How to Build Your Dream Business with Courtlyn Jones

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Courtlyn is a perfect testament to what you can achieve with pure passion for what you do and an unrelenting commitment to seeing your vision all the way through. For as long as she can remember, the fine arts have always been a fundamental part of her identity and expression but when she enrolled in college, she made a practical decision to study digital design. After 9 years as a graphic designer in the corporate space, she received a thyroid cancer diagnosis that changed the trajectory of her life. Courtlyn realized life was too short not to chase her own dreams and help other creatives do the same. So, with no plan and an endless amount of courage, she quit her job and set off on her entrepreneurial journey.  

In today’s episode, Carlyn sits down with the truly inspiring Courtlyn Jones, graphic designer, visual artist, and founder and CEO of The Design Database, the leading women-owned online community and job platform for female and non-binary creatives. She shares with us the mission behind her company, how she navigated leaving corporate while battling cancer, why it’s so important to have moments of pause, the DIY projects that laid the foundation for her business, how her business functions like an Indeed meets Instagram, and so much more! 

“It’s all a learning process. I’ve learned my lessons now. And now I know how to be able to work smarter going forward.” – Courtlyn Jones

This week on Startups in Stilettos:

  • Courtlyn shares the inspiration and motivation behind her business (2:04) 
  • Courtlyn dives into her creative background (3:36) 
  • Courtlyn shares how she navigated leaving corporate to focus on building her business (5:57) 
  • What the Design Database has to offer for creatives and clients (8:59) 
  • What Courtlyn didn’t know before going into this business (11:35) 
  • Courtlyn’s biggest achievement since being in business (13:51) 
  • Courtlyn’s favorite business tools (16:14) 
  • Courtlyn’s thoughts on AI and chat GPT as replacements for human creatives (18:19) 
  • This week’s fun fact (22:23)

Our Favorite Quotes:  

  • “I know how hard it is to be a creative female in this industry. And how in corporate, there are so many opportunities that aren’t open to us as much as we want them to be. Being a freelancer, it also has its issues as well. So I wanted my own platform where it was a space for creatives to feel safer and also to make new friends, get inspired by other creatives as well, and feel empowered, but also have the tools that they need to attract higher quality clients and companies.” – Courtlyn Jones  
  • “I designed the entire site from scratch, learn how to do all of the coding, and made it all work the way that I want it to finally and I was up to like four in the morning every night for weeks doing it. And it’s finally up and it’s so beautiful and I’m really proud of that.” – Courtlyn Jones   
  • “Having the passion and the soul and the actual emotion behind the art from an actual human being, I think, that takes a huge win over AI any day. So I really hope that the world isn’t going to become so soulless that we can’t see that going forward or forever.” – Courtlyn Jones

Join the Entreprenista League today at We can’t wait to welcome you, support you, and be part of your business journey!

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