Janessa Slangen, Janessa Rae Design Creative
Tell us a bit about you! Who are you, and what do you do?
Hi! I’m Janessa Slangen, and I’m a Designer & Brand Experience Strategist. I own Janessa Rae Design Creative where I collaborate with entrepreneurs and businesses who are looking to share their story and stand out from the crowd by crafting intentional and meaningful brand experiences. I specialize in branding, brand strategy, web design, and online courses, always taking into consideration the overall brand experience that users will have. I live (and work) in Rockford, Michigan with my husband Alba and my son Liam.
Where were you before DXc?
Before DXc I was working full-time in a design agency in Michigan, dreaming of working my freelance business 24/7. I was burnt out. I was working very long hours, and it just zapped my energy for anything else in my life. I was working remotely full-time for an agency, so while I was already working from home, I still didn’t have the time I desired to do anything other than work.
My stress levels were going crazy, and it was time for a change.
Why did you sign up for DXc?
I was looking for that next piece to the puzzle. I had the education behind me, and I had gained valuable agency and real-world experience at several agencies, but the next step was taking the leap into working my own business full-time. There are things I wanted to learn about owning my own business and offering clients services beyond just what everyone else was doing in the freelance design world. I wanted to learn how to become valuable to my clients and separate myself from the sea of designers who were doing the same thing as me. I wanted to offer services that were more fulfilling for me, and really lead my projects with confidence (instead of just a design order-taker). Marie and I were talking about some of her foundational ideas surrounding DXc and I basically said
“You have to do this. I’ll be the first one. Here, take my money and teach me all the things”.
I was part of her beta launch, and the rest is history.
What are the people in DXc like (including instructor + fellow students)?
We’re a happy, little family. It feels so amazing to be surrounded by so many talented and smart people. I’ve been able to make connections with fellow DX’rs that have led to collaborating on projects together, and referring projects to one another. I don’t think I’ve gone 1 day since joining DXc without talking to at least someone from the group. They’re definitely my biz besties for life.
What were some of your breakthroughs?
My biggest breakthrough was realizing that I didn’t have to do things the way everyone else was! I could come up with my own unique processes and systems that guide the brand experience I want my clients to have. Realizing I now had the knowledge and tools I needed to excel in my business the way I wanted to has allowed me to be much more strategic about everything that I do in my business and the way I work with clients.
What are your takeaways from working with Marie?
My biggest takeaway is probably my confidence as a designer and strategist.
Marie is has helped me learn that I have something unique to offer my clients and the processes and systems I’ve now set up in my business allow me to do what I love with confidence.
Marie gives me focused steps on how to achieve my business goals and she is incredibly down-to-earth in the process.
What was your favorite part of the DXc experience?
I really enjoyed my 1:1 calls with Marie, joining in on group calls or interviews with experts, and just taking part in the daily DXc community to continually learn from others.
How have you applied the strategies you’ve learned?
First and foremost, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned to my own business so that I’m setup for success from within. With that in place I’ve been able to apply the strategies I’ve learned within the services that I offer. I went from being a designer who essentially was an order taker to a Brand Experience Strategist, looking at projects from a holistic standpoint. Everything is much more “big picture” now and I feel confident that I can offer my clients a lot more value.
What would you say if you were recommending DXc to a friend?
I would ask them what they’re waiting for?!
Seriously, join us. DXc will not only majorly open your eyes to how you do things within your business (your processes, systems, onboarding, working with clients, etc.) and how you can streamline, but it will allow you to learn valuable skills that can help to significantly grow your business, give you the confidence you need to uplevel, and stand out in the industry.
How do you feel right now?
I’m really excited and optimistic for the next chapter in my business and I’m stoked to finally have created a brand experience and strategic offerings that are unique to my own business.
What’s next for you?
I am currently in the process of creating a course called The Brand Experience Method, which takes a deep look into brand strategy and will teach entrepreneurs how to create a unique and meaningful brand experience for their business.