Be Your Own Boss

November 2, 2016


Photo by Nadia Papineau
Photo by Nadia Papineau

Fancy a freelance career? The owners of design studio Cinderbloc reveal what it takes to make a creative business work


In the creative industry, “entrepreneurs” are a pretty common thing. But there’s a difference between making band posters in your spare time and turning that into a fruitful freelance career. Or between half-heartedly setting up a Kickstarter page for a product concept that you just might make one day and actually putting together a business plan and approaching investors.


Starting your own studio or freelance operation takes a level of commitment not everyone is ready for. Ryan and Sandra Di Leo, the husband-and-wife team behind award-winning Toronto design and branding firm Cinderbloc, recently chatted with Georgian College students Mat Hodder and Nicolas Rodrigo for the unvarnished truth on what entrepreneurship really entails. The Di Leos would know—Ryan founded the studio in 2008 after years of working for other people, and since then he and Sandra have grown their portfolio to include heavy-hitter real
estate and retail clients, and won numerous international awards.


Below, we’ve provided an edited excerpt of the conversation with some of their most salient points about striking out on your own. Hear more from them in a video of the conversation below.





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