nordbo presents: womxn-owned — Lydia Witt
Howdy friends! I am beyond excited to introduce the first chapter of many in a series called womxn-owned. Each blog will feature one BOMB business owner and dive a little deeper into their journeys as well as the connection they have between their work and their communities. This week, we will start with the amazingly capable, powerful, beautiful, kind, thoughtful—I could go on and on—Lydia Witt of Athas Design. Read on to be inspired ✨
womxn-owned chapter one: Lydia Witt
Tell us about yourself and your business.
My name is Lydia Witt and I am a 27-year-old mother, wife and business owner. I live in a small town in Kansas, and have two sons who are the lights of my life! My husband and I grew up here in Abilene, and he is also a business owner who recently started working from home. We love being able to be around each other throughout the day, and our work breaks often involve playing outside with the boys. I grew up in an artsy family and always thought I’d become an art teacher like my mom, but I fell in love with graphic design and have been freelancing for almost five years now!
Athas Design is the name of my business. From web-design and branding to fine art and illustration, visual art always has a story to tell. I collaborate with businesses and individuals who want to communicate a clear and meaningful story through design. I offer an array of graphic design services and deliverables for every stage of business growth.
Why did you decide to start your business?
I have always been passionate about the arts but was intrigued by graphic design as an avenue for artistic expression as well as a career path. I went to school for web design and advertising arts with the long-term goal of being a work-from-home mom once we decided to start a family. Since it isn’t a sustainable income at first, I worked in the service for three years before I was able to put much time into my design work. I had my first son in 2016 and because we couldn’t afford childcare, I began taking on freelance jobs through Athas Design a couple of months later. I started my business out of a mixture of necessity and curiosity, and it has become the most fulfilling and gratifying experience to be able to work in this field.
What has been the most challenging part about owning your business? Your favorite part?
I think just about any work-from-home parent would agree that the most difficult part of the job is balancing the work/home life when the line between them is so blurred. Some days I don’t feel satisfied with the amount of quality time I was able to spend with the boys even if I’m productive with work, and some days I’m having such a great time with the boys that I don’t end up answering e-mails until after they’re in bed. Being a present parent AND a business professional isn’t always an option, and those days of having to choose one over the other often leave me feeling disappointed and discouraged. But that leads me to my favorite part of owning this business, which is having the privilege to be able to pursue both of my dreams at once; being a present parent AND being a business owner. There have been many hard decisions and sacrifices made along the way, and I am incredibly thankful for the support and encouragement from those around me that has got me this far!
How has this been positive for your family?
I grew up with my father being the owner/operator of two local businesses and that example of independence, creativity, and hard work is something I am proud to exemplify for my own kids now. Financially, being able to care for my children while also contributing to our finances has had an incredible impact on our family as a whole. We also live a short walk from many of our immediate family and close friends. Being a part of that “village” and having the flexibility that comes with setting my own schedule has been incredibly healthy for our family as a whole!
How do you use your business to uplift other marginalized groups in your community?
We are blessed to live in a small community that values and uplifts marginalized individuals and families. I’ve been able to work on multiple projects with ministries and non-profits here in Kansas that come alongside individuals that have experienced drug addiction, PTSD, abuse, and houselessness. I also give a percentage of my profits every month to organizations that work on a worldwide scale empowering and serving people in need. I want every person to feel equipped and supported to pursue their dreams and provide for themselves or their families, I know I wouldn't be here if I didn't receive that support from others. This part of my work is incredibly important to me and very humbling. I will always feel privileged to both know and work alongside people who have a heart for serving marginalized people groups and families.