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In this conversation, Ellie Johnson, the owner and creative visionary behind Sophisticated Grace Studio, shares her journey as an entrepreneur and her passion for website design. She discusses her rebranding process and the inspiration behind her business name. Ellie also talks about her services, ideal clients, and dream clients. She emphasizes the importance of staying motivated as an entrepreneur and offers advice for those starting their own businesses. Additionally, Ellie opens up about her personal experience with pregnancy loss and the grief process. The conversation covers topics such as balancing career and family, the creative process and design, selling templates and making money, and collaboration and referrals.


  • Balancing career and family can be challenging, but there are women who successfully manage both.
  • The creative process can be chaotic and involve research, sketching, and finding inspiration.
  • Selling templates on platforms like ThemeForest and Etsy can be a lucrative business.
  • Collaborating and referring clients to other professionals in the same industry can be beneficial for both parties.

Connect with Ellie Johnson:




Désiré Mir • The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative

Website —> www.TILTcreative.agency

WhatsApp —> https://wa.me/447955805340

Youtube —> https://tilt.ltd/yt

Podcast —> https://tilt.ltd/pod

Linkedin —> https://tilt.ltd/li

Instagram —> https://tilt.ltd/ig

Transforming Trailblazers from Meh to Heck Yeah!

Désiré, The Brand Maverick, is more than an international brand extraordinaire; she is a catalyst for turning aspirations into triumphs.

Désiré’s work is a fusion of artistry and strategy, infusing your brand’s narrative with abstract creativity. She crafts a unique experience that resonates individually with your customers, seamlessly aligning with your business objectives. Her commitment to excellence is evident in a meticulous research process, an unwavering attention to detail, and an unrelenting pursuit of perfection, enhancing every facet of her work.

Born in the UK, raised in the Caribbean, and enriched by Indian and Persian heritages, Désiré possesses a unique perspective that sets her apart in the realm of branding. This cultural richness informs her storytelling, making her a potent communicator and a true unicorn in the branding landscape.

Known for her exceptional efficiency, Désiré’s accelerated work pace, propelled by intense hyperfocus, ensures high-quality deliverables in significantly less time. It’s as if her brain operates on rocket fuel, consistently achieving exceptional results.

TILT Creative Agency: Désiré is the force behind TILT Creative Agency, a brand consultancy tailored for service-focused B2B Gen-Z and Millennial solo/entrepreneurs, consultants, startups, and micro, small, and medium businesses. TILT offers an intensive yet cost-effective service to clarify messaging, define brand DNA, and refine voice for increased revenue, market visibility, and competitive advantage.

Her Brand Maverick Nexus sessions offer accessible options for those seeking improvement but are constrained by budgets. This includes a low-cost group option and a more involved level with a premium newsletter, bootcamps, and 1:1 WhatsApp support.

TILT.social: Désiré’s commitment to fostering a supportive entrepreneurial community led to the creation of TILT.social, a free-to-use entrepreneur social network. With over 10,000 like-minded users, this platform offers an advertising and algorithm-free space to connect and promote businesses and events.

Désiré is not just a brand consultant; she is a dedicated educator. She offers free branding tips and advice directly on WhatsApp and provides a free brand self-audit for entrepreneurs on TILT.social.

As a podcast host and prolific content creator, Désiré shares her insights through various channels, including social media, Youtube, The TILT Creative podcast, the weekly Elevate Your Brand free Zoom session and the Idea to Enterprise – Entrepreneur Think Tank live event on LinkedIn.

With an active LinkedIn following of 23,000, TILT.social crossing 10,000 users in under four months, a WhatsApp contact base of over 25,000 people, and an email list of over 14,000, Désiré is a digital influencer with a substantial and engaged audience.

In her pursuit of elevating brands and changing lives, Désiré Mir continues to challenge the status quo, demonstrating that branding isn’t just a business endeavour—it’s a transformative journey.

