Hitch Design Studio

Where are they Now?

Name: Renee Halgerson

Company: Hitch Design Studio

Class of: 2013 

What have you been up to since graduating from Stationery Academy?

Carrie Kuhl and I attended Stationery Academy together in August of 2013 with a dream of opening our own wedding business someday. And here we are. We officially opened Hitch Design Studio in February 2014 and are loving every day of it! Since Stationery Academy, I quit my full-time job in the big city (the biggest city in South Dakota, anyway), sold my house, moved to Brookings, SD, bought and renovated a house and opened our storefront all within two months. I've read many books ("The Fire Starter Sessions", "The Four-Hour Work Week", "How to Win Friends and Influence People" are my favorite three among many others), blogs and articles about transitioning from full-time cubicle-job to entrepreneur. Living it has been the biggest lesson -- and the most terrifically scary thing I've done so far (and I'm only 31!). There's so much more to come. And I have Stat Acad to thank for being my compass and catalyst.

How did attending Stationery Academy affect your business?

Before Stationery Academy, I was freelancing 25+ hours a week on top of my full-time job and volunteer activities. I'm a huge supporter of giving back my time and talents. I was running on empty and was spread so thin that I felt nothing was getting my 100% full attention and effort -- my personal relationships included. Stationery Academy affected my mindset more than my business at the time. I learned that trying to appeal to all things and all people, really has a profound effect on no one. But now, focusing my efforts, my money, my time and my business towards one specific goal really makes decision-making easier and profits more driven. I ask myself..."Does this decision or sponsorship fit with the goals of Hitch?" When considering taking on a new project, "Will I still have enjoyed working on it even if it goes off-track or completely wrong?" "What is my most profitable item and how can I sell more of it?" I've learned to charge more, work less (by not re-creating the wheel), re-align my values personally, and have recently expand into the world of wedding planning and styling. Stat Acad's binder is still my go-to when I need some refreshing ideas or budget/pricing help. In our store, Carrie and I are proud to carry lines of products from the women we met at Stationery Academy! We met some incredibly talented people who love paper, color and typography as much as we do (what?!) and we are honored to carry their product lines in our store.

Bottom line: Stationery Academy was an incredible class that taught me everything from humility to how to raise my rates and bring a "style" to my work. It was an all-around life-changing, awe-inspiring, fire-starting, encouraging experience.


What was the most valuable lesson you learned - what was your "ah-ha" moment?

I shared the same fears as almost everyone else in that room -- and it only takes one step forward to start seeing your progress. It's okay to say no. Don't you dare settle for anything less than great. And keep your head up because it gets more profitable after some hard work! The money will come--It will follow your hard work.

Find Renee (and Hitch Design Studio) Elsewhere:
>>Website           >>Facebook
>>Twitter           >>Instagram
Thank you, Renee! We're highlighting a few of our alums to see what they have been up to since Stationery Academy. Their journeys are inspiring and proof that Stationery Academy is more than a conference -- it's a game changer.