Hi! I’m Kia Dolby. I am an award-winning graphic designer and multi-passionate creative. I am the owner of Brightsmith Creative, a communications and design studio invested in helping businesses and organizations grow through branding, strategic marketing, and visual communications.
I have a passion for entrepreneurship, and I am the founder of The Happy Solopreneur, where I create and facilitate courses on small business ownership, creativity, and business/life balance. In addition, I am an adjunct college instructor where I teach graphic design courses.
I’ve always had a love of design and art. I excelled at projects in grade school that allowed me to be creative – I was enamored by fashion design and art. In high school, I took my first graphic design class – and I was hooked. I am thankful every day that I can make a living pursuing creative work that helps others.
I attended Florida A and M University and studied graphic design, earning a BS in graphic design. I continued my education and received an MFA in visual design at Temple University (Tyler School of Art). Over the years, I’ve worked in many areas of design. I was part of IBM’s Arts Cafe where I designed website interfaces for Fortune 500 companies. After several design jobs including working as a publication designer and a product designer, I became interested in the multifaceted field of digital marketing and began working as a digital strategist within several corporate roles.
As a creative individual, I have pursued multiple creative endeavors. Around 2007 I launched a line of stationery at the National Stationery Show. My work appeared in The Stationery Magazine and other publications. Soon after, I opened Brightsmith Creative, my graphic design studio, where I work with nonprofits and boutique brands, looking to grow their influence through visual communications.
I’ve experienced many of the joys and challenges of building a profitable creative business. I started The Happy Solopreneur project to inspire and help others on the journey of self-employment and side business endeavors.
I’m interested in design thinking, equity, and leadership. My awards and recognition include a Cuppie Award for my work on the Beacon College University email redesign, and a Muse award for the 100 Days of Action Campaign for Kapor Center. I also participated as a consultant for ReDesign K-12 Education Content Map (redesignu.org). I also enjoy mentoring.
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling, DIY projects, and most of all spending time with my husband, three sons, and my dog Zeke.