Elayna Spratley

Elayna Spratley is a Design Thinking & Mindset Coach.

She tells us that, ā€œIā€™m based in Austin, TX. My company, INFOLD Studios, is an agency where I help individuals and teams get unstuck, move forward with deep understanding through data and experimentation, and create innovative solutions. I’m a hippie nerd šŸ¦„šŸ¤“ with a degree in design, a decade of experience at Fortune 100 companies like IBM and Cisco, and a certification in energy healing. With a blend of creativity, intuition, strategy, and fun, I coach my clients to solve problems through research, and exploration.ā€

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your Entrepreneur journey/venture/initiative.

One of my earliest memories is attending a parent-teacher conference in first grade and hearing my teacher tell my parents, “Elayna asks a lot of questions.” This early encouragement of curiosity has shaped my career, starting with my passion for music and art. I’ve been drawn to music since before I can remember, with memories of hearing Anita Baker even before I was born. Art has always been central to my personal development, teaching me how to process and express my emotions.

Art has remained a fundamental means for me to express myself and engage with the world throughout my childhood. I created comics, sketched fashion designs, recorded radio shows, sang in choirs, danced at home, published newsletters, explored photography, wrote fan fiction, and even built websites for my musical idols like Janet Jackson. My diverse interests led me to constantly ask questions and seek new knowledge.

This habit of exploration and self-expression has frequently placed me in situations where I had to learn and ask questions. The broad exploration in my childhood provided a strong foundation as I began to focus my creativity more in high school and college. I owe much of who I am today to my early experiences with art.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!ā€

Since 2008, my business has evolved from creative business services to design and mindset strategy services. The motivation behind starting my business was the 2007 recession, which made it difficult for me to find a job as a new college graduate. I knew I was talented and decided to have my own business, even while working full-time for someone else.

In 2023, I transitioned into the INFOLD Studios era of my business with three main motivations: to directly help people with mindset coaching, to focus on helping my business clients achieve transformative results without the energy overhead of constant corporate meetings, and to complete a project that I had in mind. The project that pushed me to become a full-time entrepreneur is the daily journal I’m currently finishing: “Relax & Remix: A daily journal to get unstuck and live fully.” It was nearly impossible to complete this project while working in a corporate environment. I wholeheartedly believe that lives will change because of it, so I took the leap!

Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?

My current role is focused on helping my clients evolve in order to create the conditions for unlocking the vast potential that lies within them or their products. The impact I’m striving to make is to inspire and coach others to evolve their approach, thinking, and actions to activate their gifts, so that they can bring impactful energy and products to the world.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

I have coached and mentored over 100 people in meditation and mindset techniques, helping them to access their inner strength and overcome obstacles with inspiration and confidence. I have designed and facilitated over 50 customer-centered workshops at Fortune 100 companies, including Cisco Systems and IBM, providing actionable roadmaps that drive success.Ā 

Additionally, I have spearheaded more than 20 employee-centric workshops that enhanced culture and optimized processes, leading to profound organizational transformations. Furthermore, I have trained and mentored over 200 professionals in Design Thinking and Facilitation, equipping them with the skills to navigate challenges and solve problems from a human-centered perspective.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

There are two changes I would like to see in the world. Firstly, I’d like more people to realize that their existence on Earth means that they are meant to be here and that they should do everything possible to develop confidence in their gifts. When people become more comfortable with their gifts, they share them, and our world would be a very different place if this happened.

Secondly, I’d like to see more people engaged in community and doing what they can to support the growth and health of their communities. The Western world is very individualistic, and I think this has put a burden on many people. We are missing out on the fullness of people because of the depression, stress, and anxiety that weighs them down. Community is like light in that darkness. They help you see yourself and support you in finding your way.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

We have so many amazing women in leadership today! From Bozoma Saint John, a marketing executive who has forever changed beloved brands like Apple Music, Uber, and Netflix, to Melanie Perkins, the CEO of Canva, I am so inspired by the knowledge, empathy, and power that these women lead with. From my perspective, women’s leadership is growing fast and will continue to do so in the future if leaders continue to mentor each other and the next generation of leaders. We will continue to see women in leadership as long as our focus is on elevating one another.

What would you want to say to our young leaders/audience reading this?

To all the young leaders reading this, I want to encourage you to take the time to understand yourself. Document your needs, wants, and desires, and then seize every opportunity to advocate for what you want. Show, don’t just tell. In 2018, I decided I wanted to transition from being a UX Designer to becoming a Design Thinking Coach. To make this happen, I started acting like a coach.Ā 

While I worked on my assigned research project, I also provided consultation to five teams and conducted workshops for each of them. My manager noticed my efforts and asked about my dream job. I was prepared with a document outlining my vision for a Design Thinking program at Duo Security. Without hesitation, my manager supported my shift in role and made space for my program. Know what you want, develop a strategy, and then take action. Your actions will speak for themselves.