If you want to work with her, use the contact points on the TILT Creative website (www.TILTcreative.agency) or her content portfolio on www.DesM.uk

Transcript: AI Generated

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (03:03.826)
welcome to the Entrepreneur Spotlight. I am, I have.

recently restarted the entrepreneur spotlight and today it’s all about you. So for those who are listening, do you want to introduce yourself and your company and what you do? Yes, so my name is Ellie Johnson. I am the owner and creative visionary behind Sophisticated Grace Studio. I do everything from custom show it website design to social media management. Occasionally I throw in content

helping with like newsletters or blog posts, but my bread and butter of my business is my website design services. I’ve been in business for a little over two years now. I was known as Specificated Southern Grace before, but I just rebranded recently. So I’m happy to see the growth and the projection that Specificated Grace Studios are going. What inspired the rebrand?

Well, I’m from the south of the southern United States. I’ve lived in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Alabama. So it really was more like, sophisticated Southern Grace was more for me. But it wasn’t really working for clients. Because I’ve worked with clients in Germany and France, and they’re not going to get the southern part. But I wanted to make that this.

the sophisticated grace part because grace is for my daughter, Caroline Grace that I lost a couple of years ago. Oh my God, I’m so sorry to hear. It’s okay. It’s just something that I’ll never get over, but I’ll just get through it. But she’s a big part of my business in general, just because I started the business when I was pregnant with her and wanted it to be something that I could do and still be present. And then it just really ended up being

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (05:23.422)
more of like a creative outlet and turned into this awesome business over the years. So it kind of helped help me grieve and help me help me grow. Oh, it’s actually a really beautiful thing that you’ve actually like named the business after her as well. Like that must be incredible for your healing as well. Yes, yes. She is present in like every aspect of my branding and everything.

Yeah, I use the larkspur and the water lily, which are the July birth month flowers and I wanted to do that but then when I was looking at the symbolism behind them it just really resonated with my business and who my audience is and because water lily and larkspur are like regrowth and like new and that’s something that I like to do. I like to help female entrepreneurs expand their business or elevate their business.

through either a website or like a new social media strategy. So that kind of fit together perfectly. Yeah, awesome. So in the marketing space specifically, is there anything that you don’t do? I am not really very confident in my own LinkedIn skills. So I don’t offer LinkedIn social media management services just because I like, it’s something that I’m not good at personally in my own business. I’m not gonna offer it.

to other people unless I know it like the back of my hand. So I don’t really do that one. And I haven’t done very much with YouTube as well, just because again, it’s not something that I personally use in my business, but that’s really about it as far as things that I don’t really offer. Okay, that’s really cool to know. So how does your service work? Okay, so my website design service,

I have two service offerings. I have my fully custom, like bespoke show it website. And then I have a new service offering that I’m just offering, just started offering recently. Actually it’s my website in a week service. It’s more geared, it’s more affordable package. If you want to just see the website quickly, maybe they’ve tried to DIY it themselves and they’re just like, oh my God, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (07:40.182)
but I need a website, I need it fast. Like I know what I want my website to look like, I just can’t do it myself. So that’s where I come in with my website in a week. I’m able to take their vision and execute it into a really beautiful website. Okay, awesome, awesome. So what sort of price range are we looking at here? For the like fully, fully custom show websites.

it’s I do everything from the ground up. I don’t use any templates or anything. It’s every website starts with a blank canvas and that starts at $7,500. My website in a week service it’s $3750. So it’s half the cost but I will use like templates that I’ve kind of created over the years just a streamlined process but I will customize it for each client obviously.

Is there any particular CMS that you work with? Are you agnostic to do with everything? I prefer to work with ShowIt’s platform, but I do have over seven years of experience with WordPress, so I’m happy with either ShowIt or WordPress. I have experience with Shopify, but I hate working with Shopify, so like. Same. I think I would actually faster work with Magento than work with Shopify.

Yeah, Shopify is a brittle. Like it’s just, it feels not only just like designing in it, like with like the theme editor is just limiting, but then like when you have to go into the backend on Shopify, it’s like what in the world. I have to go to like three different places to change one thing. And I’m like, no, so much easier to do what I know, which is WordPress, show it. So. Yeah, awesome, awesome. So what kind of clientele are you interested in looking?

interested in working with, sorry. So my ideal customer or client or avatar, whatever terminology you want to use would be female entrepreneurs, typically in the wedding industry. So it could be wedding photographers, event planners, forest, even bridal boutiques or alterations, you know, signatures. But that’s not the only people that I work with. Those are just my ideal clients. Yeah, your ideal clients, oh.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (10:01.126)
I would love to be, help be a part of a moment like a wedding. Like I still look at my wedding photos that we have been hanging up on the wall. So like, I want to kind of be like, be a part of it in some capacity, but obviously, yeah, I’m not a photographer. I’m definitely not an event planner, but I can help them represent their company in a beautiful way. Help them get clients that love working with them.

