We had the good fortune of connecting with Ellie Skochdopole and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ellie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is what started SKOCH Strategies. It might give people anxiety to say this (maybe even me, a little bit!), but there was no formal strategy process behind starting my business. It was something that happened pretty organically, as I was between jobs and in a new city. I began taking on freelance work to fill in the gaps, and before I knew it, I was able to keep busy full-time. Even though some would caution against starting a business this way, I do think there is a lot to be said for taking risks and following your gut. I believe we have all the tools that we need to succeed if only we have the confidence in ourselves to do so. I read something about imposter syndrome once: a person can truly do anything if they care about it enough. If I realize I am doubting my abilities before taking a risk, I try to remember this. And, most of the time, I find I am up to the challenge.

What should our readers know about your business?
SKOCH Strategies is a creative firm for creative people. We’re classic with a modern twist, and so are our clients: florists, designers, artists & art advisories, wellness experts and small businesses. Through a variety of mediums–branding, graphic and web design, public relations and digital strategy– we maximize impact and streamline processes without sacrificing the integrity of our clients’ creative vision. When I founded SKOCH, I worked with a much broader client base, which was incredibly rewarding. However, my first love has always been art and art history, and I found myself gravitating towards companies that shared a similar creative foundation. When I work with these kinds of businesses, it feels magical. I would encourage other entrepreneurs considering their client base to ask themselves what lights a fire in their bellies. Though working within a specific niche may feel like pigeonholing, clarifying your specific audience makes your work–and your brand–much stronger.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I actually keep a to-do list of my perfect Saturday on my desk, just to remind myself of all the things that make me really happy. Here is a selection: I would wake up on the earlier side, say 7:30/8, and walk from my apartment off of Henderson to the Village Bakery for cappuccino and chocolate Kouign Amann. I would enjoy them while walking through a farmer’s market, either the classic Dallas Farmer’s Market or the St. Michael’s Farmers Market in the summer. I’d then return home, wake up my boyfriend who likes to sleep in, and pack a picnic full of the fruits and veggies I just bought to enjoy at either the Dallas Arboretum or White Rock Lake. After my picnic, I would probably want to be outside a bit more, either at Ice House, the Skellig, the Rustic or Truck Yard. Dinner would depend on how much energy I had left. Alamo Club is my all-time favorite, but I would be equally as happy with pickup from Hello Dumpling, a quick drive to Keller’s Hamburgers, or a Honey Bastard from Cane Rosso. I would also not turn down an ice cream from Baldo’s, a glass of wine from Vertias Wine Room or a souflée from St. Martin’s Bistro.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people have helped me become who I am today. Obviously, my parents come to mind first, as they have been encouraging my creativity and supporting my crazy ideas for many years. They have been wonderful cheerleaders without whom I could not do what I do. Professionally, I owe much to my first boss at the Smithsonian, Bethany Bentley, who took a chance on me and taught me everything I know. Her deep knowledge of her industry, passion for her work and drive to help others are both inspirational and aspirational to me. My story would not be complete without Ann Schooler of Schooler-Kellogg and Wolf Hall Antiques. She gave me my start in freelance, and I will forever be grateful for her for it. She is someone I admire both an entrepreneur and an individual.

Website: skochstrategies.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skochstrategies/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellie-skochdopole-a6a4b164/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skochstrategies

Image Credits
Headshot & Hand Image: Photo by Alyssa Cates Studio. This image was taken on location at Wolf Hall Antique Collective, Dallas, TX

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