Meet Top-Shelf #Newsworthy Founder Antoinette Belson Antoinette Belson is a Founder and Interior Design Coach.…
Top-Shelf #Newsworthy Founder Neela Asaadi
Meet Top-Shelf #Newsworthy Founder Neela Asaadi
Neela Asaadi is a Lifestyle Designer & Holistic Health Coach, and Founder of Asaadi Graphics and Soul & Spoons – a boutique design firm with expertise in special occasion events and milestones.
1. Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do (give us your quick elevator pitch!)
I am a New Jersey native, who went to school in London and Boston, lived in NYC after college, and currently reside in Miami with my fiancé. I consider myself a visual communicator and love connecting with people, learning their story and about their backgrounds. I am by trade a lifestyle designer, with a degree in graphic design and branding. I primarily work with clients on special occasion events and celebratory milestones. I recently set out on a new venture, with a certification in Health & Nutrition counseling. My goal is to guide individuals to develop long-term, sustainable habits and find balance through lifestyle, both on and off the plate.
2. How did you come up with the idea for your business? We’d love to hear a bit about your Founder Story.
At Northeastern University, students were encouraged to participate in the co-op program, allowing them to work full-time for 6 months to gain experience before they graduated. After working at 3 top-level companies as an undergrad, I finished school with a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience in graphic design. I felt fully ready to immerse myself in the concrete jungle, New York City, after I graduated — ready for this next chapter of my life. My fairytale of that first dream job was quickly squashed when I found myself in an unpaid internship at a branding agency, where I was put in a position to essentially fill an administrative assistant role, doing mundane tasks like printing out specs, getting coffee and lunch. This tough love very quickly taught me that company culture is tremendously important, as well as good leadership, or lack thereof. But I put my head down and worked hard because I knew it was important to push through certain hurdles.
Slowly, I began to burn out. The daily 3-hour commute on the NJ transit- where I would not see the sunlight all day, go each day without a lunch break or any sort of compensation, went on for too long. After being told by both of my bosses, they did not see a future or career for me in graphic design, I decided to give my 2 weeks and not look back. Heartbroken and defeated, I did not know what my next step was but I knew that whatever was to come after that, would have to be better. That was my rock bottom. While I had always been freelancing on the side – with no real plan or intention to start a business – I decided to follow that path and open an LLC.
Asaadi Graphics was born in 2017. Freelancing quickly turned into entrepreneurship and I found myself a small business owner. The greatest lessons in life happen when you surprise yourself. You figure it out along the way and it all comes together because you’re doing what you are passionate about and you have something special to offer the world. My family and friends were my biggest cheerleaders, they supported me when I doubted myself. Five years later, I am so proud of what I have accomplished and built so far.
3. What makes you different from other similar service providers on the market, what’s your zone of genius?
In the service industry, I have found that trust and genuine support are the foundation of any relationship. When working with clients intimately on their wedding, their brand, or focusing on their health, it is really essential that as the subject matter expert — I connect with my clients on a human level. My approach to creativity and design is also super holistic. I love pulling together all the details that make up the whole. My goal is to take out the guesswork and present a stress-free solution, so my clients can feel confident and taken care of.
4. If you had to pick, what is one organic marketing or PR tactic/win that has been incredibly helpful in growing your business?
Networking and putting yourself out there! Also, collaboration. I am an avid believer in “community over competition.” I have found that my greatest strides of success in business have been partnering up with like-minded business owners and working towards a common goal.
5. When you’re not busy working in or on your business, we can find you….
Putting my creative energy into cooking (I love a good mezze grazing board/ playing with food). If I am being active, you can usually find me doing a workout outdoors and in my leisure time, laying out on the beach!
6. Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster. What helps you dig out of the lows? Any tips, resources or reminders?
My daily routine is how I stay grounded. I make sure that every morning before I flip over my phone and just into my day, I meditate for 20 minutes, jot down my thoughts in my gratitude journal, and start my morning off slow. Physical movement for me gets me out of my head, so if I am in a bit of a funk, I refocus my energy and attention into something that makes me feel strong and grounded, like a long run or pilates.
7. What’s something you can’t learn about you on google (well, until this article that is)
I have always secretly wanted to be left-handed. In elementary school, I would try to exercise both hands while in writing and art class so that I could be ambidextrous – but… didn’t turn out super successful!
8. Your dream headline would read (BONUS points for including the outlet)…
“Bespoke Wedding Stationer designs her own Invitation Suite, bringing her vision to life with intricate Spanish- inspired watercolor details and hand-crafted gold foiling elements.” – Vogue Weddings
9. THEPRBAR strongly believes in celebrating all of life’s wins, no matter how small – how do you like to celebrate?
I am all about celebration, even the smallest wins. Self-care to me is a privilege that I do not take for granted. So I make sure to carve out time in my day to treat myself to something that brings me joy… a massage, a beautiful dinner out with my fiancé, a blowout (my guilty pleasure).
10. Now we have to wrap things up with a true THEPRBAR question, what’s your favorite beverage?
A spicy, not sweet mezcal margarita with a tajin rim! :)
11. Where can everyone go to connect with you and learn more about COMPANY?
You can email me directly: neela@asaadigraphics! To follow along and learn more about me and my businesses, follow me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/asaadigraphics or https://instagram.com/soulandspoons !