We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Cardillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
As a kid and young adult, I always imagined owning and operating my own business one day. I grew up admiring my entrepreneurial father who started his own commercial real estate company. I knew that in some capacity (different industry), one day, I wanted to do the same. I truly thought, what could be cooler than to be your own boss? The benefits are endless … freedom to create something that is completely you, your mission and your vision, to make your own schedule, to choose your work environment … just to name a few. Of course, none of this is really possible if you lack the drive, the passion and the motivation to make it happen. I knew one day that I would be a mother and it was important to me to show my daughter that she too can be an entrepreneur if she wants to be.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My journey to become a Brand + Web designer started in college when I was studying Fashion Merchandising. My major landed me an internship in NYC shortly after graduation where I was working as an assistant at a major jewelry brand. The job had some not so glamorous moments and I was often assigned the menial tasks that no one else wanted. I ended up being the “go to” PowerPoint girl. Everyone else seemed to hate creating PowerPoint decks but I LOVED it. It wasn’t long before I realized that designing white papers and presentations was an actual career and one that I could see myself doing long term. I ended up quitting my job and enrolling in a graphic design program in the city. I was then hired at a creative think tank right after graduation and spent several years growing in my industry before deciding it was time to start my own business.
Starting my business was not always easy but it has been fun. I started a little over 3 years ago and in that time I’ve learned a lot about what I like to work on, what I don’t enjoy, I’ve niched and I’ve grown. Allowing myself these freedoms has been one of the many benefits of running my own brand.
I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built with my clients over the years. I consider them my good friends and love when they return for design needs beyond their initial branding and website. It’s so fun to watch their businesses grow and know that you had a small part in their success.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question! I was born and raised in Coronado so I always include a day trip to the island as a must on any San Diego itinerary. Breakfast Burritos at Clayton’s Mexican Take-Out (eat them on the beach in front of the Del), stroll down orange avenue, pit stop for a beer at McP’s or the opposite end of the island at Coronado Brewing Company. Beach all day, of course. Dinner at Saiko Sushi or Miguel’s. In San Diego … My favorite restaurants to bring visitors to are Fort Oak, Madison, Buona Forchetta, and Ponce’s. Love to stop at Black Market bakery for weekend breakfast treats. If you’re like me and enjoy getting some work done outside at a coffee shop, I’d snag a spot at Communal Coffee in South Park. It’s the sweetest little setting with their boutique next door carrying some of the coolest products, many from local San Diego creatives.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
100% of my support comes from my husband and my family. They have been with me from the start of this business and have felt like my own personal cheer squad rooting me on. They’re truly the best. I’ve also made a few great friends over the years in similar industries through different networking events and conferences. Having someone to vent to or bounce ideas off of that understands your business and what you’re going through is one of the greatest gifts.
Grant Daniels, Kristen Kilpatrick, Unsplash, Moyo Studio