Bringing a Latin touch to the beauty world, AYRES Beauty was brought to fruition by…
Meet Kelly and Andra, founders of With Grace and Gold
It all started in a coffee shop — that’s where Kelly Zugay and Andra Barkey first met to discuss their business goals and creative ideas together. A few cups and conversations later, the dynamic duo are now the designers, educators and co-founders of With Grace and Gold, a creative studio providing brand and web design for women in business. Kelly and Andra have served more than 300 creative women all over the world through their purposeful, professional brand and web design since 2014. Keep reading to learn more about how they first started their business, their advice to other creative women in web design and what products are currently in their beauty bags!
Our names are: Kelly Zugay and Andra Barkey
Our social handles are:
- Facebook: facebook.com/withgraceandgold
- Twitter: twitter.com/withgracegold
- Instagram: instagram.com/withgraceandgold
- Pinterest: pinterest.com/withgracegold
Find our website at: withgraceandgold.com
1. Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you first get involved with web design and marketing?
Kelly: I’m Kelly! I live in beautiful western Wisconsin with my husband Ben. I have a Bachelor of Science in Business and a Master of Arts in Teaching, and I began my career in higher education. When my husband and I relocated to western Wisconsin, I serendipitously met Andra, and we found we had a shared passion for serving women in business. I am the project management and marketing side of With Grace and Gold, and I love being able to provide a really fun, seamless experience for our clients!
Andra: And I’m Andra! I live in Plymouth, Minnesota with my husband Ben, son Ellis, and pup Elske! I’ve always been an entrepreneur and small business owner; I started a wedding stationery design business at 21 and haven’t looked back. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Design, and I love being able to serve creative women in business through design.
2. Can you tell us a little more about With Grace and Gold and how it came to be?
Kelly: With Grace and Gold is a creative studio which provides brand and web design for creative women in business. So, small business owners – photographers, wedding planners, stylists, wellness coaches, authors – come to us when they are in need of logo design, stationery design, or web design – or all of the above!
Our business came to be from a conversation in a coffee shop. We wanted to start a business together and spent all summer long brainstorming names, services and all of the details. Of course, our business has grown and changed quite a bit over the years, but we’ll always remember all the coffee we consumed while dreaming it up!
Andra: We should mention that we also provide education for fellow designers who are looking for ways to streamline or strengthen their businesses. This year, we hosted the very first With Grace and Gold Workshop – a business workshop for designers who have mastered design but are ready to become more business savvy. We love being able to give back to the design community through education.
Photos by Lauren Kirkbride Photography
3. What were the biggest challenges and rewards that you faced when you started your business?
Kelly: There were so many challenges – especially when we first started our business! We were learning everything – from when to work, how much to work, what to do during our business hours and so much more. Every day held so many lessons and moments of trial and error.
Andra: The biggest reward – by far – has been changing the lives of the business owners we’re serving. The clients we serve often share with us how their brand or website has helped them – and when they let us know their revenue has doubled or tripled…we feel like we’ve done our job well! To us, design is so much more than design; it’s a way to help our clients connect with their clients and develop a business that can be their legacy!
4. What does a typical day in your life look like?
Kelly: I love to wake up early! Our business hours are 7AM – 3PM, so it’s nice to wake up early, get settled and serve our clients. After work, I’ll usually exercise: biking, hiking and hot yoga are my go-to workouts. Then, I’ll have dinner, and either read a book – or watch The Bachelor!
Andra: I am an early riser, too! I wake up with my little one, Ellis, and spend quality time with him in the morning. Then, like Kelly, I’ll serve our clients during our business hours. At the end of the day, I love spending time with my family and our pup – or going for walks around the lake!
5. What advice do you have for women looking to get involved in branding and web design?
Kelly: That’s a great question! I would say: Don’t look, just leap! When we first started our business, we had no idea of who else was in our industry, what the industry looked like or what we should be aware of. That “blank slate” allowed us to be brave – and even fearless – when it came to building and marketing our business. Sometimes, when you know too much, you’ll give yourself reasons to stop or hide. Knowing so little allowed us to wholeheartedly jump in.
Andra: I would say, hone in on your unique style and approach. In a large community of brand and web designers, think about what will set you apart. It could be your design style, or it could be the amazing experience you provide. No matter what it is, just own it and share it freely and openly!
6. Okay, we have to ask — what’s in your beauty bag?
Kelly: Right now, I primarily use Clinique and Bare Minerals products:
- Clinique Even Better Foundation – It has actually evened my skin tone since I’ve started using it.
- BareMinerals Blush – It goes on really smoothly!
- BareMinerals Mascara – I really love the length and volume.
Andra: Unless I’m going out somewhere, my routine is so simple! Lotion, foundation, mascara, and eyebrow pencil!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Interested in learning more from professionals in the digital marketing and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series.