We had the good fortune of connecting with Franziska Contreras and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Franziska, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?

Not giving up! It’s hard to work by/for yourself. You’re the lead of every department, from marketing, to customer service, to finance, and your actual day to day work. There were times I felt so overwhelmed that I was ready to quit. Pushing through those hard times and keep moving gets you to your goal. You will have setbacks but you will always come back stronger and even more motivated.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

I am the owner of Valescaa Studio., a brand and web design agency catering to female founders.

In 2018 I moved from Germany to San Diego to start my first business, a travel agency for international students. Without knowing it at the time this laid the groundwork for my career in branding and web design since I had to create it all from scratch. Right as my new business started to gain steam, Covid hit. Like all other travel related businesses, mine came to a screeching halt.

Even though this was a scary time it allowed me to focus on my love for art & design which led to creating my second business Ae.sthetic.us – a digital wall art shop on Etsy. While running my Etsy shop I started helping friends and family with their branding & web design. This led me to realize not only do I have a passion for branding and web design, but it’s something I’ve been doing for myself through all my previous endeavors.

What sets me apart from other brand & web designers is the fact that I come from an entrepreneurial background with a passion for creativity and design. I’ve created 3 brands for myself and know the struggles of finding your niche, creating your brand voice, and reaching your target audience.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the beach first. Get some coffee at Woody’s, a nice walk down to Mission Beach and back, followed by an egg burrito at Kono’s cafe.

For dinner and drinks we would go to Little Italy. There are always fun bars and restaurant to try.

One of the days we would spend in North Park. Visit Verbatim Books, Artlexia, and Pigment to shop. Then head over Cantina Mayahuel for amazing food and margaritas and more drinks at Part Time Lover.

I would also take them to Coronado to see the San Diego Skyline and enjoy the views from the beach.

For lunch or dinner we would go to Veganic Thai in Hillcrest for the best spring rolls and curry!

University Heights for more bars and restaurants like Kairoa, Park & Rec, and Madison on Park.

We would also be tourists and head to places like Old Town for an amazing horchata latte at Por Vida Cafe, Balboa Park, and probably the cove in La Jolla.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to my husband Ducote Contreras. He has always been very supportive and understanding. He has been my rock when I felt like quitting and taught me to believe in myself. I don’t think I would be where I am today without his daily encouragement.

Website: www.valescaa.com

Instagram: @valescaa.studio

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