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In this week’s edition of Growers Spotlight, we feature Karyna Amador of Karyna Amador Designs and Paper Squid. Karyna always loved drawing and painting by hand as a kid and still does today (I mean, just look at this instagram), but soon discovered just how far her talents could take her within the realm of graphic design which is her main business. She started designing in 2005 and then launched a line of invitations soon after. Below she shares insightful advice on starting a business and the paths she took to start her own all while staying unique.

Karyna is one of the most talented designers we bring on for specific Idea Garden projects. She is also a member of Growers Circle, which you can apply for here if you are an entrepreneur in Miami. 


What is your best advice for people thinking about starting their own business? From my personal experience it's letting go of the dogmas of what "success" is or needs to look like to others; honestly assessing it for oneself. Many practical and financial matters are part of the process so enjoying and embracing those are key, but also letting happiness - not fear - guide. Trusting ones instincts about what projects and growth are right for you. Also taking it one day at a time. Growth can be rapidly exponential, but steady and incremental are also key.

Why did you decide to start your own business? I started designing, illustrating and freelancing on my own as a way to be able to work with the clients I resonated with and them with me. This has allowed me to work together on a more personal level, with more ease and grace in establishing their brands, goals and design needs. As I continue growing, working with both personal clients and design studios, this also allows me the flexibility to schedule my life accordingly.

What is the unique thing about your business that sets you apart from others like you? I truly listen to the client's needs, getting to know all the details of their business and their vision. I really pay attention to the feeling of what they want their design and branding to evoke and accomplish business-wise; I don't just race out to create any design. Really getting a feeling for them and the brand is important. It's a mix intuitive, practical and researched, which leads to successful and long-term results that are exciting for both parties. 


Adrian Acosta of Acosta & Lichter, P.A.

Adrian Acosta of Acosta & Lichter, P.A.


Our second Grower Spotlight introduces Adrian Acosta, our favorite attorney in town. Adrian is another instant entrepreneur. He decided to start his own law firm shortly after passing the bar because he already had clients lining up at his door. After months of hard work, Adrian and his partner Erik Lichter will be opening the doors of Acosta & Lichter, P.A. next week and we couldn't be more proud. 

Below, Adrian shares his insights on opening a business. Growers Circle members have access to further advice from Adrian and all of the Growers Circle members. To apply to join Adrian in Growers Circle Miami, just fill out this form.


What is your best advice for people thinking about starting their own business? The most important piece of advice I could provide is to do your research on the costs of operating your own business and reach out to those who have gone out on their own to create their own businesses. 

What do you think was the key to your success? Making new connections and going out into the community to meet new people. Make sure you meet people within your industry and also make sure you meet people who are not. That way you have several sources of potential referrals and clients. 

What is the unique thing about your business that sets you apart from others like you? I really stress the importance of customer service and striving to always be available to speak to my clients. All to often, clients have to go through a series of conversations with other employees of law firms just to be able to speak to their attorneys. Also, I understand how difficult and costly it can be to retain legal services. In order to assist my potential clients, I offer payment plans to help ease the burden of having to pay a retainer fee all up front. 


New Rule... If you don't want to invest in your business, I don't want to invest in your business. 

New Rule... If you don't want to invest in your business, I don't want to invest in your business. 

In talking with a friend recently, she brought to light a realization in me that I probably should have realized a long time ago. Potential only exists within the person holding it, she explained. I already knew that no matter how hard I try, there is nothing that I can do to better someone who doesn't want to better themselves... but to hear that the potential does not exist outside of that person was a new concept for me. The same is true for business. 

There is no way to help a business that doesn't want to help itself. Yesterday, with all of the love in my heart, I had to say no to a client who refused a heavily discounted logo and branding redesign that his business desperately needs, but wanted to proceed with a website design. For the first time, I chose to empower myself to say "No, I can't work with you." even though the website was an exponentially higher-priced project than the rebrand. Usually, I would have a lot of anxiety about having to say no. So much so that I would have begrudgingly worked on the project to avoid the uncomfortable situation... but the surprise was that it felt AMAZING! It awoke in me an important lesson that I wish had woken up long ago: I cannot continue to invest my time in businesses who refuse to invest in themselves and standing up for that is beyond liberating. 

- Idea Garden President & Creative Director, Vivian Belzaguy