about justine

“Life is at its best when love, money, and creativity are growing in harmony.”

—Gay Hendricks

I’m a business coach, writer, and speaker, dedicated to helping growth-focused creative business owners and freelancers position, market, and profit from their creative expertise.

When I moved from London to New York City in 1996, with little more than a psychology degree and an English accent, the concept of being a successful entrepreneur with a passion for marketing and business was as foreign to me as putting maple syrup on your bacon (I’ve since become a convert!).  After a stint waitressing (what kind of a New York coming-of-age story would it be otherwise?), I landed my first job answering the phone at a design agency. I’m almost 100% certain I got the job because of my English accent, but I didn’t care; it was my ticket somewhere.

One year later, I was hired by an up-and-coming New York-based creative representation agency, where I learned every aspect of managing and growing the careers of top-level creative professionals. From creating portfolios that stood out, marketing, writing winning proposals, pricing, and negotiating top rates, to project management and client services, I learned that every element was crucial to building a successful and profitable creative career.

In 2006, I branched out and opened my creative management agency, Plum Creative, where I built a reputation within the advertising and design industry for helping retail and lifestyle brands find the perfect talent – including art directors, copywriters, graphic designers, website designers, and illustrators – for their project and managing the whole process from beginning to end. With clients that included Tiffany’s, Target, West Elm, Bloomingdale’s, Jonathan Adler, Saks Fifth Avenue, Vogue, Elizabeth Arden, Hyperion Books, and many more, we were on a roll.

And then the recession of 2008 happened.

Almost overnight, the work dried up. I was paying myself out of my savings and the pressure of not knowing how long I’d be able to hang on had my stomach in knots.

Little did I know, this seeming “disaster” was about to lead me from a business I enjoyed, to the one I was born for.

I wasn’t the only one experiencing an overnight plummet in clients and income – freelancers and creative businesses of all shapes and sizes were struggling – and it seemed they were all beating a path to my door hoping to find work!

While I didn’t have projects for them, I did have time. I’d spend an hour or two with anyone who asked, helping them identify what made them stand out from the crowd, define who their ideal client was, re-work their portfolio to resonate with those clients and share a few names of people they could call. They walked out of my office transformed; lighter, clearer, and armed with a plan.

I had an epiphany – along with a wealth of expertise, experience, and relationships in the advertising and design world – I had an uncanny ability to help creative professionals identify their value and package it into a marketable and profitable proposition. What if I could share these essential business strategies, processes, and tools with the creative community on a much larger level?

And so, my coaching business was born.

I’ve spent the last 10 years developing and testing my Profitable by Design framework, helping creative entrepreneurs identify and articulate their value, land high-quality clients, and proactively build a fulfilling, efficient, and profitable creative business.

It was during this time my son was diagnosed with ADHD and as I learned more about Neurodivergence, I realized that many of my clients also had ADHD. It turns out that creativity, entrepreneurship, and ADHD are happy bedfellows! It became clear to me why so many creatives struggle with managing all the aspects of a creative business, and why traditional business advice and strategies don’t work for everyone.

Seeing an opportunity to level up my coaching and facilitating skills, I completed a one-year ADHD coach certification program. As a result, I can tailor my approach and process to each client’s unique needs.

If you’re ready to master the fundamentals of business and money, shake the feelings of self-doubt, overwhelm, and perfectionism that have held you back, and arrive at your desk every morning knowing exactly what you need to do to move your business forward, we should talk!

Book your free 30-minute introductory call with me and share your business challenges, ask questions and we’ll talk about solutions.

 

Let’s chat!