Get excited, because our interview series Design Phase Zero is in full swing! In the upcoming weeks, we will be featuring various Austin designers and reveal their stories working in the design world. Design Phase Zero uncovers the steps and early processes that creative professionals endure as they venture on to their next project.
Our series starts with entrepreneur and business owner Hayley Swindell from The Refinery. I had the honor to meet with the extremely enthusiastic and driven Hayley, as we chatted (over Topo Chicos at Cafe 1886) about her journey into the exciting, fast-paced creative industry.
Hayley and her family moved to Austin after her dad retired from professional baseball. She then attended The University of Texas where she earned her degree in political science and government. Her journey started in print advertising at Austin Monthly, and it was there, that Hayley discovered her motivation to someday start her own business.
Later on, Hayley worked as the Director of Development at The Marbridge Foundation, which is a community for adults who have a wide range of cognitive challenges. Her younger brother has autism, so she holds this cause very close to her heart. While working for the Marbridge Foundation, she thought of an idea for an e-commerce store, later established as the Hip Humanitarian.
It’s here, where our Q+A starts with Hayley detailing her journey to the founding of The Refinery…