like-minded people and businesses. On top of that and social media (Instagram is my platform of choice), happy clients and word-of-mouth are really great for growing a business.
SS: Have you identified the most exciting moment of your career so far?
MN: Definitely collaborating with Nicole Miller on illustration designs featuring their fall runway looks. Attending the runway show and having my designs featured by a designer whom I admire (and own plenty of pieces by) was definitely a “pinch me” moment.
SS: What’s the biggest challenge in your line of work?
MN: Staying inspired at all times … but I find that spending a little time away from work is a great cure for that.
SS: Shifting gears a bit – what five wardrobe pieces are essential to your life and career?
MN: A classic blazer, perfectly-fitted denim, a go-to LBD, striped tees, and a statement necklace for a little “pop.”