Carly Rowe of 2930 Creative: Women In Tech Wednesday

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Several years ago Carly Rowe packed two suitcases and moved to Dallas.  It was a huge risk—leaving Cleveland, Ohio and heading to an unfamiliar destination.

However, it fortunately ended up being the best decision she made in her life. Period.

After bouncing from job to job and suffering several failed business attempts, Rowe knew she couldn’t stay in Cleveland. “The local economy in Cleveland was really bad,” she says. Luckily, quickly after relocating to Dallas, she landed a job at a digital marketing agency where she absorbed everything she could.

After only a year and a half,  she decided to leave the regular 9-5 and co-founded 2930 Creative with partner and fiance, Chris Reeves.

Starting Her Own Business

Rowe always had a dream of being a small business owner.

“I always knew that I wanted to own a business and work for myself, but I had tried and failed a few times when living in Cleveland. I had given up on that and didn’t think I had what it took to be a successful business owner.”

So Rowe established a time frame: if in six months things weren’t going well, she would walk away.

As one could guess by now — things went well. And today she couldn’t imagine returning to the more traditional style of work.

“My day to day is different from someone who works in a larger, more traditional agency or at a brand. Because we are a small agency, it’s all hands on deck. This means that my days could be posting social media updates for our clients, community building and management, and writing blog posts; or it could be sales calls and business development to make sure we keep growing; or it could be learning code and supporting our development team with getting content and graphics ready for client sites.”

Learning How To Code

While Rowe focuses on more creative strategy at 2930 Creative, she is starting to learn how to code. As she says, “I am slowly starting to pick up CSS and I know enough HTML to be dangerous.”

As far as instructional resources go, Rowe uses Codecademy to pick up some of the basics which allows her to support the rest of 2930’s development team. Looking ahead, she plans to learn more this year — it’s one of her main goals for 2014.

Business Advice For Others

For those of you out there hoping to start your own business, Rowe recommends getting a thick skin.

“People say and do awful things when they are backed into a corner (especially when they are being told what’s what by a woman). Dig in, be tough, and stand up for yourself and your company. Don’t believe the voices in your head that are full of self-doubt. That will not move you forward. Take breaks. Don’t live at your desk. Don’t be afraid to fail hard – because you’ll remember what not to do for next time.”

In the end, moving to Dallas catalyzed changes Rowe never thought possible—like starting her own business. (Amazing what a change of location can do, right?)

And while Rowe’s business is really in its infancy, she’s learned a lot already.

“Being my own boss has been a rewarding experience that has taught me so much about how strong I am and how much I can handle.”