Meet Laura

Hi there! I'm Laura.

My mission with Design Mastermind NYC is to partner with solo entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to gain confidence through a beautiful, compelling web presence.

I create website designs that perfectly represent each of my clients and their unique personalities. I love graphic design and the process of creating something from nothing, which is why I LOVE to work with new, up-and-coming entrepreneurs who don’t have branding yet.

In 2014, I left my 9-5 corporate design job to connect with ambitious people who want to network (and often times make a living) through their online business.

Having such a direct impact on my clients' business success makes me feel proud every single day, while working in an office only made me feel anonymous and unnecessary.

I stand for Ambition, Dedication, and Positivity.

I believe in every person's ability to imagine and create a more fulfilled future for themselves. I stand for honesty and hard work, and although I'm not perfect, I am always looking to learn new skills and grow with each client I bring on.

I hate seeing people just assume that they’re going to be the next Marie Forleo without making the effort to truly STAND OUT as a brand.

I see people “following the formula”, which is fine as a template, but they lose a sense of themselves in the process. They lose their individuality and forget that their unique style, their unique “hero’s journey” is what will allow them to push through the crowd and attract the best kind of audience.

Get to know the real me

Oh, me? I'm a total weirdo.

I dance in the streets, work till 4am, and treat my city like a playground.

I’m both manically creative and hyper organized, which is what made graphic design my “AHA!” profession. I knew it was fate (I'll get to that later).

I'm full with contradictions.

Though I’m a colorful Floridian who revels in sunshine and swimming pools, I find my true happy place in the cozy bass-filled nightlife that booms through Brooklyn warehouses every weekend. My two favorite things are breezy meadows and tiny crawl spaces.

I'm a hula hooper, a bendy yogi, and an avid bicyclist. I live by myself in a one bedroom near Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I've traveled all over the world to go to music festivals and cultural events.

I've been to Burning Man 3 times and will probably go back with my family one day. I think the 10 Principals are a powerful blueprint for living well.

My  Fierce  &  Funky  Journey

In a way, I've been a designer since I was 8.

When I got my first Apple desktop computer, a whole world opened up. I obsessed over paint programs - Microsoft Word word art all over the place, clip art printed out and pinned up on the walls. I'd download random fonts from every sketchy corner of the internet, and play around in the early days of Geocities websites.

In spite of my pre-teen graphical obsessions, my professional interest in graphic design didn't set in until 2006, on a random Saturday afternoon in Miami, as some friends and I drove around in my lime green beetle enjoying the sunshine and totally high on life.

As a second year architecture student at the University of Miami, I couldn't have been better set.

With Dean's list grades and an internship waiting for me the following summer, I was finally crafting my life-long dream of designing mansions. I didn't really care about living in a mansion, I just wanted to DESIGN them. To create unique layouts, sculpt gorgeous courtyards and sweeping patio-scapes all over South Florida.

But there was a creeping horror growing in the back of my mind. A seed of doubt.

In my second year studies I had begun to see the "majesty" of architecture for what it really was - which was extremely technical. I realized, those first few months of my sophomore year, that getting to draw and build models all day wasn't what what being an architect was all about.

I saw my professors come in looking worn out and irritable every day. Constantly smoking cigarettes, muttering under their breaths about construction delays, electrical mishaps, and all manner of legal drama. Typical 9-5 woes.

They would tell us stories about how they hadn't slept in 3 days, and of course at the time we were all like "Yeah man, me too..."

Because we're in college. That's what we do.

But was that really the future I wanted for myself?

Stuck in an office all the time, arguing over permits and pipe drawings? Always having a boss, or, if you're the boss, constantly dealing with other people's crap?

So it was a sheer moment of jaw-dropping fate when, on that sunny Miami afternoon, my friend Meredith turned to me and said...

"I decided I want to become a graphic designer
and move to New York City"

I paused and considered what she had said.

I thought about the entire lifetime I'd spend playing with word art, collecting fonts, playing with color palettes in my art classes. I thought about the Geospaces websites I'd made in middle school, and about the magazine layouts I obsessed over since I could read. I thought about illustration and poster design, and about the infinite potential that exists in every blank Photoshop art board.

I thought about how much easier it would be to freelance as a web designer. No certifications, just a decent portfolio and skills that would develop over time.

I turned back to Meredith and replied,

"You know what, I think I will too."

In 2009, I finally finished my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and was able to get a double concentration in Photography and Graphic Design. I had the paper, but making my freelance dream a reality still seemed to far away.

No one in Florida would hire me. My portfolio was limited and my style weirdly psychedelic. My skills weren't fully tested yet, and I didn't have enough quality projects under my belt to be taken seriously in the workforce.

After a year of flailing around at home, working at the mall, I got the opportunity to move to New Jersey with a friend of mine who had shown interest in working with me as a freelance partner. I couldn't have been more excited - FINALLY! A chance to get out of Florida AND follow my dream of working remotely as a freelancer!

Of course, not having real world experience, I was in for failure at every turn. There's only so much you can do to win clients in a competitive field, with no portfolio, and limited connections.

She blamed me. I blamed her. We both blamed the economy.

Instead of running back to Florida with my tail between my legs, I started applying for jobs like my life depended on it. 2 months of interviews later, and I found myself in the corporate world, designing Flash banners, and living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

It was such a cushy job. I eventually got to design and illustrate game characters. It really should have been a dream come true.

But I found myself lacking inspiration at work and designing for an audience that I didn't feel connected to in the slightest. I became a designer to be my own boss and work with clients who inspire me, not sit locked away in an office, hoping for more time off.

My 3 years working a 9-5 didn't exactly challenge me creatively, but what it gave me was time. Enough time to build my network, take on a freelance client here or there, practice CSS, and perfect my Photoshop skills.

By the time I was ready to make the leap into full-time freelancing in August 2014, I had finally set myself up for success on my own terms.

I had clients in the coaching world who would include my services as part of their own packages. I had high-profile entrepreneurs recommending me to their network, and so many requests for website projects that I could finally wave that 9-5 job GOODBYE!

Today my passion for creativity shines through in every client project I can get my hands on. I constantly push the boundaries of what I know, and I learn something new and valuable from every creative relationship I form.

Every day I grow as a designer, fueled by clients who want the same taste of freedom for themselves. I adore working with women entrepreneurs, because although I know how much of a struggle it is to make it on your own, I also know how undeniably worth it the end result can be.

It has been an incredible journey, and this August I'll be celebrating THREE years of business as a full time web designer! It just goes to show you, when you give yourself a focused dream and take the necessary steps, any ambitious person can have the life of their dreams.

From one entrepreneur to another - I'm here to make your journey as enjoyable (and possible!) as I can.

Yours in defining moments,

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CONTINUE YOUR DESIGN JOURNEY HERE