About CK’s Experience
I began my pursuit of a career as a creative professional in 2002. By 2004, I achieved my AAS degree, and in 2005 obtained additional web design and software training from Highline Community College. During my college education, I also dedicated time as an leader in the Graphic Arts Club on campus. We created fundraising for our club by utilizing our artwork, silkscreening the designs on tshirts for various local organizations. I also organized several field trips for the GAC, including a group visit to the Experience Music Project (EMP) (Now, known as the Museum of Pop Culture) in Seattle. With the previous work experience gained before college, and my design education, I was ready to get to work as a graphic designer.
Industry & work experience
From 2006 through 2015, I was the principle designer at the Tacoma Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. My responsibilities included designing membership materials, publications, newsletters, event collateral, branding, direct mail, merchandising, signage, promotions, community outreach, graphic support to TPCC’s website/social media platforms, enewsletters and apps, and a proud founder/member of the Fun Cart Crew for annual Chamber Golf Classic. I also managed print/digital production, budgets/contracts, media buys, advertising sales, vendors and all project schedules. The opportunity to work closely with Chamber members proved to be as exciting and rewarding as designing. Creating communications for members and our local Pierce County community was very fulfilling work and confirmed this was heading down a rewarding path.
Official Launch of CK Graphic Design, LLC
The next step was to take CK Graphic Design, LLC., to the next level. What started as after-hours freelance work was now ready for a full-time commitment. Working directly with my own clients has always been my goal. My current client list includes Courtyard Marriott -Tacoma Downtown, Skyline Properties, 6th Avenue Business District, TLRC Foundation – Golf Classic, All Access Print & Mailing, GTM Transformations LLC., Adriatic Grill – Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar, Downtown: On the Go!, Love Tacoma, Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, Tacoma Philharmonic, Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and Honeymoon Bay Coffee Roasters, Inc.
Here’s a little more about the early work experience I mentioned above.
Images: Horizons Event with Gabriel Brown/Spaceworks and Linda Troeh/Targa Sound Terminal with Christina Kitchens. Image from Rusty George’s creative event, with our host, Rusty George.
Started in the print shop
My first job was with The Robbins Company–a local tunnel-boring-machine company. It taught me crucial office management skills including how to interface with multiple departments and coordinate their needs. I worked in their engineering print shop for three years. My responsibilities included working with machine drawings, operating several styles of copiers, microfilming, date entry, stocking marketing materials and relief reception front desk work.
Gained experience in the International Trade Industry
For my second jobs I entered into the world of the Customs House Brokerage industry. It gave me a firm footing in project management and helped me to see the value of building business relationships. This included building relationships with the U.S. Customs Service, steamship lines, airlines, freight forwarders, cargo warehouses, transportation companies, our clients and other staff at various locations inside of the United States.
Images: Chamber Golf Classic featuring the Fun Cart Crew and a fun picture from the event.
Tupperware Sales & Restaurant Management Experience
In order to keep working while I focused on the early years of my new role as mom, for my third job I became a Tupperware consultant. This job taught me personal motivation, managing my own business and how to be successful at one-on-one sales. In just three years, I raised myself to seventh top seller of over 500 consultants.
My fourth job was in restaurant management. I was a supervisor for two years. My role included addressing customer experience, employee concerns/morale, ordering, payroll/inventory, community charities liaison, and making sure everything ran smoothly. I also learned the value of team dynamics and how to train and mentor employees with this objective in mind.
Images: College days with Rhonda and college class project called Postcards from the Edge where students made art with an Exacto knife and black electrical tape.
My creativity began at a very young age. My “playing school” days were always filled with some aspect of design. I remember designing magazine layouts including deciding on the written and graphic content in grade school with my friends. Those were the days and thankfully I have saved them for all historical prosperity.