Why Is It Important To Be Authentic | With Dexter Washington

For Episode 2, my guest is Dexter Washington, founder of Crafted Studio.

Dexter Washington is the founder of Crafted Studios, a studio focussed on making beautiful and effective websites. Clients include large corporate companies like Yahoo and Allegiant Airlines as well as some small, independent businesses like co-working spaces and restaurants. He has 4 partner agencies that he works with and his own personal website got an honourable mention award from Awwwards. All of this success within 2 years of setting up the agency in 2021. It’s hard to imagine Dexter would have many failures to talk about at all.

However, pursuing a creative career has not come easily to Dexter. From a rough upbringing, he struggled at school and had a tumultuous home life. Dealing with anxiety and with low self-esteem, he worked in retail for a lot of his 20’s but felt desperately unsatisfied. He started as a freelance photographer in 2012 and sharpened his aesthetic eye. Since then, he has worked in various creative fields from advertising, marketing and finally design founding Crafted Studios.

Dexter says, ‘I want to be able to say I did impactful gestures when it’s all said and done and I really do mean that.’

The biggest lesson from this episode is that the big jobs don't always equal the most satisfaction. There is the most red tape, the most people that have to see the final designs before the project gets signed off, marketing teams to deal with which might derail your designs. It's not all sunshine and roses when you get larger clients basically. Often, people want clients with recognisable logos on their website in order to get more large companies to hire them but is that the rabbit hole you really want to go down? As Dexter mentions, the larger clients can come with a ton of baggage for lack of a better term. Larger clients often get payments late, the timelines are unreasonable, and the list goes on and on.

The failures we talk about in this episode are:

  1. Trying every new strategy I came across versus being myself authentically, posting and talking about the results and letting the work speak for itself.
  2. Not vetting people well enough and finding not only someone with good work and strong skills -- but a finding a good personality fit that meshes with our culture.
  3. Focusing too much on getting larger clients versus ones with a reasonable deadline, personality fit, and if it's a project we'd actually like to work on.


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