We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie Russell (Pinto) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I think over the years I’ve discovered that I have a passion for ideas, visuals and helping small businesses (and not so small) achieve success through imagery and design. I love the creative freedom that owning my own businesses provides as it allows me to experiment and wear many hats. But most of all, I wanted to help make an impact with local small businesses because their success improves our community.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I love about my work is that there’s variety in what I do! My love for photography, design and marketing allows me to peek into different industries and worlds. And the challenge to bring a brand, idea or product out into the world and to an audience really excites me! It wasn’t easy for me to get to where I’m at professionally because there’s always a risk involved when working for yourself. But I had this little voice inside me that kept on nagging me to be true to myself and to do what I love. This last year was difficult as it really impacted my business. A lot of my clients are in the hospitality industry which took a direct hit with the pandemic, so business was naturally slow. But it also allowed me to take a step back and truly appreciate these small businesses for all that they sacrifice to make our community what it is, and now I have a greater desire to work with these small businesses to help them survive and succeed. This pandemic has also allowed me to refocus and utilize my skills into other industries! My husband owns a live bee removal business and I found it so interesting – I twisted his arm to let me rebrand the business and document our bee rescue adventures and it’s turned into a fun side project and gig! Our following has grown (@mr.mrs.beerescue) and I’ve gotten to learn so much more about social media marketing and how that can bring in opportunities if utilized correctly.
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 love showing friends and family around San Diego! If I had a week to show a friend around I’d start with our beaches. I love north county beaches so I’d start with a beach day in Carlsbad riding around on our e-bikes and grabbing a juice at Choice Juicery and some lunch at Hooked on Sushi. It’s always a good way to start the morning by hiking Torrey Pines or going for a SUP session at Mission Bay. If we went back in time to beginning of 2020 we’d go to the Sunset Market in Oceanside but since that’s still closed we’d go to the Farmer’s Market in Carlsbad, Little Italy or North Park to support our small businesses. And to top off every evening we’d watch the sunset at the beach, but would have to at least watch it at Sunset Cliffs or Windansea one of those days. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I’m at creatively without my college professors and the opportunity to develop my entrepreneurial side at the Zahn Innovation Center at SDSU. I had the fortunate opportunity to be apart of an on campus incubator which really ignited my passion for developing and executing ideas!