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Name: Alana Range
Business: Radish Lab, a design agency for non-profits & academia
Location: New York City, New York, U.S.
Reason for starting: Radish Lab was born from a desire to work on meaningful projects with people we like (yes, really). Our core team has all spent more than 10 years embedded in well-known publishing, non-profit and educational organizations and we wanted to create a work environment that felt nimble, and able to respond to the unique challenges faced by organizations dealing with social change projects.
Related: Read about another design entrepreneur here.
How do you define success? For me, success is finding the ideal balance between doing work that you love and doing everything else that you love. If you get to a point in your life where you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you wholeheartedly love what you do, despite the long hours, despite the struggle, despite the accountability, and failures you’re bound to face – you’ve got half that puzzle figured out. The rest should be full of family, food, travel, and whatever else you love, and those things are just as important.
Biggest Success: For a while, I thought my biggest personal success was figuring out that I wanted to be my own boss. A couple weeks ago we signed our largest contract yet at Radish and I realized that I’m a part of something so much bigger than my own company. Radish has grown into a group of people committed to the same issues. We’re a family, and our successes are shared. I am so inspired by the team we’re building and our success absolutely rests on the amazing people committed to this agency every day.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Juggling. I don’t actually know anything about running a business. I’m a journalism grad and a creative. Everyday, I learn (usually through failure) how to do this. Something that’s really helped me is aligning myself and Radish with people who care about what we’re doing, and can help us out. Our unofficial motto for a while was ‘good design for nice people.’ We’re serious about the nice people thing. All of these nice people give us advice, connect us to others, and cheer us on.
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Who is your most important role model? I have so many amazing mentors all of whom are also role models. One of the most amazing women in my life was my boss in the first job I had in New York. Adrienne Burke was the quintessential, independent, quick-thinking power woman. She was a journalist, like me, and I always felt like she had my best interest in mind. When I quit my job at 23, I remember her saying “Good! Get out of here! You’ve got other things to do!” Years later, we continue to bounce ideas off each other. She’s amazing.
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Edited by The Story Exchange