So if you can have any clients in the world, like the world’s your oyster, who would you have and why?

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (10:42.535)
And good question.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (10:47.266)
Are we talking like celebrities, like just like businesses, like anything? Any clients, any clients. Any absolutely anything, but just pick one, like huge. Go big. Okay, let’s see.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (11:04.078)
Probably Rebecca Minkoff or Kate Spade, just because like those are like, their branding is so fun and like their products are so fun and like I feel like that would be like a dream plan to work with because they’re already established, but they’re just, they’re fun. Like I want to work with people that like show their personality. Like I.

I don’t want to like work with clients. who just want to cookie cutter, copy and paste. You know, like I want to help people enhance their business and elevate their business and show their personality. Yeah. Is that something that I, I like to do. I just talk, I like to show my personality through my website. So I don’t like to be tamed down. Oh, same. Everybody who knows me knows that I cannot be tamed. So.

I was like, well, you could be a little bit more professional. And I’m like, well, professional doesn’t have to be boring. So thank you. Yes. Thank you. You get it. So how much time do you spend working on your business and not in your business? Oh, well since the rebrand, I’ve kind of hit like a slump just because, you know, I have to get my name back out there. So I’m spending a lot more time.

on my business, like marketing and everything. Yeah. And I would say maybe like 10 hours a week on the low end. I would love to just have the clients come to me and just be able to do what I love to do, which is design. Yeah. But, you know, obviously that’s not the way businesses work. You have to go and find clients sometimes until you get to where like you’ve learned to go, I love your work, let’s work with each other. But I don’t have that right now.

because I just rebranded and people don’t know me yet. So. Yeah. So what is the one thing that really feels your passion for what you do?

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (13:05.506)
The freedom and the flexibility that owning my own business provides me. Um, I’m able to go have lunch with my stepson at school on, you know, whatever day I want, you know, I could just be like, Oh, I’m going to go have lunch with him. And, um, I can, I could go on vacations with my family and be able to not have to work, or if I do have to work, I’m able to work whenever, you know, I can’t like when, whenever everybody’s

passed out after being at the beach all day or whatever. Yeah, yeah. Just like that freedom and flexibility. Yeah, I think that’s the biggest thing that I love about having my own business. And that’s what I want to work with female business owners, you know, entrepreneurs, because that’s ultimately, I feel like the common thread in a lot of female business owners is we want to have them more time to spend with their family and not have to work a nine to five job where they’re trapped at a desk all day and not being able to.

go to their kids’ school events or even go have lunch with them or whatever. Yeah, that does kind of, I mean, I don’t, I’m not, well, I’m a family person, but I don’t have kids. So I’ve never really been, I’ve always wanted to be like the career person. So that’s a bit of like, hashtag can’t relate there, but I get that there’s a lot of people out there. Like my mum, my mum’s like that as well. Like she’s…

She’s always been employed, but she’s always wanted to own her own business because of that flexibility. And she’s always telling me like, I’m pretty much like living her dream by having that flexibility to be able to do loads of things. I mean, my career has enabled us to have this conversation. Yeah, and it doesn’t even necessarily have to be the freedom and flexibility to spend more time with your family. It could be traveling or just anything. Like my mom, she was an accountant for probably like 20 years and she’s…

basically just been like semi-retired. Like she subs every now and then as a teacher. Thank you. Leave that to the people that like to teach. But she just like, she loves being able to just like on a whim, like go with my stepdad to, they’re going somewhere up in Georgia and this month to go see the leaves.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (15:23.234)
change or something and I’m like okay well that’s great that you’re able to drop everything and do that you know. Yeah yeah that’s pretty much what I think my biggest thing is that I get to sleep when I want to. Yeah yeah. That’s the one thing that parents don’t get, parents do not get to sleep in. So I’m living the dream for all the ladies out there who have all the mums out there. I am living the dream for you like I will live that to the fullest. I sleep until whenever I sleep when I

sleep all through the night. It’s amazing. You can probably eat whatever you want to. You don’t have to like live on a diet of like pizza and chicken nuggets. So, yeah. Oh, I wish. To be honest, I wish that I could have lived on a diet of pizza and chicken nuggets because, but I am now allergic to dairy. So I’m no longer allowed cheese, which is awful. This is only like, this is only like a few years. So I am a massive cheese lover who can now no longer touch cheese.

