Meet Jessica Greenwalt
Jessica Greenwalt is an award-winning graphic designer, web developer, and Illustrator, who founded her first company while still in high school and has gone on to start several companies, including the design firm Pixelkeet, and the medtech company CrowdMed.
A girl after our own hearts, she spends her spare time hosting crafting parties for her friends.
In her own words
"My specialty is branding. I love the practice of researching an organization or product's target market and communicating an idea to them with a simple logo.
I started my first design firm while I was in high school. I built up my client base by first working on projects for family friends, then responding to design help wanted ads and even reaching out to companies that I thought could use an update to their designs.
I continued to build my company's portfolio of work during college, and by this point, my website began attracting bigger names and organizations from around the world.
After college I got a day-job (because that was the normal thing to do), but continued to work on my design company in the evenings and on the weekends. My website became the number one Google search result for "freelance graphic designer" and with the amount of project requests coming in, I figured I could quit my day-job and make over twice as much focusing on my own company.
The project requests continued to grow, so I gathered my favorite designers to work with and started a larger design firm, Pixelkeet, to handle the workload.
On being the Boss Lady
Throughout my career, I've been told some strange things. Since people would reach out to me with a project request through email, prospects and clients didn't know much about me, but many of them assumed that I was older, and some of them assumed that I was male.
Upon discovering that I was a young woman (sometimes even after working with me for awhile), a few men told me that I need to hire a male figurehead because no one would want to work with a woman run business. Which I found silly considering they themselves had worked with a woman run business and were quite happy with my work.
A few guys would hit on me, and a few would tell me I'm a dumb girl who doesn't know anything about the world. And then there were the real charmers who would do all three (tell me to hire a male boss, hit on me, and say offensive things).
One of the things I truly appreciate about having an online portfolio is that I am judged initially by my work rather than what I look like.
A career highlight
The project I am still the most proud of is a handmade special edition of Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. I enjoyed every moment of working on this project, setting the type, hand-tearing the pages, building a hardcover from scratch.
Producing each book was labor-intensive, but therapeutic. I created the book for the first and only time I would be able to enter the Bookbuilders West book design competition, and I won their Award of Excellence."
Unbuttoned with... Jessica Greenwalt
Coco Chanel. I agree with her belief that “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”
Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” for embracing her nerdiness and not giving a damn what other people thought.
Dream lunch date:
Light dishes and wine at Chez Panisse café with my boyfriend, Hugh.
An idle mind is the devil's playground
All happiness comes from within.
Idea that changed your life:
I am an architect of my circumstances.
Always trying to improve:
My understanding of others.
Most envious of:
I rarely experience moments of complete contentment, and I know people who always seem happy with the way things are. Sometimes I wish I could live in these moments, and feel envious of those who can. But discontentment is what pushes me to change things and make them better.
Most inspired by:
People who have experienced true hardship and are still kind and optimistic.
Fashion item you would ban:
I don’t want to see any more costumes involving loincloth.
Favorite piece in your wardrobe:
I have so many favorites! I couldn’t possibly pick just one.
My top three are a pair of black patent leather peep-toe heels, BCBG’s Ksenia Printed A-Line Dress, and a pair of suede Gucci heels with gold bamboo detail.
Antique Victorian furniture.
Can’t bare to spend on:
Things I know I could do a better job of making myself.
Irrational fear of:
Getting blood drawn or getting shots
Brains or beauty:
Why not both?
Audrey or Katharine Hepburn: