Meet Kacee Laine: A Creative Entrepreneur

Kacee Laine, Creative Entrepreneur 

A small town girl with big dreams

For as long as I can remember, I've always been artistic and creative. From drawing all the time when I was little, to painting murals in high school, art has always been a big part of my life. However, I never really thought about making a career out of my artistic abilities because society always made it seem so impractical.

I was never one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. This uncertainty led to me attending a few different colleges, wasting my time and money on credits that wouldn't transfer later on.

By 20-years-old, I had attended three colleges and still didn't know what to do with my career. It wasn't until my best friend moved to San Diego for college that I discovered my career path.

I left my heart in San Diego

During a visit to Southern California, I stumbled upon an art gallery near my best friend's home on the beach. One day while she was at school, I casually walked into the art gallery to look around. A gentleman who works there started chatting me up about art. 

Gentleman: Are you an artist?
Me: Yeah, I guess so. 
Gentleman: Have you considered making a career out of art?
Me: No, not really. It doesn't make any money. *Giggles awkwardly.*
Gentleman: I don't think that's true. I mentor a lot of young artists who plan to attend the Art Institute after high school.

I may not recall how the rest of that conversation went, but I do remember looking up the Art Institute the second I returned to my friend's home that day. The school contacted me shortly after filling out their online form. The first thing I asked was if they had a fine art major (the only art degree I really knew of at the time). They didn't. However, the lady on the phone invited me to an orientation the following month to learn more about what they have to offer.

A change of fate

You're damn right I flew back down to San Diego a month later to attend that orientation. Keep in mind, I'm now a 21-year-old on a mission to find the perfect career. I'll never forget walking into the Graphic Design room at orientation, listening to Mr. Lynch talk about this amazing career I had somehow never heard of. This is what I was meant to do with my life, I could feel it in every ounce of my being.

A month later, I moved to San Diego to live with my best friend and start school at The Art Institute of Caliornia. It felt like my life was finally on the right track. Fast forward three years and I was ready to take on the world.

As graduation was approaching, I remember one of my college professors telling me that the portfolio show was overrated because most students didn't get any jobs out of it. I am so glad I didn't listen to his advice because I actually got hired right out of my portfolio show.

The Marketing Manager from Hitachi came to my portfolio show and expressed a genuine interest in my work. He handed me his business card and asked that I reach out. A phone call to him the next day landed me an interview, which led to my first real design job after college.

A career in the making

From there I worked my way up from Marketing Specialist to Deputy Director of Marketing over the next nine years, with a few promotions in between. I spent almost a decade learning the ins and outs of design and marketing in the corporate world. I'm so grateful to have stayed with the same company for so long, gaining valuable expertise in my field.

When Hitachi decided to close my entire division, it felt like I was starting over again. The last few years at Hitachi I had spent working remotely from Redding, which made getting laid off even more challenging because Redding isn't exactly known for having jobs in my industry.

Being a passionate designer, I always found myself taking on design projects outside of my regular job. It was through my freelance work that I discovered Squarespace. After building my first website with Squarespace, I knew I would never go back to any of the other platforms. 

This decade of corporate and freelance design experience left me with a versatile skill set that would come in handy for the next phase of my career... starting my own business.  

Enter Kacee Laine Design Studio

It was at this pivotal point in my career that I decided to embark on a new adventure and start my own digital design studio. I took a leap of faith and went into business for myself. I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit and passion for design, so this decision felt right. I'm looking forward to growing my creative business and seeing what opportunities lie ahead.