Anti 9-to-5 profile: Christa Fleming

March 16th, 2007

Christa and colleaguesThe anti 9-to-5er: Christa Fleming, Des Moines, WA (interviewed in The Anti 9-to-5 Guide!)

My job: I design! Just about anything. Mostly printed pieces, but also stuff for the web. My clients range from independent schools to banks to everything in between.

Christa's desk is sooo neat!What makes my gig anti 9-to-5: I work at home in my office on the second floor of my house, while my husband works downstairs as a full-time dad to our two boys, Henry (2 years) and Leo (9 weeks). Working from home was a MUST for me when I knew I was ready to have kids. We didn’t want (nor would we be able to afford) to put our kids in day care, and we just plain love being together as a family. And we hate commuting. And working for other people.

What I did in my former 9-to-5 life: I was also a graphic designer in my former 9-to-5 life. I was a senior designer for a small design firm in Seattle.

How I made the anti 9-to-5 leap: I already had a few of my own clients on the side while I was still working for a firm, so I had a place to start. And the years I put in at the firm had helped me build a nice portfolio, so by the time I was ready to go out on my own, I was able to hit the ground running.

My biggest obstacles: The biggest obstacle was definitely being able to make it work financially. It’s scary to think that someone else won’t be providing you that regular paycheck (AND benefits) twice a month. But finally I decided that I just needed to go for it and things would work out. And they did. My husband kept his job (and health insurance for both of us) for the first year or so, while my business was growing. Things were going really well, and when I got pregnant with our first son, we realized that it would make most sense for my husband to quit his job and be a full-time dad. Now, we’re all together (and usually in our PJs) every day and we can’t believe our luck in making this work.

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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