May 25 2017 Meet Sarah Giffrow, our fearless Creative Director and Benevolent Overlord! Posted by: Janine Winters Posted in: Branding, Business, Life at Upswept Sarah steers the ship at Upswept Creative, deftly serving up smart branding solutions and building beautiful, usable websites that make sense and look awesome. Sarah created her first webpage more than two decades ago, when she taught herself HTML to stave off boredom over a summer in high school. In college, she ditched her journalism major and decided to make a go of it in the then-fledgling industry of web design. Before launching her own creative studio more than five years ago, Sarah was doing web design and management in the non-profit / education sector, and side-hustling in wedding and portrait photography. Motivated by a desire to explore different avenues for her creative skills, solve new problems, and feel more connected to clients, she decided to go out on her own, giving rise to Upswept Creative and, indirectly, this blog post you’re reading right now. Creative Convergence Driving her own creative endeavor allowed Sarah more time to get to know local creators and business owners. She observed gaps in their marketing and online presences, and began to figure out ways to help them. “Getting to see their work close-up and experience it in-person, I knew how skilled and passionate they were, and I wanted to help them show that to others, and get the kind of die-hard fans they deserved.” That connection to the vibrant independent business community remains a priority in Upswept’s work as we expand our service offerings and grow our team. On her hopes for the future of Upswept, Sarah says, “I’d love for us to really become known as a resource for independent businesses, so we can keep helping people grow their passions into their livelihoods.” Being Yourself Sarah has faced many of the challenges typical of creative work, and lessons learned along the way inform her strategies to help clients better, particularly in figuring out how to differentiate herself in the local market bursting of talented competition. To attain success, Sarah says, you must “understand deeply what sets you apart in your industry. Communicating that authentic expression of who you are and what you do in a clear way is critical.” Though thriving in such a lively market can be tough, Upswept Creative wouldn’t be the same studio if it existed in a different city. One of the values Sarah identifies with in the Portland creative community is a “deeply-held belief that, if the service or the product doesn’t already exist, we can create it! We [Portlanders] place a lot of value on supporting businesses with local roots, and we aren’t afraid to try something that hasn’t been done before.” Beyond Work Outside of work, Sarah spends much of her time involved in roller derby with the Rose City Rollers, as a skater, official, and juniors coach. Sarah loves to bake, much to the enjoyment of anyone who’s attended an event at Upswept HQ, and this year is enrolled in the Google Academy of Organic Gardening. Your Turn! Now that you know a little bit more about Upswept’s leadership, we’d love to get to know you better, too. We like to kick off every new project with a get-to-know-you meeting, so we can assess your unique business problems and craft an elegant, beautiful solution just for you! Get started by scheduling your free clarifying consultation and see what kind of awesome Sarah and rest of Team Upswept has in store for you.