Yolanda (Lani) Stenvert, the founder of South African-based start-up, Good Dog Designs, made the tenacious move from design studio employee to graphic design solopreneur. In the process, she found freedom of expression and a unique design style all of her own.
Lani Stenvert is one of a growing number of successful African solopreneurs in the design industry who are thriving in their own creative spaces and, at the same time, producing innovative and quality design work to be proud of. After working for two decades as a successful graphic designer in corporate environments and design agencies in South Africa, she decided one day that she would much rather work for herself than be confined to one company or agency. Her entrepreneurial journey started as a result of that one ‘eureka’ moment.
“Step out of your comfort zone and do what makes you happy”
Lani did not come from an entrepreneurial background, so she was very much a pioneer in her family in this regard. Her early training in the industry was of the on-the-job, in-the-deep-end, don’t-know-find-out variety, after which she worked in various agencies, gaining a vast amount of experience across a multitude of industry sectors. This experience has proved to be invaluable, as her early training enabled her to become a versatile designer, adept at interpreting clients’ needs and delivering quality work, regardless of the size of project or budget. Her USP (unique selling point) comes from her being skilled in both graphic design and DTP work, meaning that she has the ability and specialist skills to tackle any design brief, from creating a simple yet stylish business card for a major corporate to a small start-up, right through to the design of large-scale advertising billboards. Over the years, Lani has also become a specialist in the design and typesetting of highly intricate financial reporting documents, producing a large number of industry recognised corporate financial reports and sustainability reports. As a solopreneur, her clients appreciate her highly professional approach and commitment to producing the highest quality work, with a fine attention to detail, both of which are extremely important in the specialist world of financial reporting in particular.
Lani created the design for the Lionesses of Africa logo and brand identity and has also designed the cover for the forthcoming Lionesses of Africa book
In terms of future plans and aspirations for her company, Good Dog Designs, she would like to continue to provide the best range of design services to her clients, and to stay on top of her creative game by applying the latest design trends to the projects she undertakes. On a personal level, she is continually working to grow as a designer.
So what gives Lani the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur? Ultimately, it is the freedom of being her own boss, and being able to build close, trusting and long-term relationships with her clients.
Here's how you can get in touch with Lani:
Why LoA Loves it....
At Lionesses of Africa, we love Lani Stenvert’s approach to being a happy and successful solopreneur - we also love her design work and the way she throws herself into any design project with an absolute passion. In fact, we love her work so much that we commissioned her to create our own LoA brand identity. Lani is responsible for our much beloved Lionesses of Africa logo and has also designed the book cover for the forthcoming Lionesses of Africa book, due for publication this year. To us, Lani is a real Lioness of Africa, for supporting our initiative and so freely giving of her time and design creativity to our project. --- Melanie Hawken, LoA founder and editor-in-chief
This post is part of series that celebrates Africa's women designers during the month of February.