Hatch Tribe Hero | Alissa Graef
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
The flexibility. Not only of my schedule but of the projects I get to work on and the new ideas and products I get to create.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business?
As cliche as it may sound, I always felt the desire to do something greater. What that is, I still have no idea, but starting my own business and being in control of my own destiny felt like a good place to start.
What personality trait are you most proud of?
Can I have two? ;) My work ethic and creativity. My mind is always racing with crazy ideas, some turn into bigger and greater things, but most just sit in the notes app on my iPhone. You should see these notes [insert eye roll]. I’m usually half asleep when most of my ideas come to me so I try to make sense of them when I wake up in the morning and decipher whether or not they can be done. That’s where my work ethic comes in. With just a crap load of ideas and no work ethic to make anything happen, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
In one word characterize your life as an entrepreneur. #TallOrder
What sacrifices have you made to be a successful entrepreneur?
Long days and nights, weekends, money, time and probably a whole lot more I can’t think of right now. It has stressed me out, made me cry and challenged my relationship at points. But, so many great things have come from it that I wouldn’t change any of those challenges I faced early on.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
All of the challenges you’re about to face will lead you to great things. Keep your head up and continue to power through.
How do you handle fear?
Face it straight on. The longer you let it linger, the more control you’ll have over it.
Name a women entrepreneur past or present you admire, and tell us why.
Kathryn Budig. I’ve been following her journey for about 4 years now and I’m always so impressed and inspired by her. What she goes through and how she handles it, how she portrays herself to the world, how she’s a MF badass and so true to herself and doesn’t apologize for it (like so many of us think we need to do). She has such a powerful message to share with women across the world and it gives me hope to know that there are still people out there like her doing amazing things. #fangirl
In your opinion, what does it take to be a great boss?
Being a creative person, I always want the freedom and flexibility to do things my way without feeling micromanaged or questioned. I think being a good boss is letting that happen. Giving your employees a clear end goal but letting them choose their own path to get there. Everyone is so uniquely different that one way doesn’t work the same for me as it does for the next person. Allowing them to be their own boss teaches them so many things I would have never been able to show them on my own.
When you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Honestly, working. Creating is not only my job but also my stress relief. Besides that, I love spending time with my husband and our fur baby, Riley. We go boating with friends, attend various sporting events, travel and more. But my perfect weekend would be cuddled up on the couch relaxing with those two [preferably raining outside so I didn’t feel bad for missing out on good weather], watching way too much Netflix, ordering pizza and wings and drinking all the wine.
Alissa is a designer currently living in Charleston, SC. She founded her company, Graefic Design, in 2007 with the sole purpose of getting her work out there for people to enjoy. Now, with the company's main focus on DIY and weddings, Charleston has been the perfect place to marry (no pun intended) these two things together. She loves coming up with new ideas and figuring out how to solve design problems as well as bringing handcrafted pieces to each wedding she does. The creative possibilities are endless and she loves sharing them with you!
Alissa Graef Bankowski