Oh God, that’s like the worst thing ever. It’s an absolute nightmare. Yeah. I don’t recommend, I wouldn’t wish it on the worst enemy. I think being dairy free would probably be worse than gluten free because with, at least with gluten, you can substitute things. Like, what are you going to substitute for dairy? Like that’s actually good. Like, I mean, oat milk isn’t bad. Barista oat milk in tea is not bad. It tastes a lot more like evaporated milk. So that’s, that’s cool.

a lot of vegan cheese is absolutely disgusting. Yeah, yeah. I can imagine. Like, with like a gluten-free diet, you can at least change up, like, you know. You can literally cover it in cheese and it’s fixed. Yeah. Cheese fixes everything. Like, you can have the worst tasting food and then you put cheese on it and then it’s like, fixed, done. Yep. So.

On a very personal level, if you had unlimited resources, what world problem would you solve?

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (17:34.39)
What world problem would I solve? I’m really putting you on the spot with these questions today. Yeah. I feel like I would probably solve world hunger because I feel like that can help other things that are going on in the world. Everybody’s fed. Everybody should be happy. The stomach is the weight of people’s heart. So if they’re fed, they should be happy and they shouldn’t be attacking each other. So I think…

World hunger. I would probably eliminate food allergies. Yeah, I will. Yeah, I can go back to eating cheese happily ever after. So if you could do anything, like there’s no limit on money or anything, but if you could do anything, what would you do?

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (18:32.446)
I would probably take my family on like a year long cruise. So my husband and I went on our first cruise for our honeymoon like four, almost five years ago. And then this past summer, we took my stepson on his first cruise ship and we just really enjoy it. I feel like one of those like year long cruises where you just go to like all the different places you can get to on cruise ship,

not just the Bahamas or you know the Caribbean but like we could go on a cruise ship to like Alaska or Europe or whatever not limited to just yeah US. Alaska sounds great actually and you can probably I mean my geography might be terrible on this but you might be able to see polar bears I’m assuming polar bears live in Alaska maybe I’m actually is it still too warm

It might still be too warm. I actually had been to Alaska before. My aunt and uncle took me on a trip when I was, I think, nine. They picked me up in their motor home from Texas. We drove from Texas to Alaska. See, that’s amazing that you can do it in the States. You can literally drive across the whole country. I live in the UK. I’m literally on a bell and I’m stuck. Yeah. Yeah, so that was one of my best childhood memories is when they took me.

on the motor home trip to Alaska. And then I think the next year they took me to Ireland because my cousin got married over there. So like that was, that’s what I want to be able to do with my family is just be able to build those memories, you know, do special things like that. Now that’s, I mean, the memories are like the most important thing. And now is when you have to be building them, you know? So what is the absolute hardest thing about entrepreneurship for you?

Oh, hardest thing is just the hardest thing. Yeah, I would say staying motivated, you know, like there’s obviously in everything, not just running a business and entrepreneurship, there’s going to be ups and downs. And there’s going to be, you know, periods where like everything’s going great. And then there’s going to be moments where you’re like, Oh, my God, what’s going on? Like, why isn’t learning something that I want them to do? So I think for me to stay motivated, like not letting the

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (20:59.49)
The times like right now where everything’s kind of slow, like get to me and just keep moving forward, would be the hardest thing. Because some days it’s like, why did I start a business? Like I haven’t done anything that I wanna do. Then you have the days where you have clients that return to you for like more help. And I’m like, oh, well that’s why. Yeah, no, absolutely. I think that’s hard for everyone because people think that motivation, especially in entrepreneurship is something that is constant.

but it isn’t. It’s something that you have to kind of keep, almost keep feeding yourself. Yeah. And that is actually, that takes a lot of work and it takes a lot of time as well and lots of effort. So I feel you on that one. Yeah, there are definitely days in my business where I just want to be in bed, like you said earlier, like where I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to do anything. I just want to just watch TV all day. But sometimes you just have to make yourself get up and do one thing productive.

