When she first came to Women, Work, and Community, Rowena Forbes was an in-house graphic designer working for a government agency. She always wanted to start her own business, and with layoffs looming over her workplace, the time was ripe to explore her dream. She launched her graphic agency Designed by Row (designedbyrow.com) in May 2009 and enrolled in Women, Work, and Community’s “Basics of Starting a Business” training in January 2010. Rowena was downsized from her workplace in March
2011, but she had built a base of clients and was well underway in growing her business to sustain herself and her family.
More than a designer and a businesswoman, Rowena is a mentor and leader among Aroostook small businesses. Her clients get more than graphic design – they get savvy marketing and branding to help them stand out as well as confidence and support to carry out their marketing campaign. Her clients also benefit from networking and connections in the community thanks to Row’s knowledge and involvement in the Aroostook County region. Rowena also gives generously of her time and talent to Women, Work, and Community as a member of the Ambassador Club, helping organize the annual ALL for Women conference in Aroostook County, speaking on Women, Work, and Community’s behalf to Rotary Club and other local organizations, and contributing her design skills to local and statewide initiatives.
On the quest to further her dream, Rowena has returned to school, continuing her studies in art and design. Her focus and fortitude she credits partially to a blog, Herresolution.com, that she and her sister began in 2010. Here, she and her sister encourage each other to look to the future and dream big.