Meet Sarah Casterline- Owner & Lead Creative at Sarah Casterline Design, a design and branding agency based in the United States.
Sarah is an award-winning graphic designer with a marketing focus, with almost 8 years of making things ‘pretty with a purpose’. She is passionate about helping businesses grow through engaging brand style and identity.
While she had a pretty privileged upbringing, she was taught to be frugal. She was an only child with severe ADHD, so she had to learn to know herself deeply and use workarounds in order to fully maximize her potential. She had always been very ambitious in all areas of life and this realisation started at the end of middle school for her. Little did she know that in her later life, she would be using that hyperactive energy as a superpower and outperform the people around her as long as she channelled it.
At the beginning of her career, however, she hadn’t narrowed down her skill set- she had a degree in Communications and had dabbled in various aspects of digital marketing and design. While she quickly realized that she wanted to be a graphic designer first and foremost, she taught herself the necessary skills during early mornings and late nights to keep her interests intact. She would take pro bono or cheap client work to build out a portfolio and this made her land her first full-time job as a graphic designer. Since then, she has continued to build her skill set as a marketing and brand designer.
Prior to starting her own business, Sarah was honing the skills she uses today for her clients and is building her personal brand. During her college, she did 3 internships- with Trivision Studios, GMMB and WTOP news. Then, she started working as an in-house graphic designer with marketing and communications teams in various companies till she became the Director of Marketing for HUNGRY, a nationally expanding food/tech startup.
At Sarah Casterline Design, she helps businesses (both big and small) define and convey who they are at their best, and show it in a visually engaging way. She does this in a strategic, omnichannel way that proactively considers every touchpoint of the customer journey. She says:
“I differentiate myself through my marketing background. My motto is ‘communicate, don’t decorate’. Everything I create has a business purpose. The ROI of good design versus bad design is huge- I help businesses understand and harness that.“
The response has been wonderful for her business so far. She has got a steady stream of incoming warm leads simply coming from her network and a passive selling via showcasing what she is doing for her current clients on social media. Never did she anticipate she’d be this busy so soon.
Beyond her work, she has made it her mission to be an ally for female-owned small businesses and use her expertise to give them the tools and confidence they need to grow. For her, it has been an incredibly rewarding journey and the consumer response just makes it all the more incredible. It’s all about real-life women helping other women up and it benefits her just as much as it does them, according to her.
Some of her recent achievements include:
2020- Designing a pitch deck that secured $20M in Series B funding
2019- Winning gold and platinum at the Marcom Awards for HUNGRY’s Digital Marketing Campaign
Sarah believes that having a growth mindset has really benefited her in all aspects of life. She is always refocusing on short and long-term priorities and taking small steps every day to get there. In her career, she has really focused on building her personal brand. No matter what company she has worked for, she has kept the greater journey and vision in mind and has focused consistently on growing and improving herself as a candidate.
“I hold a tremendous amount of personal accountability on every aspect of my life. I think your life is mostly a result of your own choices- so I have spent most of my twenties building the foundation of my life, really working on my career, buying a house, getting married and building my family too. I have been planting seeds for a long time and I am starting to see that those seeds bear fruit. I think no one can know your vision but ‘you’. Protect it and pursue it. Do a little bit every day toward your dream life and you will surely get there,” she says.
Today, she feels that her 30s will be more enjoyable because of all of the foundational work that she has put in till now. Her growth mindset has helped her in improving herself and moving towards her dream life.
In her career, Sarah has really focused on building her personal brand. No matter what company she has worked for, she has kept the greater journey and vision in mind and has focused consistently on growing and improving herself as a candidate.