Best practices for starting your own business from illustrator and designer, Julie Rustad who created her own successful product line as her son was napping.

Julie Rustad, the award-winning artist behind a desert-inspired set of alphabet flash cards, shared an inside look of launching and promoting her own product line. Rustad was featured on Entrepreneurial Women Radio with Sharon Michaels, a 20 minute show geared toward becoming “unstoppable” as a woman entrepreneur.

The show titled, “How a Passion for Art, Children and Education Became a Business” is a perfect summary of the path Julie created for her Desert Dwellers Flash Cards.

Working as an art director by day, she took the leap to starting her own business by developing business skills by earning a MBA at night. Upon graduation, she started her own graphic design business, 24-7 Creative Solutions 8 years ago.

Today she is a Mom and on the radio interview Julie shares candidly about balancing motherhood, running her design business, and growing the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards line.

‘Desert Dwellers: Southwest Animals from A-Z’, are a set of colorful flash cards with facts and stories about desert critters, encourage early reading whilst offering a southwestern twist on traditional alphabet books.

Julie developed them while her son Syver was a toddler to teach him the alphabet and about their local wildlife. She started with Anna’s Hummingbird and went in alphabetical order, painting each desert animal with colorful acrylics in a bright palette. Rustad documented her painting process on her Julie Originals blog.

After completing all 26 Desert Dweller paintings, Rustad donned her graphic designer’s hat and designed double-sided flash cards with the animal and letter on the front and facts and stories on the back. The flash cards feature Julie’s original paintings of southwest critters include Anna’s Hummingbird, Bighorn Sheep, Coyote, and 23 other Southern Arizona natives.

Now the award-winning flash cards, priced at $20 each (with shipping), are sold in over 20 stores around Arizona.

“I was thrilled to be on a radio show that promotes women feeling good about starting their own successful businesses. Sharon was friendly and was a fun inside-look into my best practices!” said Julie.

Listen to Julie Rustad on Entrepreneurial Women Radio here.



About Desert Dwellers Flash Cards

* Customers can order the Desert Dwellers Flash Cards, along with greeting cards, calendars, and prints, online at For a list of retailers visit the website.

* Desert Dwellers received a Silver ‘Addy’ award last month from the Tucson chapter of the American Advertising Federation.



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