Her New Leaf

Editor's note: Readers may have noticed that recently we gave The Penny Rose a facelift. This new look (and the resounding positive feedback on it) are thanks in large part to Kira of the blog/website/graphics business, Her New Leaf. For a remarkably affordable price, Kira, a 25-year-old graphic designer in Venice, Calif., completely revamped the graphics element at The Penny Rose. She provided us with sweet social media icons and on-trend banners for side column navigation. Not only was I impressed with her skills, but I was curious to hear more about this self-made business woman/designer, how she runs a DIY company, and what makes her tick. The answers? Very inspiring. Read on ... 

What do you do for a living? Do you have a day job in addition to your freelance design/DIY businesses? 
 
Creatively, I am a blogger and freelance graphic designer, I also work as promotional coordinator for another blogger. By day, I currently work as a behavioral therapist with children with autism spectrum disorders, but in September I will be a full-time graduate student.
What is Her New Leaf ... it's a blog, but it's so much more. It seems like a place to get inspired, find resources, learn, and connect. In your words, tell me about Her New Leaf—the business, the blog, the website. And, what does Her New Leaf specialize in?
 
Her New Leaf is and always has been my story. I started my blog to journal my life and keep in touch with friends and family when I moved 3,000 miles away. It developed organically; when I took up photography, I wrote about photography. When I was feeling crafty, I shared a tutorial. Eventually, sharing my everyday adventures and hobbies began to connect me to new friends all over the world—it has been amazing! It is my hope that Her New Leaf will continue to grow and expand into even more of a community and a place where readers can not only connect with me, but others as well.
Any advice for women who are inspired by your work, but are afraid to pursue their creative endeavors and nervous about taking the plunge with a creative/freelance business?
 
There's nothing wrong with baby steps! There are many platforms online that you can utilize to start your business small and build your reach over time. It also helps to be clear with your goals; where do you want to be in six months or a year from now? Once you figure that out, break it down month-by-month and figure out the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
Any big name clients that you've had that you'd like to give a shout out to (or smaller ones that you think really deserve some attention)? 

My graphics shop is still in its infancy, but my blog has been featured on Design Milk, Curbly, and HGTV's Design Happens blog. Each one of those features was a surprise and an honor!
And lastly, when collaborating with a blogger on graphics, what's your process, and how do you know when you and the blogger have landed on a successful "look"? 

Being a do-it-yourself-er at heart, I love teaching others who want to work with me on design elements and learn skills to edit their blog's look on their own. We start by talking about the client's current blog design and collecting visual inspiration. The inspiration can come from other blogs, photos, art, typography, anything! We then go back and forth with me designing and the client critiquing each option until we find the one that clicks.
My advice for someone who is looking to hire a designer is to find someone with an aesthetic you admire. Look at their portfolio and imagine your blog alongside the work that is already there. Is it a good fit? Designers are not one-size-fits-all, and you would really be best served to find someone whose style compliments your own.
Learn more about Kira at her blog/website, hernewleaf.com or check out her graphics for sale at her Etsy store.