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BARTOW BIO: Graphic designer creates her dream job in Cartersville

Lara J Designs in the newspaper

The Daily Tribune News
March 15, 2015
by Brandon Davis

Lara Jeanneret is passionate about what she does.

Based in a quaint but spacious office in downtown Cartersville, she works with a team of creative minds to bring new life to businesses through graphic design. Her firm, Lara J Designs, has helped many organizations and entrepreneurs bring their concepts to tangible, visual form.

And, when you do a good job, word gets around.

Jeanneret said she started out her business as a freelancer working solely from referrals. When that took off, she decided to move to her current location, complete with a welcome area, conference room and open-environment work space.

Though work keeps her busy, she manages to find time to stay involved in the local community. In fact, Jeanneret received the Chairman’s Award at the 2015 Downtown Development Authority Annual Banquet on Thursday.  She also serves on the board of directors for the Downtown Development Authority, is the DDA Promotions Committee Chair and a member of the Bartow Young Professionals Leadership Committee at the Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Jeanneret designs and maintains the Etowah Valley Humane Society website and helps many other local non-profits in the community.

How did you become interested in design?
My mother was an art teacher so I was introduced to the field of art from a very early age. I took a weekend packaging design course at Art Institute of Atlanta when I was a freshman in high school and from then on I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer for my career. Graphic Design is on seen on everything that we use day-to-day… It’s inspiring to see how things go from brainstorming, drawings & research, then how it all works together to actually finalize it and see a finished company brand in use on everything from signs to print materials to websites and so much more.

What led you to open Lara J Designs in Cartersville?
The first graphic design company that I worked for was in Kennesaw and I designed promotional products, while I attended school at Kennesaw State University. Then, at that same company, we later started a lifestyle magazine named Magnolia Magazine. Unfortunately, that magazine closed, and at that stage I started a new job at Media Graphics here in Cartersville. I was a graphic designer for them for six years.

When I gave birth to my son, Evan in 2007 I decided that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I stayed home with him and then started doing freelance work – just a few projects here and there. The business continued to grow because of referrals from my initial few clients. I didn’t advertise or do any other additional promotions because I was trying to spend as much time as possible with my little boys (My son Colin was born in 2009). I worked out of my home for the first four years, and then decided to open our office in downtown Cartersville three years ago. I love the downtown area and always knew I wanted to have an office in historic downtown.

What kinds of design does your firm do?
Full branding, logo design, website design, brochures, postcards, rack cards and flyers, business cards, letterhead and envelopes, holiday cards, wedding invitations and baby announcements, museum panel designs, product packaging design, electronic illustration, custom t-shirt design and custom project design.

If you had a dream job, what would it be?
This one. Most of the time( as a graphic designer) you end up working in a corporate environment, where you’re either doing branding for the same company again and again or you’re building a magazine, but your not getting to do a lot of projects for different clients. This is really fun. It’s different every day and we get to meet so many great people.

What is your greatest achievement?
Owning my own graphic design business.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I great up on a farm in Rockmart, and had a horse named Jasmine.

Do you have a personal motto?
Live the life you love.

If you were to write your autobiography or memoirs, what would the title be?
“Nothing truly last forever, but there is always an ‘&'”