Designing woman

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 19:00
Chugiak grad opens new business
Amie Stanley sits at her desk in her home office in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, Jan. 12. Stanley, a 2007 Chugiak High graduate, recently started her own design studio.

Whether serving as president of her sorority, volunteering with the Alaska Democratic Party or fulfilling her duties as UAA student body vice president, Amie Stanley addressed the same needs — event planning and marketing.

Stanley, a 2007 Chugiak High graduate, has taken her college experience and opened her own design studio. Amie Marie Design Studio handles everything from graphic design to event planning.

Stanley, who’s currently working toward her wedding planner certification, credited her time at UAA with giving her the experience needed to start her own business.

“I just learned to develop those skills in those professions,” she said. “I can relate to a lot of different industries.”

A 2012 UAA grad, Stanley’s life after college hasn’t slowed. On top of working full-time as the assistant coach of the Seawolves’ debate team, Stanley spends about 20 hours a week on her business.

Long hours are nothing new to Stanley.

“I’m used to the 60-hour work week,” she said. “My friends always joke that I’m the overachieving overachiever.”

A political science major, Stanley said she wasn’t planning on starting her own business. But after seeing how event planning and design were common themes in the many capacities she served in during college, Stanley started writing her business plan.

“It’s become my dream,” she said.

The first couple weeks couldn’t have gone better for a fledgling business.

Her website ( received 100 unique views when it launched Jan. 4, Stanley said, and has been getting 40 to 50 new views a day since.

“The response I’ve gotten from clients has been overwhelming,” she said.

Just 23-years-old, Stanley said she received a mixed response about starting her own business.

But all of her volunteering in college — which included planning recruitment events and fundraisers, contacting guest speakers and working with social media — more than makes up for her age, Stanley said.

“I have energy, I have the people skills, and I have the technical capabilities,” she said.

For now, Stanley operates out of her downtown Anchorage apartment. Her goal is to have 25 clients annually before opening an office.

Ultimately, Stanley said she’d like to see her business, which has two part-time employees, expand to a workforce of 20 to 30 people.

“I’m looking forward to watching it grow,” she said.

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