I’ve always been a creative nerd. From stealing my mom’s magazines when I was little to make collages with them, to being an avid video game player, my curiosity for design and tech started young.
It wasn’t until I was a senior in college that I found my love for digital design. While recovering from a surgery, I had major downtime and found myself building websites and faux brand identities to pass the time. Needless to say, the meds probably helped get the creative juices flowing ...
That same year I had my surgery and started my senior year in college, I became the intern for a brand new podcast at the time called Almost 30 (heard of it?).
By the time I graduated from Chapman University, my internship with Krista Williams and Lindsey Simcik of Almost 30 became a beautiful portal for me to learn the in’s and out’s of a small business, the budding podcast industry, and experiment with all things design.
After moving home to the bay area for eight months while continuing to work for the podcast where I gained a lot of confidence in my new skills (thanks to Krista and Lindsey), I started taking on one-on-one design clients.
However, there were a lot more opportunities overall for me in LA. So in February, I was offered a social media position at a well-known wellness company in West Hollywood and moved to the City of Angels. *Cue The Hills Theme Song.*
Cut to July 2018 and I was burnt out. I don’t recommend working a 9 to 5, going on tour with the podcast, AND taking on design clients on the side. But, only if you want to learn and hustle A LOT. I realized one day that myself that I had everything I needed to quit my 9 to 5 and go out on my own. So I did.
For the rest of the year, I began to build my design business, working with clients mainly in the wellness and fitness industries on branding and websites that weren’t my best work for sure. But hey, gotta start somewhere!
If there’s one thing I have to say about 2019, it’s that it kicked me in the butt, all while being completely amazing and necessary.
I took on more clients than I could have imagined, did a giant rebrand and went on another tour for the podcast (this time international!), traveled almost every month for work and pleasure, suffered an episode of depression and major anxiety, and to be completely honest, made a lot of mistakes.
Yeah, it was A LOT. Yet, I look back and thank the Universe that it happened the way it did. That time in my life pushed me harder in all areas - personally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and even design wise.
This was also the year I launched The Shop by CL - full of templates, brand guides, and digital downloadables!
So yeah, 2019 was a doozy, but wait till you hear about 2020 ...
As we all know, 2020 was, well ... a different time for all of us. In the beginning of the year, I decided it was time to completely go out on my own as Chloe Leonard Studio, just taking on clients for branding, web design, and marketing collateral specifically. It was scary, of course, but again, I knew I had to do it.
Luckily, I was fully supported in that leap, ending up with over thirty incredible clients in a variety of new industries in that year alone. Needless to say, it was pretty expansive.