“I was determined and ready for change… the time prior to that served as building blocks.” – Catherine Ross
She began her career at a small marketing firm in North Dakota and was then recruited to work at a SBA affiliated nonprofit. While there, she benefited from the profound leadership and mentorship of her boss, Tara Holt, whom she described as a powerful businesswoman eager to build up those around her. When Catherine reflects on her time there, she shares, “It’s imperative to have other people to commune with, give and receive advice, remain connected, be mentored while mentoring others…”
Catherine was Chair of the Young Professionals Network in North Dakota at the time; her position led her to a YPN conference in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was there she met her husband, Jeff Ross, who was part of the Naperville Young Professionals Network. They quickly struck up a long-distance romance until Catherine decided in 2011 to make the great trek across the country. Although she had no job or family in the Naperville area, she knew she was making the right decision. She knew she had to take the risk.
“Life presents times of transition.” – Catherine Ross
Upon arrival, she ran into some roadblocks on finding a new job. A lot of businesses were still recovering from the Recession and did not seem eager to add anyone to their marketing department. After quite a bit of searching, she landed a job at a travel accessories company. She received good pay and benefits, but was commuting three hours round trip. In 2014 – just a few months after they married, she and Jeff began to assess their options. He had an established commercial photography business; they saw where they could build a new kind of marketing company, one that focuses on creativity from a strategic standpoint and incorporates custom photography to tell the unique story of each business. The leap into entrepreneurship didn’t happen immediately. They took time to build adequate savings and invest in sales training with Bill Bartlett at Corporate Strategies for Catherine. Once she felt she had a firm ground from which to launch, she took the big step forward.
“I get to help my clients identify and develop the tools they need in order to present a consistent image for their business.” – Catherine Ross
Just as evidenced through her journey, a successful outcome is ultimately reached through a series of trial and error. Each time Catherine was presented with a crossroads, she took time to assess the challenges, acquire the knowledge necessary, and then pursue the path that allowed her to continue onward with her passions. She never compromised what ultimately mattered to her; she found ways to take measured risks that would facilitate her ideal life. Now, she eagerly approaches every client case with fresh eyes and a head full of ideas to further their brand. She has found the balance for her family, creativity, and lifestyle. It was just by taking one bold step at a time.
To learn more about Ross Creative Works, check out rosscreativeworks.com.
By: Erin D. Wikstrom
Headshots courtesy of Megan Drane, Firefly Nights Photography.