International Women’s Day: Q&A with Raven Dreibelbis

Raven Creative is proud to be a woman-owned business. As such, we believe that inclusive companies are not only better places to work, but they are better places to do business. We sat down with our Founder and President Raven Dreibelbis for a Q&A on some perspectives from her career and some challenges she’s faced in the workplace. 

Q: When did you decide to start your own business?
A: I started my business, really, out of necessity. In 2008-2009 during the recession, I was working for a large real estate developer and the company unfortunately had a round of layoffs and I was one of them. I had a very marketable skillset as a graphic designer and had learned a ton about the advertising industry, so I took what I learned and went to work for myself.

Q: At what point did you start hiring? And how did you know that it was time?
A: I waited several years before I started hiring employees for Raven Creative. I really just got to a point where I was seeing interest from larger companies who had needs that went beyond what I could do on my own, so I knew it was the right time to hire an employee and start to grow the business.  

Q: What are some challenges you’ve encountered along the way? 
A: One of the biggest challenges that I’ve encountered has definitely been managing my team from the other side of the world. Living in Brisbane, Australia and managing a business in the U.S. was not something that I planned on and it came with a whole set of unique challenges. One of the hardest ones was hiring a team and not being able to get to know those individuals the way I would have had I been in the office with them every day. But we made some adjustments, and Zoom has been a godsend for us. Now that I’m back in the U.S., I’m so happy to be here in person with my team and be able to get to know them on a daily basis. 

Q: What is the most important step you’ve taken for your business to date? 
A: One of the most important steps I’ve taken for the business to date is investing in systems and processes for how we approach things operationally and how we approach client work. It seems really simple, but I believe that investing in these systems now has and will continue to create a tremendous payoff for the business. 

Q: What keeps you going?
A: What keeps me going is the opportunity to grow a business on my own terms and do things my own way. Also, the opportunity to create jobs and inspire future generations of leaders through the work that we do.

Q: How do you prevent burnout? 
A: I don’t! 

Q: What is some of the best honest or blunt advice you’ve been given?
A: Some of the best advice I’ve been given is to not make assumptions. You can waste so much time and energy thinking about why someone said something or what they were thinking when they made a decision. Or, in our work, why a client picked another agency over Raven Creative. It’s a waste of time and nothing good can come from making assumptions. 

Q: If you could give someone in your shoes 10 years ago any advice, what would it be and why?
A: If I could give someone in my shoes 10 years ago a piece of advice, it would just be to have confidence in yourself and your abilities. Know that you will fail, you will mess up, but it will be okay. Move on from those failures really quickly and know that you will find success. 

Q: What does female empowerment mean to you? 
A: To me, real female empowerment means we can get rid of the qualifiers. It no longer needs to be “female” “empowerment” we can just feel empowered as individuals to accomplish whatever we want to accomplish.