The Woman Behind GOTG’s Brand: Steph Zangeneh Azam
By the Editors
As most of our readers know, Girls On The Grid is a labor of love. We don’t accept advertising dollars to keep us truly independent so our budget is…zero. And when we realized our brand was tiiiiiiiired, we weren’t quite sure where to turn.
So we turned to our readers.
We asked for help via our social media channels, and over a dozen members of the Sacramento creative community responded! Seriously, thanks again to everyone who offered their creative talents – we wished we could have worked with each of you.
Enter Steph Zangeneh Azam (Instagram) with Mighty Within. She specializes in branding, websites and photography “for women who make and do cool things.” Right away, we knew her aesthetic was for us. She keeps it real REAL, and she really understood our needs and brand story. We wanted to keep it simple – a modern and clean update that signified connection and Sacramento. And we think she nailed it.
Get to know the woman behind the brand – we think you’ll love her style as much as we do!
In a sea of designers, what sets you apart? How do you define your aesthetic?
I work specifically with women entrepreneurs and I do everything myself; brand design, websites, and brand photography. I’m a one-gal studio so my clients get my undivided attention, creativity, and support. They never get lost in a sea of clients and I deliver their package in one month’s time. My aesthetic is colorful, bold, rich, textured, yet modern.
How did you get into this line of work?
After receiving my graphic design and photography degrees from CSUS I started working for Tower Record’s Pulse Magazine, working my way up from ad designer to editorial designer. The environment was fun and the work was creative! I had the freedom to play and I learned a lot about typography and building magazines.
After that, I became an art director working on city publications from Sacramento to Las Vegas. One job I really enjoyed was to build Case Western Reserve University’s THINK magazine in Cleveland, OH. It was exciting work, but to buy a house, I needed a solid income. So I took a job with the state for a bit (which helped us get the house), but realized it wasn’t for me, and went back to freelance work.
I was taking any job that came my way but none of it felt right.
Then a good friend asked to design the whole package for her new business; custom brand, website, and brand photos. That project changed my business because I realized I had something unique to offer. So I combined my services into one package and got specific about my ideal clients: women who make and do cool things.
What’s your favorite/most challenging thing about design?
The unknown possibilities and breathing life into a dream, thought, or idea. The most challenging is working if I don’t feel inspired or creative. When that happens I step away and focus on other things.
Who’s your ideal client and project?
My ideal clients are women entrepreneurs with a goal to fulfill their lifelong passions! Women who want a custom brand, website, and brand photos that are different. She has an idea of what she wants but needs help translating that vision into reality.
What’s been the most surprising thing about starting/running your own business?
Running my own business has helped me trust myself more and know that I will “figure it out.” No matter what the problem is, I will find a solution and make it work!
Three words to describe Sacramento?
Emerging, limitless and growing!
Favorite spot on Sacramento’s grid?
I love what’s happening on R Street and in Oak Park.
Latest dish you can’t seem to get enough of?
The kale salad and margarita pizza from The Federalist! I can’t get enough.
If I weren’t doing this, I’d be…
A jeweler, a pilot, a professional athlete … I can’t decide!
Best professional advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love, the money will follow.
Advice to a 20-something?
Trust your gut, find inspiration offline, and get your hands dirty! Your MIGHTY power lies within.