Behind the Biz: Torey Herbert
Grab your favourite brew, because we’re back with Part 2 in our wonderful ‘Behind the Biz’ series and it’s a good ‘un. We say wonderful because the gals we’ve interviewed thus far are brilliant, brave and bloody wonder women!
In this week’s chat, we spoke to Torey Herbert, of Torey Herbert Co. Torey has a special place in our hearts, as she is not only an amazing illustrator and designer, but she is also the enigma behind our recent illustration collaboration (check out the full set below or over on Instagram).
Torey went above and beyond for our collab, so it was only fair that we picked her brains and showcased her raw talent for our readers to see.
Who’s That Girl?
Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. My husband, Patrick, and I met in middle school (crazy, I know), and are about a week away from celebrating our first wedding anniversary. Obviously, I love design and everything that comes with it. I love creating things that empower businesses and people. When I’m not working you can probably find me reading, watching copious amounts of football (go Seahawks), or losing a game of tennis to Patrick.
If I were to just give you a one-liner, I’d probably say that I am a 22 year old ice cream fanatic and leave it at that!
How has 2018 been for you so far?
I would describe 2018 as a a year of learning to celebrate during times of growing. Between marriage, graduating college, and starting my own business I’ve done quite a bit of growing and most of it hasn’t been easy.
What’s it like living in Spokane, Washington?
I really enjoy Spokane. It’s a good mix between big city and small town.
What is home to you?
Family for sure! Patrick and I are extremely blessed with the family we have.
What was your professional background prior to launching Torey Herbert Co?
I was a full-time college student. I had a handful of jobs throughout school that gave me hours and flexibility.
Did you complete any formal studies or are you self taught?
I went to school at Eastern Washington University. Originally, I went to school for nursing then switched to chemistry then switched again to design. Most aspects of design I learned through schooling, but things like hand lettering and illustration I learned for the most part through self teaching and practice.
What inspired you to choose a path in illustration, hand lettering and design?
When I was studying nursing and chemistry in college, it was not enjoyable. I got so frustrated and stressed one quarter that I was so close to dropping out. I all but gave up. My favorite part of science projects was the art part of the project, so when I decided that the next quarter I’d try something completely different, I chose design and I loved it.
Where do you find inspiration for the beautiful illustrations you create?
I try to find inspiration in my daily life and the people I interact with. Sometimes it’s based on how I’m feeling at the moment or something cool on Pinterest.
Do you have a favourite/most memorable project?
Definitely the Syrian refugee zine that I made during my senior year of college. A zine is a short booklet, roughly 12 pages, that can be about anything. The project was to identify and address biases in the media, and I wanted to attack the xenophobia that has sadly plagued this country. I made the zine a coloring book for kids, so they wouldn’t grow up with the same attitude towards people who come from other countries.
What was it like taking the leap to work for yourself?
Terrifyingly exhilarating. Not having a steady income is scary, but working for myself is so freeing and I love it.
What is your point of difference from other illustrators and designers in the biz?
Genuine connection. Getting clients is great because you get paid, but I want to create lasting friendships with my clients simply because they are cool people. I never want my clients to feel as if I only want their business or their referrals.
Do you have any advice for those just starting out in the creative industries?
Making the leap is 110% worth it. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams, they will get you through the times of self doubt.
What is the best part about running your own biz?
It’s a tie between being able to create my own schedule and working in my pajamas.
And the worst/most challenging?
Getting clients is so challenging. When I graduated, I thought that I’d have at least a small list of clients lined up for my business. Nope. None. I even resorted to cold emailing… barf. I still struggle sometimes getting clients, but I’ve learned that the clients will come and in the meantime I try to focus on my business and making it so that when they do come they will get the best design experience possible.
How do you use/interact with copywriting in your day to day business life?
Good copywriting can round out a brand and help your brand become cohesive across all types of platforms. I encounter copywriting everyday when writing social media captions and descriptions for the website I’m launching. If copywriting isn’t your thing and you can afford it, hire out because it will make all the difference in your brand.
What’s something that people don’t see/realise that you do (the nitty gritty, behind the scenes stuff)?
Creating everything with the client in mind for the best possible client experience. Not only does everything need to be brand-aligned but also user friendly to make every task as smooth as possible.
Did you design and develop your own brand and how was the process?
Yes I did! I started building my brand at the beginning of the year, and since then I’ve done soft rebrands about three times. Only recently did I sit down and really think about my target audience and mission statement, and from there everything sort of fell into place. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!
And of course: what inspires your Instagram feed?
When I first started it was whatever cool things I made and now it’s morphed into work I’m doing for clients.
How do you take your tea (or coffee)?
Vanilla latte with almond milk
Fave coffee shops/cafes at home
Go to outfit
A sweater and skinny jeans
Deciding to go into business for myself and be my own boss. It has been a huge dream of mine, and I’m really excited to finally be doing it.
Post-church nap followed by football and really good food.
I’m a huge book nerd, so this question always feels like I’m picking my favorite child… I’d say Harry Potter, A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, Serial, and Case Files
Ultimate travel destination
Anywhere. I’m especially dying to go back to Italy and Greece.
We hope you loved this interview with Torey and enjoyed getting an insight behind one of the many amazing creative businesses we all adore online. Stay tuned for the next installment of the series, and be sure to send us a message or comment if you have anyone that you’d love to hear from!
Until the next brew,
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