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April 23, 2021

Tenacity Tales: The Designer Inspired by Dogs and Cards Against Humanity

Faye Klein, founder of Faye Klein Design

Faye Klein has produced award-winning graphics that span nearly every area of advertising and promotion for over 30 years. And while titles are surely nice, she’s not one to sit back and relish in accolades. In fact, she can’t stop finding new inspiration and side hustles:

--> A night with friends playing Cards Against Humanity got her thinking about how strange games had gotten and led her ultimately to create her own card game, The Final Word.

--> Volunteer work with abandoned dogs motivated her to custom-design, Real-Life Rescues, a line of greeting cards to spread the word about pups in need of their forever home. A portion of those proceeds also benefit her local shelter.

“I have been fortunate to have a continuous work flow at my regular job,” Faye shared, and it's something that she credits with having allowed her to stay curious and pursue these additional passions.

It’s also something that she has never taken for granted, especially now as small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere continue to find their way through the pandemic.

Read more about Faye, and her dogged determination (couldn't resist!) with entrepreneurship in this month’s Tenacity Tales.


Why did you want to be a small business owner?

I don't know that I ever thought about being self-employed years ago when I was working for others in their design studios...

I had been laid off a couple of times and had developed good relationships with some of the clients that I worked with. Luckily there was some trickle-down from them at the beginning which flourished in some cases as those people changed jobs and continued to work with me.


Why do you think small businesses are important?

It is good to be independent because you do not have to answer to multi-levels of mid-managers and their bosses which can often muddy the waters and delay work production.

And when I work for my clients, they know they are working specifically with me rather than a new hire or an inexperienced employee who may not be able to communicate efficiently.

Although being a small business is far more work... it is so rewarding to be able to show the fruits of [your] labor.

How do you stay connected with your local community?

I meet so many people on the [local] walking trail that it makes up for the lack of sidewalks!

I read the little local papers and magazines that are distributed in my community. I get apprised of the community news via an email from the local council and I have a friend who works at the chamber of commerce who keeps me up on notable local news items.

What do you consider the most important business lesson that the pandemic has taught small businesses?

There are 3 things to consider:

1. Take nothing for granted. There are times when I feel like complaining because things are SO different, but I have to stop myself because I am one of the most fortunate people to weather this who-knows-when-it-will-end storm by being having been a remote worker for my clients, many of whom have never met me face to face.

2. Try to keep up on new technologies because inevitably someone will ask you to do something that isn't in your comfort zone.

3. Save more money than you think you will ever need, because things can change in a microsecond. I broke my foot a couple of years ago and although it did not hinder my ability to work, I had unexpected out-of-pocket expenses.


What’s your best advice to other small business owners?

If you love what you do and are a disciplined person, you can manage to earn a good living at whatever your thing is.

Want to learn more about Faye, her business and products?

Visit Faye Klein Design.

Support Faye’s Real Life Rescue Greeting Cards Kickstarter Campaign.

Shop Faye’s unique card game, The Final Word.

Follow Faye on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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