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Hi friends, 
I write this on our screened-in back porch on an unseasonably warm, 60-degree February day. The birds are chirping, the dogs are playing in the backyard, and I just finished my (second) homemade macchiato. Life has thrown me some curveballs lately, things have been heavy, but these moments bring me J O Y !
I work with creative founders as their right-hand gal, strategic partner, accountability coach (even though I hate the term coach), Fractional COO/CFO, business therapist, and advisor. I support them in setting data-driven goals, mindfully running their growing business, managing direct reports, determining profitable payroll, and even setting aside funds for bonuses and business savings. We use visual tools and meet monthly for accountability and strategy.
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Design by Sara Liberthorn
This year, already, my clients are impressing me. Each of them has decided to change course regarding what client niche they look to serve. They're continually challenging themselves. They're recognizing what gives them most joy and focusing on that. Given our work together, they're confidently making this decision, emboldened by how it will impact profitability and operations. I love to see the shifts in their mentality and confidence as our work progresses.
In the next few months, I'm throwing the spotlight on creative founders who inspire me. This month, I’m kicking off our 2023 Founder Spotlight Series with someone I deeply connect with and admire. Sara Liberthorn is the founder of Libernans, a design studio for product-based brands looking for playful, bold creative. 
Founder Spotlight Series
Sara Liberthorn
Sara is based in Sonoma, California (what a dream) and lives with her husband, Kyle, and sweet pup. The duo run Libernans together, Kyle manages operations and Sara owns everything creative and client-facing. Sara is a dreamer, multi-faceted creative, and forward-thinker.
In January, I spoke with Sara on what keeps her creative spark lit up, tips for creative founders + freelancers, and her go-to time management softwares + tools. What really stood out to me is her persistence in finding time to be creative outside of work, working with the seasons, not against them, and her keen ability to listen to herself and her needs. A lot of times, as founders and entrepreneurs, we push ourselves to the limits. Sara has a way of ensuring that working for herself also works for her lifestyle.
I'm hopeful these Founder Spotlights will inspire you. Especially if you're a creative freelancer with dreams of starting your studio or agency one day. These founders were once in your shoes. Let them be proof your dreams can be a reality.
Founder of Le Chéile

Check out Sara's work and get in touch:

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Design by Sara Liberthorn
Q&A with 
Sara Liberthorn, Founder of Libernans
1. What does Libernans do, in 1-2 sentences?
Libernans is a design studio for product-based brands looking for playful, bold creative.
2. What type of clients do you serve?
We primarily work with product-based businesses in the DTC and CPG spaces.
3. What was the biggest transformation 2022 brought you + the brand?
We slowed down and took time to [discuss] what we wanted our day-to-day life to look like. We aim to run a lifestyle business that fits within our schedule with flexibility.
4. What makes a client choose to work with you? What secret sauce do you bring to the table?
I’d say the mixture of our aesthetic and process. The feedback we’ve received from clients is that we are organized and responsive. 
We aim to keep channels of communication with clients open and ongoing, while managing projects in Notion and keeping the process super chill.
5. Any advice for new freelancers or founders?
  • Rest often - Prioritize breaks & sleeping. It’s critical to functioning and keeping stress managed.
  • Put up strong boundaries around communication, especially after hours and on weekends/holidays.
  • Take time to explore your craft daily. Don’t add pressure, use this time to have fun and experiment.
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Design by Sara Liberthorn
6. What changes did your business undergo last year?
Last year was definitely an experimentation year for us, we tried out new branding, expanding our offerings, and trying out different softwares/tools. We learned a lot in 2022 and have streamlined a lot of our processes through auditing and client feedback.
Our biggest takeaway was to simply our workflows to give us time back to explore our craft + take on new clients.
7. What are the top 3-5 organizational tools you leverage for efficiency + collaboration?
  1. Notion → We use Notion databases for everything. It’s got a very customizable labelling system that allows you to archive projects & tasks easily.
  2. A giant whiteboard → We placed a school-size white board on one of our office walls. We use it to break out the week into days This helps us track availability.
  3. Pomodoro → Pomodoro is a timer that sets tasks to a set amount of time period(s) + a break period. It then gives you an estimated time of day when you will complete these tasks. Great for managing time + remembering to take breaks (!!).
  4. Superhuman → An inbox organizer that saves time managing inboxes.
  5. Toggl → Toggl is a time-tracking desktop app that sends you reminders to track your time.
8. What do you wish you knew when you started as an entrepreneur?
  • Seasonality - Design has seasons! Learning to not panic (!!) during slower seasons and instead plan ahead for them, same goes for busy seasons (i.e. the holiday season).
  • Pomodoro – Prior to Pomodoro, I would often over-schedule myself and end up working long days. When I switched over to doing Pomodoro sessions, it has really helped me with time management and figuring out what I can fit into a workday.
9. What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
You can reach out to me at hi@libernans.com

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Design by Sara Liberthorn