Dynamic duo of Graphic Design grads start their own studio!

July 26, 2019 posted by



My name is Daniela Chavez, and I'm 26 years
old. My name is Jared Lebel, and I'm 28 years old. We are both Algonquin Graphic Design
program grads, now we're running our own little studio called Salt. It's us and another Algonquin
grad called Jesse Virag. It's been a really unique experience where we're all kind of
fresh out of school, trying to do our thing, and doing it pretty well from the standpoint
of our clients. We'd already been freelancing for a couple years through school so we knew
that we eventually wanted to end up owning our own business. When we finished the program
we had to do a co-op and at that point we decided to do our co-op with a local agency
called Greenmelon. Whose creative director and owner is also a teacher here at Algonquin.
And we put together this little – we called it this Internship Two Pack. And it was basically
two beers, and we redesigned the labels to look like beers and sound like they were beers,
but they were alluding to our characters. So one of them was called Jarhead IPA for
Jared and mine was Dancing Hops. So we got the co-op together, and then at the end of
the co-op we sat down and had a conversation with him and he said, I'd like to offer you
office space. One of our biggest concerns with leaving and starting our own business
right away is stopping learning. And so when he offered that you know, it was not just
the opportunity for free office space, but also it meant that we had a mentor literally
two metres away from us. We got an offer for an interview with a really cool company in
Toronto. It was really hard to say no, cause they worked on like the Grammys website, they
worked with Canada Goose, and like all these huge companies, but at the same time, it was
kind of like pulling us from our pathway of where we wanted to eventually end up. It was
the three of us, you know, we had this mentorship, we had the support, we had free office space,
so we were like okay, you know, let's go for it. So we registered our business and now
here we are! I've never experienced school in the way that I have in the Algonquin design
program. Algonquin just has a really unique way of teaching you the proper skills, teaching
them in a format that builds up to the necessary skills that you'll need later in life. Once
I came into college, there was this distinct difference, where I felt so involved with
the day-to-day classes, the lessons, the homework, and even the teachers themselves. That I think
was what left the most of an impact with me during the program is just that relationship
and that very apparent sense of care. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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