Alyssa Nguyễn

Hi! I’m Alyssa, NYC-based, self-taught creative + head of ATNN Design. I founded this studio in 2019 while studying at Princeton, where I discovered my love for creating spaces for WOC.


What is your creative Journey?

I started out as a self-taught freelancer making random posters and flyers for student groups in college, but my love for it took me on a ride and turned into my career! I became a brand & web designer because I've always been interested in how people and design interact, and I feel like it instantly clicked in my head! My first year designing as a baby freelancer was 2019, so I've been at it for 4 years now and running my design studio for 3!

What are Your future business plans?

I would love to continue to create more resources for creatives to help them in their journeys! I also would love to offer more options to clients for branding & web services that service a wide range of budgets. It's very important to me that my work doesn't become too pricy for my target audience, so I'm working on different ways to make that happen.

What piece of advice would you offer creatives entering the field?

Don't spend too much time thinking about the business side at first. Don't worry about your packages, your marketing plans, your niche, etc. That all comes later when it's necessary, but entering into design world should be about the design part! Enjoy the process of learning what your strengths are, learning what you like to do, learning new skills, and learning to trust your instincts. You'll have all the time in the world to build a business around it, but you only get to be a design newbie once!

How do balance your personal and professional life?

I don't compromise...seriously! I schedule personal commitments as if they were business meetings and I assign both of them equal importance in my life. I make sure not to let work overpower my life to the point of skipping social events, alone time, and physical health by never compromising on them. You're in charge of your day as a creative, so if you know balance is important to you, carve out your days to optimize working hours and prioritize personal time.

How do you think you stand apart from other creatives?

I think I have a more person-focused service than most — many of my clients know me through my social media accounts and choose to work with me because of my personality and openness in addition to my work! I make it a point to create a space where founders feel safe to be themselves because that's what I enforce for myself. I also am very clear about my values and how my passion for POC and women drive all of my work. People come to me for these values because they align with them,too.

Can you share some lessons you've learned through your creative career?

Your opinion matters most! It took me forever to learn that the first person that should love your work is YOU. Clients, social media, and other designers used to be the focus of my designs: is this good enough? will people like it? But it always kept me in a cycle of designing for others' validation and it ultimately led to me having total self-doubt for all projects. It was only until I burnt out and said f*ck it that I realized my work has to resonate with me first, the world second.

How does tools like Webflow and Figma help your business process?

My studio websites have always been on Webflow and my website is the #1 thing I get compliments on! It is essential for me to have a brand that feels unique and dynamic, so I've always used Webflow for my studio to achieve that. I love the endless possibilities that Webflow has to offer and anything I've dreamt up for my website, I've been able to accomplish on the platform.

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