Tell us a little bit about what you do (business, career, etc.) How did you get started in your field?
I graduated in 2006 with a BA in Graphic Design. I remember at the beginning of my career 14 years ago as a Junior Graphic Designer my very first supervisor told me I should rethink being a graphic designer because she didn’t think I had the talent to succeed.
After some soul searching, I decided to leave my first full time job out of college to start my own business, Rebecca Simeone Designs, LLC. I used this opportunity to teach myself graphic design and learn as much as I could about the career I wanted. While my LLC has been a pride point in my career and has also helped lead me to other job opportunities, that business has warped and changed over the years to a freelance graphic design business along with family, lifestyle and landscape photography.
While my LLC is a cornerstone in my life, 4 years ago I had the opportunity to join a small business called DLS Discovery for a full time position. The company wanted to expand its current high volume print capabilities to focus more on color print. As a graphic designer I never knew how valuable it would be for me to take a job in the print world. I learned the digital print world from the ground up and DLS started offering graphic design services to businesses which was a powerful combination. After a year of building the color print department it was time to hire more staffing. Fast forward to 2020 and DLS has been very fortunate to build a successful design and print part of the business with 4 full time employees and 2 part time employees.
What is an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
While I’m proud to have maintained my LLC for how long as I have, having built a print business from the ground up has been my career’s biggest highlight. There were days I really questioned what I was doing with my career at DLS because of not having a background in print. But hiring the right team has ultimately made me a better graphic designer, storyteller and sales person. What has been accomplished as a team in just a little over 4 years and the client base we have built based on trust and honest communication has been really exciting to watch.
We heard that you’re now running a young professionals networking event. Do you find that it is a struggle for women to come out after hours as they balance work and home responsibilities?
I often used to spend time going to every networking event possible. About a year ago I really assessed what I was doing in the community and what organizations I was giving my time to. I needed to find that work life balance for myself, and for my life at home. I was coming home nightly so wound up and stressed that something had to give. I think ultimately though you, as an individual, need to identify what is important to you both personally and professionally. I really do love sales and networking, but I also love working out and being home to spend time with my family. Finding that balance and having friends, family or a partner that supports your individual needs for personal and professional growth is hugely important. That said, yes I think for women it is extremely difficult to pick and choose what we want to do with our careers. As women we are natural caregivers, we want to make everything right and by nature we want to control everything in our lives. Giving into those entities and building a support network that encourages your personal and professional choices certainly helps with the struggle.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to work in your field?
The creative field is tough. Being a graphic designer is tough. Helping lead a digital print production facility is super tough in a male dominated industry. Not to mention there are at least a dozen print competitors in the Wilmington area let alone online competition. The best piece I could give to someone in the design or print world is figure out what your differentiators are. I’ve found over the years clients gravitate to DLS because we are real people. We are honest. We truly care about our clients. That care can go a long way in a competitive field. Always use your team to learn. I would not be the person I am today without the talented team that DLS has helped create.
How do you define success?
Success is being a leader. Success is being a mentor. Success is being a person who can be looked up to or able to give advice and help a person grow. I am by no means perfect but I try to be the best version of myself at all times, even if that means at times I’m having a bad day or allow my real emotions to show.
Give a shout out to the woman or women who inspire you the most.
There are SO many women in my life that I admire. To all of the mother figures in my life, aunts, friends, working moms, sister in laws, cousins and networking friends my admiration is with you. The support that women provide, how we all come together to be there for one another is truly amazing. I really do believe women could rule the world and I really look forward to the day when we finally have a female president in office.
How do you actively support other women or girls?
When DLS was able to hire another person to help support the color print side of the business I was fortunate to have an opportunity to attend a speed interview event at the Delaware College of Art and Design. We had Danielle Miller join our team full time the day after she graduated from DCAD in 2018. We’ve had a few employees come and go over the last 4 years but our team is comprised of 5 females and one male. I’ve found that having a mainly female team has been super empowering in terms of support and encouragement and working well together as a team. I also really enjoy networking with women and supporting female owned businesses.
Why Rebecca Simeone Lennon is On this List
“I met Rebecca at the Delaware Small Business Chamber. What impresses me most is her ability to put her heart and soul into everything she does, whether it’s her company or not. She does so with ethics and a sense of fair play. Last year she took herself way out of the comfort zone to sell her photography at a local event. She also started up a young professionals networking group in Wilmington. Somehow, she finds the time to work hard and she finds the time to relax hard. Everytime I see a glass of wine in front of a sunset, I know it’s hers. She’s got this.”
More 2020 Most Inspiring Women
Dr. Teri Quinn Gray is the Technology Operations & Portfolio Manager with DuPont Transportation and Industrial (T&I) business. She is an inspiration to women who want to work in the STEM field.
Jennifer Vitak is an Insurance Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance and the organizer for Women United. She’s a networking expert and brings a ray of sunshine to every event she’s attending.
Linda Arrey is the President/CEO of Women in Leadership Development and Empowerment Inc (WILDE.) She is also an Active Duty Captain in the United States Air Force Medical Service Corps.
Janet Killian is the Owner/Founder of Gemini Janitorial Services & a Children’s author! Janet is a fantastic leader and extremely humble. It’s no surprise that everyone who meets her loves her.
Chrysa Cohen is the owner of Continental Jewelers, a family-owned jewelry store that opened in 1955. She takes pride in knowing that the store is on top of every phase in the jewelry industry.
Dr. Eunice Gwanmesia is an educator, author, consultant, speaker, coach, philanthropist, and mentor. Her story as an immigrant is inspiring and we are honored that she shared it with us.
Barbara Day works at Unique Impressions and assists people in finding the BEST marketing and promotional tools for their business. Everything she does is with 100% enthusiasm and pride.
Nicolle Surratte is Chief Inspiration Officer at NspireD, LLC where she advocates health & wellness as a lifestyle. As a breast cancer survivor, she discusses breast cancer awareness & education.
Gigi Gaul is an administrative assistant for the College of Arts and Sciences at Wilmington University. Gigi loves giving her time to several DE nonprofits.