Berna Sarikaya is the managing director of Creatif Designz, a results-focused, London based design agency providing personal, bespoke graphic and web design services that add value to client’s brand, increase their profitability and exceed client’s expectations.
All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
10 May 2013
Tell us a little about your business and what it offers?
Creatif Designz (or CD) was established in 2010, offering companies a fresh perspective regarding corporate identity and visual communication that ranges from magazine design to packaging design to allow them to move to the next level in their business.
What was the catalyst that made you decide to go into business?
It may sound unbelievable, but many businesses flourish during recession times and sometimes pressuring conditions may stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit and lead to the creation of new small businesses. Likewise my business came to life exactly like this.
During a challenging time in my life, when I had to face many difficulties, the idea of having my own business had sparked.
I did not know even where to start or how I would build it up. The only thing I knew was that I really wanted to do it.
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What was holding you back from being an entrepreneur at the time?
Taking risks… When you set up a business, even if you work really hard the possibility of failing is always in one side of your mind.
Fear of failure held me back a bit, but thinking that I would never know without trying made me make the first move.
Also when I thought about it, what if I failed? What could be the worst thing that could happen to me?
In the worst-case scenario, even if I failed I would understand what did not work for the business and try something else.
What was the best business advice you were given?
The best business advice I ever had was and I think you could apply this to anything in life; “Never quit”.
Especially one story I read in one the motivational books, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill changed my life; “A guy kept drilling on his land, desperately trying to pick up the gold vein — but nothing found over the years. Finally, he decided to QUIT.
He sold the machinery to someone who found the vein just three feet from where the first guy had stopped drilling!”
Every time, I go through difficulties in life, I always think, the success might be just 3 feet away, so I keep going!
What is the most exciting thing happening in your sector right now?
Graphic and web design sectors are such an ever-changing area with endless ideas, you can see exciting things happening all the time with the help of recent technologies; such as smart phones, digital magazines, e-commerce websites, social media etc.
All these create more fields for graphic design to get involved and keeping the sector robust.
What are your customers demanding more from you at the moment?
Surprisingly, there is a high increase in business set ups in the UK recently, so there is a high demand for logos, corporate identity designs and websites.
Clients expect fast delivered custom designs with affordable prices so we do our best to meet their expectations.
What social media tool are you using at the moment?
I mostly use, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Although, I use Facebook and Twitter to promote my business, I have noticed that LinkedIn provided me some business leads and created good connections that almost feels like being in a networking event without leaving home!
What is your take on personal business failures?
I believe, I learn from my mistakes so there is never a real failure for me.
A failure only reminds me that I have to correct my mistakes.
I reckon, if we never fail we would never improve ourselves and carry the business to the next level.
Failures are useful as we get out of our comfort zone and think out of the box.
Challenges are what make life interesting and the ability to overcome these is what makes it meaningful.
What is difference that is making the difference for success in business at the moment?
I think having a good relationship with clients makes the difference.
They feel more comfortable consigning their project if they know you or trust you.
Having a good relation with them also gives me a chance to understand their business needs better and act accordingly.
Who are you following on Twitter?
On Twitter, I follow some other designers and design agencies to see what they are up to and follow motivational speakers as every business or anyone need some inspiration time to time.
Hence the inspiration I get boosts my productivity and creativity I surely need.
What is your favourite quote?
I think my favorite quote since high school years is:
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
This always helps me believe that a challenge is never really a challenge as it makes us grow better, stronger and wiser.
Whatever obstacles I come across in my business, I always see them as stepping-stones.
What next for your business?
My job is to take people’s business to the next level by creating identity designs for their companies.
As for my own business, I always want to go further and increase my clientele, widen my range of services, grow my team with more talented and dedicated members which will carry the company to a higher level of expertise and also help new designers to build their way in the sector.