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Interview With Kelly Thomas of Designed by Kelly - Kingwood

Interview With Kelly Thomas of Designed by Kelly - Kingwood

Published: Feb 11, 2022, 2:30pm

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As part of our ongoing "Getting to Know Your Local Businesses" series, this week we sat down with Kelly Thomas, owner of Designed by Kelly.

Tell us a bit about your business:  What does your business offer, and how long have you been around?
Designed by Kelly began in May 2019. I’ve always had a love and passion for design- it began in 2006 when I had a Home Staging/Redesign business. Then I began graphic design and transitioned into working as a Director of Communications for a large church in the Houston area for eight years. In November of 2017, I unexpectedly lost my husband and instantly found myself a widowed mom of four. A few months after my husband’s death, I left my job of eight years because I knew my children needed me at home. After the first year at home as things began to find their new normal, I decided through the encouragement of an amazing friend, Bryant Lee, to start my own business. It allowed me to continue doing what I love while spending time with my kids as I needed on my schedule. We are now getting ready to celebrate our three-year anniversary and Designed by Kelly is growing strong! We have gone from just me to adding four more members to our team. We are proud to be a North Houston local family owned and operated small business.

Tell us a couple things you are proud of about your business. What are you known for? What separates you from the competition?
We specifically help small businesses, nonprofits and churches stand out in the crowd by creatively and visually telling their story. We work with our clients to create a brand with a website they’ve always dreamed of and an online social media presence that engages and connects. We do the hard part so they can do the parts of their business they do best.

There are two things that I feel really make us stand out are first, we are affordable to everyone. That was my main goal when starting this business- everyone should have access to affordable design. Second, we really get to know our clients. I really want to know you and your business. I ask lots of questions, meet with you in person or via zoom. I look at your social media presence and what people say about you. I visit your place of business and if you are a church, I may even attend a worship service to see what you are all about. You can’t market a client’s target audience if you don’t know the client first. You will be a part of the design process from day one, and while I will give you professional advice and tips, your feedback is always welcome and heard. Best of all once you are a client you are always client. I’m always just a phone call away when you need advice or help with a quick question. We also offer a free 30-minute consultation for anyone to learn more about us and get advice on how we might be a fit for you.

What is your favorite part of running this business?
I love meeting people from all walks of life who are all trying to accomplish the same thing – starting a business. I love hearing everyone’s story how they got started and where they want to go. Then I love figuring out how we work into that piece of the puzzle to help you attain your goals.

Who is your ideal customer/client? Who do you serve best?
We originally started just working with churches and church plants but quickly expanded to small businesses and entrepreneurs as word of mouth spread about my business. We have worked with over ten local churches as well as local non-profits like Mother’s Against Cancer, The Transformation Outreach Center, Lake Houston Conquerors, Home Run Ministries, The Lyncher Jail Chapel and many more! We also assist local businesses including photographers, a locksmith, a technology company, a project manager, a Christian artist, a baker, a young adult author, a rock and gem specialist, bloggers, female speaking coaches and many others!

Are there any special promotions, annual sales, or special events that you'd like to mention?
One of the unique things about us is we love to give things away for free. Every year on our Anniversary we give away free branding packages and have been known to give away a few free website designs along with 30 days of social media graphics. We always encourage people to sign up for our email list on our website, so you never miss a freebie! We give away a free Canva design templates almost every month as well as a ton of free resources. When we find an amazing free resource that can benefit small businesses, we let you know about it!
We also give away free zoom classes often on different topics like The Importance of an Online Presence through website, social media, branding and email marketing. We also are open to speaking at an event you may have.  We offer free Canva classes on occasion and are currently signing people up for a free Canva 101 class.  
We also love giving back to our community. I offer a free 6-week course at a few local locations as well as online for students ages 12-19 where we teach them to design a mock business and create their own brand identity. This 6-week course includes weekly meetings where they learn how to choose a business name, design a brand with a mood board, logo, and business card, and create their own starter website. We do all this through Canva.com, an easy-to-use online software. Whether they want to be a graphic designer or an entrepreneur, this class will equip them with the skills to succeed in any field or industry.
We are also excited that this fall I will be teaching a class with Home Run Ministries for secondary students on graphic design! 

Is there any other information you'd like your potential customers/clients to know about your business?
I couldn’t do all this alone. I have an amazing team that helps me. I am joined by my oldest daughter, Cara Jones, our Social Media Manager, my father, Joel Fischer, our local Photographer, my brother-in-law, Joe Bachert, my Website Design Assistant. We are proud to be family-owned and operated.

We work in three main areas:
1. Website Design- We specialize in creating custom designs that are organic, professional, and stand out from the rest with strong graphic elements that capture attention and clearly communicate your message. My goal is to help your brand tell its story through design, just as it should be told.
2. Graphic Design and Branding- Every company needs a strong logo and memorable name if they want to succeed in today's market. That's why at Designed by Kelly we offer branding services from logo design to letterhead design and everything in between. With us on board you can promote with confidence.
3. Social Media Management- On top of creating great content for your business, we manage your social media channels too! We'll make sure you get the most out of each social media platform—whether it's Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram—by growing your following and getting more people to take notice of what you're doing.

How do you see your business growing and improving over the next couple of years?
Honestly, my goal is simple. It’s to continue to grow and expand by helping as many local business owners as I can by offering affordable design solutions that take the stress off them and allows them to grow as well. Check us out online today at www.designedbykelly.org and see for yourself what all our clients say about us!

To learn more about Designed by Kelly visit her profile on Kingwood.com.

Email: designedbykellythomas@gmail.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/designed_by_kelly
Facebook: www.facebook.com/designedbykelly
Other: www.pinterest.com/designedbykelly

Photography by Sheila Hebert Photography

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