Shu Shu Design, a full service, independent design studio led by Jennifer Green, recently celebrated its 15th year of operation in Madison. Shu Shu Design offers branding, web presence planning and (re)design, packaging, communication design, and book and catalog design and production.
Green’s expertise has been built over years working a variety of creative and communications-related positions, including a position at Mattel’s American Girl Company. Recognizing that she was getting a bit stale after 6 years working for the same brand, she joined a good friend who had recently started her own freelance business, working on catalogs for a fair trade organization called SERRV.
Although she doesn’t have a degree in graphic design, Green says she wouldn’t describe herself as self-taught: “That wouldn’t give enough credit to all the mentors and colleagues who have shared their knowledge with me over the years. I am still especially grateful to my supervisor at American Girl, Myland McRevey. He worked with Pleasant Rowland to create the original logo for Pleasant Company, the first set of books, and the magazine. I was very lucky to be able to work for and learn from him early in my career.”
Green likes working freelance because she’s found that collaborating with clients in different industries and being able to use a variety of mediums has made her a better designer. It also gives her the freedom to choose her clients—She especially enjoys working with growing small businesses, non-profits, cooperatives, artisan food producers, and sustainable food promoters.
Why? Green genuinely cares about her clients’ success: “Producing quality work is more important than business growth to me, which is why I’ve stayed so small all these years. I’m a responsive communicator—you will never wonder what is going on with your project with me.”
An ally and a friend to LGBTQ people, Green likes being part of a community that shares her values and political agenda. As a small business owner, she has “No interest in supporting typical ‘pro-business’ efforts like suppressing a living minimum wage, which has traditionally been the kind of effort that chambers of commerce focus on.”
She also appreciates that she benefits from the Chamber’s work for equality and fairness—”just like everyone else in Wisconsin.” Rather than taking an individualist view of businesses, she celebrates the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Green attended our National Coming Out Day Breakfast last fall, which offered networking, breakfast, and a keynote at the Madison Club near the Capitol Square. She enjoyed the event and plans to attend more Chamber events in Madison to make connections and to enjoy the sense of community they provide.
Article Written by Clare McKinley