Owner: Ann Cosgrove
Name: ACBC Designs
Location: Portland, Oregon
Website: ACBC Designs
Meet Ann Cosgrove. Combine her husband’s initials with hers, and you get ACBC, the inspiration for the catchy name. ACBC Designs is an online website where you can access their modern designed paper goods, handmade in Portland, Oregon. For someone who would end up having a career in the arts, Portland was the right move. Ann’s parents moved from Illinois to Portland while she was a young girl, thus claiming herself as a true Oregonian.
Design has been something in Ann’s blood her whole life. She has always enjoyed making cards for her family and friends, and was always the kid to cover her bedroom walls with posters. While reflecting on her childhood, she told us, “I just always liked drawing, coloring, and organizing pictures in my room.” When assigned to write a paper on what she wanted to be when she grew up, she came upon graphic design for the first time—That’s when she knew it was her calling in life. She later would own a freelance graphic design business, and as that business slowed down the perfect opportunity arose to turn her hobby into a self-funded business start up. From there, ACBC Design was born.
There are many benefits to one’s life that come from owning a business. Perhaps the most common is the freedom it gives, for Ann in particular, it’s the creative freedom she enjoys. “Having so much control of what I do, and when I do it everyday, is really a luxury I try not to take for granted,” she continues, “Having creative freedom, the ability to choose my projects, and who I work with is a huge benefit.”
All business owners have hurdles to jump on their entrepreneurial path, “I wish I would have put more time into learning about effective social media strategies when I first began”, admits, Ann, “It would have been nice to be a little more advanced in that area.” Although not life threatening, challenges are challenges, and social media can pull a lot of weight for your business at a low cost. Learn from Ann, do some research and see if social media will be a benefit for you and your business.
During her hard times, Ann reminds herself how lucky she is to work for herself, and continues to thrive as a business owner and an artist. Her advice to future entrepreneurs is to assess if you are up for the job of owning your own business. “If you are ready to work for it, and put in the hard work, it will come back ten-fold. If you are truly thinking about it, go for it.”