(Photo courtesy of Jane Clark)
Jane Clark was tired of bouncing from one freelance project to the next and working grunt jobs in the design industry. So, in 2009, with a photography degree in hand and some self-taught web design basics, she did something about it.
She started Teakettica, a branding and web design studio. The name came from an old screen-name Clark created as a child — a mix of her love of tea combined with “kettica,” which she thought made her sound more creative.
Clark, now 31, worked out of her home in Elkton, Md., starting off with clients she had previously freelanced for or met through family and friends.
Soon after starting the company, she moved back to her home state and set up shop in Newark. She joined the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce and got involved locally.
“This was the point in time when the business first started picking up and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m actually doing this,’” she said.
Clark, along with recent full-time hire Meredith Keating, a graphic artist, provide a range of services — from web design and social media campaigns, to branding through logos, business cards and websites.
Clark and Keating often work with other designers and local, larger agencies in the region. Clark said she enjoys working with other women, especially.
“I never really realized being a girl could set me back at all. There was nothing really stopping me,” Clark said. “I was a total tomboy growing up and it wasn’t until I got older, there were small barriers here and there. I’ve definitely been declined work because a CEO preferred to work with a male.”
Teakettica has done social media campaigns for nonprofits and other design work locally, including for clients like Carvertise (which we recently profiled), Paws for People, Bayshore Allied, Delaware Surgery Center and Dragonfly Art Studios.
Clark said she’s glad to network with other creatives in Newark and Wilmington, but said sometimes there is a good bit of competition when bidding on a gig. That doesn’t stop her from doing what she does best, though, she said.
“I try to do the best work I can and try to carve out that niche,” Clark said. “We don’t just give you a website and say goodbye — it’s a journey. We try to be the full package in an affordable way.”