After 14 years in business,
Blue Star Design
founder Julia Briggs can tackle just about every type of project that comes her way. Business is booming and now she’s challenged with managing the tremendous growth the firm is experiencing.
A graphic designer by training, Biggs started Blue Star out of her house. Blue Star has doubled in size since January, growing from three to six employees plus a part-time sales/business advisor, and they outsource to 25 companies in Cleveland. Blue Star recently garnered the 250 votes needed to go forward in the Chase and Living Social Mission: Small Business grant contest. The votes earned Briggs the right to apply for one of a dozen $250,000 grants.
The money would allow Briggs to hire some additional people. First she would make the sales/business advisor a full time position. Other positions would include a graphic designer, an additional operations manager, and an IT development person.
“It’s been crazy,” says Briggs. “Last year at this time there were three of us. Our goal is to hire local, or help our partners hire local. We’re not quite sure what person will be needed at what time, but we want to do it smartly.”
Briggs will find out in September if Blue Star won one of the grants. In the meantime she is also applying for the Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses initiative. She is hoping the 11-week program will offer some useful insight into managing business growth.
“It’s the opportunity I was hunting for,” she says of the program. “It typically tends to be an expensive venture when you hire an advisor like that.”
Source: Julia Briggs
Writer: Karin Connelly