It doesn’t, you don’t have to do all the things in your business every day, but you can just do one thing and. Yeah. Oh no, my brain would probably try to do all the things. It tries to do all the things all the time. And I’m like, please just stop. Yeah. But having a business means that having your own business also means sometimes that if you do need a day

where you just kind of want to watch TV and you just want to kind of switch off and recharge because that’s so important as well. It’s like one of the key things to prevent burnouts. Yeah, definitely. Is being able to do that. So I think that in and of itself is a really good idea as well. Like the only day is, you know, you kind of listen to your body and if it goes, I don’t really want to work today. Yeah. As long as it doesn’t go to like two days, three days, 10 days.

I think one day every now and then is totally fine. It’s just like you said, not letting it be a pattern of like turning into days or weeks, you know? Yeah. I mean, one thing that I do in my business is every six weeks I have a work-free week. Wow, that’s a great idea. So, yeah. So, and actually in the middle of that, I have days in between where I have meeting-free days. So I tend to like,

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (23:20.118)
on Wednesdays because I actually do work on weekends. So Wednesdays is almost my meeting free day where I can kind of catch up and do other things. But then I also kind of split my day up. So the first half of the morning, I literally do my own stuff, my own personal stuff. You know, any errands need to run, I do that first. And then I kind of sit down and get to work because then I’ve already done stuff. So I’m already motivated. I’m already like, oh, I’ve done this and this and this. And I’m like, okay, let’s see what else I can do.

I think that’s definitely the right approach for me especially. I want to say it’s like eat the frog or something, it’s like the philosophy or something behind that. It’s like you know if you start your day doing start your day productively the rest of the day just flows in a productive state. Yep absolutely is that same make your bed as soon as you wake up make your bed that’s the person you’ve already ticked something off of your list.

So what would be your parting gift of wisdom for those who are listening? I would say that you don’t have to have everything perfect as soon as you launch your business. You can wait on your website, you know, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you don’t have to have a website at all when you first get started. A lot of

businesses, you know, you can rely on just on social media and word of mouth, you don’t necessarily have to have a website. Right. Yeah, it’d be better to wait on the website and hire a professional versus trying to do it yourself and not liking the results and then you know, wasting time and money. I think that’s the biggest thing everybody’s like, well, I need a website now. And I’m like, well, no, you can wait on that until you get one that you love. Like, yeah.

That’s actually really, really sound advice. Because I think there’s so many bad websites out there. And I mean, you know it with this industry. There’s so many people out there who are doing shoddy work and charging an excruciating amount of money. And it’s giving the entire industry a bad name. Yeah. And then there’s people like.

Désiré, The Brand Maverick @ TILT Creative (25:36.958)
I like, I’m in lots of different Facebook groups for female entrepreneurs and like everybody that asks the question about like, well, who do you recommend for web design? Everybody always comments. That’s like, just ridiculous. People are like, well, I can do it for $60 an hour or I can do it for, for $300. And I’m like, no, we’re doing everybody a disservice. You’re not just doing the client at a service by charging so little for, you know, what’s going to ultimately be crap, you know, but you’re, you’re also bringing the whole industry down. Like.

There are people that actually understand what goes into a website. It’s not just making it look pretty, it’s making it functional, making it make sure that it’s set up properly for SEOs, people can find it because it won’t do any good to have a pretty website. Nobody can find it. Nobody can search on Google or Yahoo or Bing or whatever people use these days besides Google.

and not be able to find your website and the sea of other websites, you know, that do have SEOs. Absolutely, absolutely. I agree with that entirely. I just wanna say thank you for being on the Entrepreneur Spotlight. It was absolutely a pleasure speaking with you. Do you wanna tell everybody where they can find you?

Yeah, sure. Thank you so much for having me. You can find me at my website, which is www. And I’m also on Instagram at Sophisticated Grace Studio. I do have a Facebook and a TikTok. Those are both at Sophisticated Grace Studio as well. I don’t use them as much as Instagram though. All right, awesome.

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