Success Story: Ciera Holzenthal

By Alpha M. Sanford


AMS: Tell us about yourself. Your education, training and where you are currently involved in.

Ciera: I’m Ciera Holzenthal, owner andgraphic designer at Ciera Design. I am also a blogger and a hobby photographer.

In high school, I was excepted into the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). I went to my normal high school for half of each day and NOCCA for the other half to study visual arts. During my time at NOCCA I realized that I could not see myself as a fine artist but I also found that I was very organized and systematic while working on projects. We had a few computer/design sessions and although I was not exactly sure what it was, I knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer! When I went to college, I switched back and forth between design and photography and finally decided to focus on design.

I got a job right out of college at a great advertising agency and gained a lot of experience in my four years there. A time came when I was not learning anything else from being there and rather than look for a position at another company, I decided to start a company of my own!


 Ciera Holzenthal 


AMS: Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its mission?

Ciera: The Ciera Design studio was officially launched in 2010, offering full-service graphic design and branding. I started my business by doing pro bono work for New Orleans non-profits. This made me realize that I love helping my community, small businesses, creatives and entrepreneurs. So I continued to work with clients that I stand behind and that have an impact on the community.

One of my first clients was the The Young Leadership Council (YLC) and I continue to design for their Role Model Gala, among other things, every year! I really enjoy engaging in a job that contains many different aspects. I get to create an overall look and then apply my concept to multiple designs including sponsor packets, invites, save the dates and signage. It also means a lot to me to be able to share my talents with such a great group of people and for a good cause!

When I launched the studio, I also started blogging.  My goal is to create an inspiring place for both myself and my readers. On my blog, I share my adventures as a freelance graphic designer and everything that exhilarates me as an artist including DIY projects, photography, home decor, arts and crafts, inspired living and all things graphic design.

I LOVE what I do and feel extremely lucky everyday.



 A sample of Ciera Holzenthal’s logo design


AMS: What is your vision of these projects?

Ciera: Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. My vision is to creatively and effectively build a cohesive brand to help companies grow.


 Another picture of Ciera Holzenthal of Ciera Design


AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

Ciera: My parents have run a creative business together for over 30 years. Being raised in a creative family is the reason I started to take art classes in 2nd grade and eventually pursue a career in a creative field.

AMS: What are some of the greatest achievement that you’ve had?

Ciera: Starting and succeeding in my own business and being able to do what I love and help others on a daily basis is my greatest achievement to date.


Gala Invite, one of Ciera’s designs 


AMS: Who are/were your motivators?

Ciera: Everyone in my family owns their own business so I have definitely learned from example.

AMS: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need in order to be successful (in general) in life- what are they?

Ciera: Doing what you love and having a desire to always learn and grow. I continuously set goals for myself and strive to learn more about design and technology in order to grow in my field.

AMS: What are your next goals for yourself?

Ciera: To focus my services and concentrate on what I’m best at. I want to refocus my energy on projects that I truly enjoy while building the perfect client base of passionate and creative entrepreneurs. I also want to concentrate on the invitation and stationery extension of my business!




 A picture of Ciera’s desk

AMS: What is your definition of success?

Ciera: Being able to inspire others and helping my community using skills I have perfected. I also believe that to be successful in life you must have fun and enjoy your life with the people you love! I’m a huge fan of the motto work hard, play hard.


To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.