We’re taking this month to share the Collective’s interview with Samm Sawyer, SSM’s Founder, CEO, and Executive Director.

SSM got its start as “Samm Sawyer Media” when Samm began building this business from the ground up. As a small business, we love to help other small businesses grow too.

So, whether you’re just starting out or a long-time business owner, we hope that this interview with Samm Sawyer helps you not feel alone in such a hectic world.

Samm Sawyer and Gregor Owen.
Samm and Gregor Owen, founder of Wilmington designer eyewear boutique, CustomEyes.

What are your roles and responsibilities at SSM Creative Collective?

I am the owner, founder, and jill-of-all-trades at SSM. From client meetings, invoicing, graphic design, coding, and the smaller things like posting stories or responding on behalf of businesses — I do it all.

How did you get started in the world of digital media marketing and website design?

I had an internship at Athenian Press & Workshops where I designed flyers and ran their socials. When I was hired at The Second Glass, a restaurant in the South Front District of Wilmington, I started designing menus for them. My career (and the SOFRO district) really just took off from there.

What has best prepared you for this business?

Working in the weeds on a busy Saturday night at Second Glass — the feeling of being triple sat and one of them is a ten top, your ticket time on table 3’s food is at 35 mins and the bartender is ignoring your latest drink order. Being able to navigate that space with grace and ease in spite of the anxieties that come, being able to do that and keep a million things in your brain simultaneously and talk to everyone in a calm demeanor even when they may not be calm themselves — all of that has best prepared me for this business.

Samm Sawyer and Celeste Glass
Samm and her mentor Celeste Glass, owner of Wilmington restaurant, The Second Glass.

What has posed the greatest challenge in starting and running your own business?

Sleep! Really just learning on your feet that nothing will ever be the same day-to-day. Things “catch on fire” and you can only do what you can. Figuring out to delegate and trust, even after having been burned by employees, clients, and vendors and learning that it’s not personal, it’s business has also been helpful in overcoming the challenges of running a business.

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

The clients themselves. A little word or phrase or item in their business usually sparks the whole brand. I design the brand and make sure it fits them. During the branding process, I ask for a song that embodies what they want the brand to feel like and listen to that a few times as well.

What makes SSM Creative Collective stand out from the rest?

The Collective! Our process as a company is group-oriented. We bounce copy and branding ideas off each other, we work together to keep everything running smoothly, and establish multiple levels of review.

But ultimately, we care. Truly, deeply and somewhat maddeningly care. As a business owner, you can be left on hold or at the disposal of some salesperson to communicate with SMM, design, and PR. We do it all and you don’t have to worry about it. Plus, you build a relationship with us that isn’t commonplace; it’s a working relationship where oftentimes we beautify and amplify your business over a glass of wine.

You can read more about Samm and the rest of the collective here.

What have been your biggest struggles and wins as a business owner? Let us know below.